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Munro (Lemlair)

For a family tree see Munro (Lemlair and Berbice) on Ancestry (subscription required)

Matthew Munro [1761/62-97] was the son of Col Andrew Munro [c1724-c1809] of Lemlair and Janet Munro, daughter of George Munro of Culcairn [Evening Post (New Zealand), Volume LXI, Issue 116, 18 May 1901, Page 5; Will of his brother Walter Ross Munro Prob11/1266 f73]. His sister Catherine married Rev Angus Bethune, parish minister of Alness, and through him he was related to the various Bethunes who later came to Berbice; another sister, Annabella Stewart Munro, married Rev George Douglas [1739-94], minister of Tain, whose brother Gilbert Douglas owned a Demerara plantation.

He arrived in Grenada in the spring of 1778 as the new clerk for Houstoun & Paterson and rose to become a member of the island's assembly by the late 1780s. [Douglas Hamilton, Scotland, The Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1750-1820, p88; Ned C Landsman (ed), Nation and Province in the First British Empire: Scotland and the Americas, p111]

In 1792 he was granted the 500 acres plantation on the coast of Berbice, which was named Edinburgh [Kaartboek van de navolgende gronden uitgegeven in de kolonie Berbice, met acten van meting (1790-1793)]. He was also in partnership with William Macfarlane and James Blair, both of Grenada, and Lambert Blair of Berbice, trading as Lambert Blair & Co [London Gazette 1799]. He returned to England, settling at West Horsley, Surrey, where he died in February 1797, aged 36, and was buried in Bath Abbey [plaque in Bath Abbey]. At his death he owned plantations in Berbice, Grenada and St Lucia.

With his wife, Elizabeth, he had a son, also Matthew, who became a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and a daughter, Mary [Prob11/1286 f72 Will of Matthew Munro; Prob11/1712 Will of George Munro of Plantation Alness, Berbice].

Harry & William Munro

Harry Munro went out to Demerara or Berbice but was then brought home. Gilbert Robertson wrote to his mother in September 1803 saying that he supposed 'Harry Munro would like as well to be still a planter there as farming Limlair'. His mother commented: 'Harry is set up in a shop with one Grant at Inverness in a Cloth & Haberdashery shop. He is a fine spirited lad. It was a great pity to bring him home he was doing so well where he was.' [NLS MS 19331 f79 Anne Robertson, Kiltearn, to her daughter Christian (Mrs Watson), Crantit, Orkney, 31 Dec 1803]

Earlier, in 1802, she had written that 'There is a good account of John Bethune and Willie & Harry Munro' [NLS MS 19331 f67 Anne Robertson, Kiltearn, to her daughter Christian (Mrs Watson), Crantit, Orkney, 20 Apr 1802] and in 1809 her son observed that 'Mr John Bethune & Mr Wm Munro are both well' [NLS MS 19332 f86 Hugh Munro Robertson to Dr Traill from Kiltearn, Berbice June 4th 1809].

John Bethune, whose mother was Catherine Munro of Lemlair, later owned plantation Lemlair in Berbice.