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Macleod of Geanies

James Craufurd (Crawford) Macleod [1775-1821], the son of Donald Macleod of Geanies in Easter Ross, was in Berbice by 1801 when he entered into a partnership with Hugh Rose of Glastullich and John Bethune (both also from Easter Ross) in plantation Geanies on the Corentyne coast. The young Scots soldier, Thomas Staunton St Clair, described a visit to the plantation in 1806 in A residence in the West Indies [1834]. Papers relating ot the mortgage on the plantation and a power of attorney granted to Alexander Houston, Angus Fraser and Evan Fraser can be found at this link.

Donald Macleod of Geanies

Macleod was also in business in Stabroek, Demerara, where he was a member of the Court of Justice of the Colony. He is mentioned a number of times in letters from both Peter Fairbairn, the manager of Seaforth's estates [NAS GD46] and Edward Fraser of Reelig.

Fairbairn bought slaves on a number of occasions from Macleod and his partner, William Mackenzie, who were in business with Mackenzie's uncle, the slave trader George Baillie. Macleod also prepared a 'magnificent collection of stuffed birds and animals' for Lord Seaforth.

Donald Mackay from Inverness was employed as a clerk in Demerara with Mackenzie & Co, which was placed in the hands of trustees in 1806. The business may have ended in anticipation of the abolition of the slave trade, but there were in any case significant tensions between Baillie and Macleod, noted by Peter Fairbairn.

In 1807 Fairnbairn wrote that 'JC Macleod has gone home – I presume you have seen him – his estate on the Corantine has not yet done much with the past crop but much expected'. In June 1808 his father, Donald Macleod, wrote to Hugh Rose saying: 'I have this moment heard that Crauford is arrived at Edinburgh by no means well. What physicians there may do for him I know not but I trust in God they will think of something to reestablish his health & strength.' [Letters in National Archives of Guyana].

By 1810, when bankruptcy preceedings were well underway against the partners in Mackenzie & Co, Macleod was desribed as 'late of Demerara, now of the Huntley Hotel, Leicester Fields in the county of Middlesex'. [London Gazette]

On 4 March 1813, Simon McGillivray, merchant in London, and John Fraser, trading as McTavish Fraser & Co, granted a power of attorney to James Crauford Macleod, then of Jerym Street, who was about to go to Berbice. [Netherland National Archives, Guyana Series AZ.8.50]

In 1816 he was appointed 'Conservator of the Privileges of His Majesty's Royal Boroughs in Scotland' at Campvere, in the Netherlands [Scots Magazine, 1816, p477].

James Craufurd Macleod died in 1821, pre-deceasing his father, and was buried in the family grave at Tarbat church in Ross-shire.

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