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Lapslie (Campsie)

Three generations of the Lapslie (or Lapsley) family, from the parish of Campsie, Stirling-shire, were active in Demerara. The first, Archibald Lapslie (I) married Jean Edmonstone, from Strathblane, whose brother Charles Edmonstone had a timber estate on Mibiri Creek, on the river Demerary. Archibald ran a similar timber estate on Hobbabba Creek and was a partner in the firm of Archibald Edmonstone & Co.

In 1821 John Castlefranc Cheveley referred to Robert Edmonstone's uncle 'old Mr Archibald' who had been an 'upriver timber merchant for many years'. This was probably Archibald Lapslie (I).

Their son Archibald Lapslie (II) was born in Campsie in 1805 [OPR 475/00 0030 0049] and died in Demerara about 26 February 1846 [London Gazette, Issue 20639, 08/09/1846, p. 3229.] His wife, named Harriet Margaret, was born in Demerara 30 August 1820. Her mother, Margaret Maclean, was later widowed and remarried to Joseph Hadfield of Georgetown. Hadfield was an architect and Crown surveyor, who designed the Parliament building completed in 1834 and, earlier, the Scots kirk.

Archibald and Harriet Margaret’s son Archibald (II) was born in Demerara in 1844 [1851 census for Burton St, St George’s, Hanover Square, London]. Archibald Laplie (III) went to sea. In 1866 he was 3rd mate on the William Wallace sailing from London to Sydney; in 1871 he was lodging in London; and in 1887 he died in Georgetown, Demerara, as the result of an accident [Times, 23 March 1887].

At emancipation in 1834, Robert Edmonstone and Archibald Lapslie (II), as partners in Archibald Edmonstone & Co, claimed compensation of £6734 5s. 7d. for the 127 slaves on their estate on Waratilla Creek.


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