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Mackenzie of Redcastle

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In the late 1780s or early 1790s Kenneth Francis Mackenzie, a Scottish barrister, purchased Lusignan, a “very large” plantation in Demerara which generally “gave a very good income” and supporting the family for almost fifty years. Kenneth Francis Mackenzie was from a junior line of the Mackenzies of Redcastle, in Ross-shire.

Mackenzie's wife was Ann Townsend [1769-1846] and his will makes it clear that she owned slaves in her own right, which were placed on plantation Lusignan. She may have been related to either Thomas or William Townshend, who owned plantations in Berbice in the 1790s.

His nephew, John Wilson (the son of his sister Rose), became a partner of John Gladstone of Liverpool.

Mackenzie’s ties to the Caribbean area were strengthened when about 1793 he was appointed attorney general in Grenada, serving also as President of the Council.

Dr George Pinckard made an expedition up the Demerara river with Mackenzie in 1797 and also visited Lusignan [Pinckard, III, p380], a 500-acre coastal cotton plantation which was one of the few plantations with an ornamental garden. In March 1801 Mackenzie announced his intention to leave Demerara 'by the next fleet' [National Archives of Guyana].

For a later account of Lusignan see letter from John Maclean, 1824. This account is part of Alexander Macdonnell's pro-slavery Considerations on Negro Slavery [1824].

A brand of Demerara rum called 'KFM' [Kenneth Francis Mackenzie] is still produced on the Enmore plantation.

Source: see biography of Mackenzie' son, Charles Kenneth Mackenzie.

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