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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.

Archibald (I) Lapslie remarried c1820, after Jean Edmonstone’s death, and had a daughter Harriet, born in 1821 [1851 census for Burton St, St George’s, Hanover Square, London - the alternative to this explanation is that there was another family of Lapslies in Demerara]. His second wife, named Margaret, was soon widowed [Archibald may have died in or before 1821 when his nephew took over the running of the timber estate]. Margaret subsequently married 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 Jean Edmonstone’s son, also named Archibald (II), was born in Campsie in 1805 [OPR 475/00 0030 0049] and a grandson, a third Archibald (III), was born in Demerara in 1844 [1851 census for Burton St, St George’s, Hanover Square, London - unless, as noted above, this is a different family of Lapslies in Demerara].

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.

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].

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