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Highland Scots - Inverness & area: Alves

Archibald Alves

Archibald Alves (c1765-1839) was a London merchant, the son of Dr John Alves of Shipland, Inverness.

By the late 1790s, the Alves family already owned plantation Carrapan in St Vincent, where Archibald and his half-brother William were in a highly profitable partnership with George Baillie and George Inglis.

In 1800-01 Archibald Alves was part of a consortium which bought land in Berbice, the other members being Lord Seaforth, Edward Fraser of Reelig, William Munro, James Fraser of Belladrum and Anthony Somersall. At this time his business address was in Harley Street. He travelled to Holland with William Munro in order to complete the purchase.

By 1803 'Alves & Comp' had also acquired two lots of land on Canje Creek, which were named Rose Hall. [Netherlands National Archives, 1585, Kaart van Canaal en Ostsee kust van Berbice, 1803] The Alves' plantation on the Correntyne (see below) was also named Rose Hall, perhaps because of their partnership with George Baillie from Rosehall in Sutherland.

Thomas Alves [1731-1815], possibly an uncle, was a merchant, also working from Harley Street and other London addresses from the 1770s to the 1790s. In 1783 Dr John Alves and Thomas Alves, of Harley Street, were appointed attornies for Joseph Cuthbert, an Inverness merchant in Savannah, Georgia.

Archibald’s half-sister Helen [1782-1876] was married to George Inglis of Kingsmills.

William Alves

Archibald's half-brother William (1780-1835) also acquired land in Berbice and in 1817 owned, jointly with John Cameron, plantation Rose Hall, with 200 slaves, on the Corentyne Coast.

In 1801 he married Sarah Davidson, daughter of the Cromarty-born London sugar merchant Duncan Davidson of Tulloch. Their son John went out to Berbice, becoming a civil magistrate by 1827.

Thomas Alves

Archibald and William Alves' plantations in Berbice were managed by a Thomas Alves, who was described as an 'administrator' rather than a planter or merchant in a list of signatories of an address to the governor, van Batenburg, in 1803 [van Batenburg, Short History, p198]. Thereafter he is described as a planter.

John Alves

William's son, John, is recorded as being present at the flogging of a slave in 1827. At emancipation he received compensation for ownership of a relatively small number of slaves and by 1837 he was back in England, where he married Susan Barclay Fraser, the daughter of Simon Fraser of Kilmorack and widow of Wolfert Katz.

The couple seem to have returned to Rose Hall plantation, in Berbice, where he is last recorded in 1856 and where his wife died in 1874. Their son, also John, was also active in Guiana, but died at sea on his way to Demerara in 1882.