The Stirling family held the estates of Keir,
near Dunblane, and Cadder in the north of Glasgow
from the 15th and 16th centuries respectively.
Their involvement in Jamaica began in the 18th
century. The then head of the family, Sir James
Stirling (1679-1749), had 22 children and many
were forced to emigrate to support themselves.
Several of James’ sons and their descendants went
to Jamaica as merchants and planters. Their estates
produced sugar and rum and were worked by slaves
owned by the Stirlings.
The Stirlings had high
hopes that their Jamaican estates of Frontier
and Hampden would be extremely profitable but
the harsh working environment, riots and insurrections
ensured that the estates were never as profitable
as they had expected.
The emancipation of slaves
which occurred in 1833 quickly made the estates
unprofitable and they were eventually sold by
Sir William Stirling-Maxwell (1818-1878) in the
Staff in Glasgow City
Archives and Special Collections are actively
seeking records relating to Glasgow’s black history
to add to their collections. Do you know of any
organisations, businesses or individuals who may
have records they would like to deposit? If you
do and would like to discuss the potential deposit,
please contact the Duty