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Rose (Montcoffer)

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William Rose (1740-1807) was factor to James Duff, 2nd Earl of Fife, at Duff House, Banff, from c1763 to 1795. His mother was Anne Cuming of the Craigmiln family, the aunt of Thomas Cuming and also related to Lachlan Cuming [Scottish Notes and Queries]. He lived at Montcoffer House by the River Deveron, which he renovated c1774/5. The Earl was reputedly very fond of his factor and liked to tease him about his love of food and dislike of exercise. William and his wife Mary Robinson, who was once described as an exceptionally beautiful woman, had 12 children [Guide to Duff House].

Andrew and Anna Rose

Main source: The domestic papers of the Rose family (1926) with full text on ancestry.co.uk at this page

Andrew Rose (1783-1822) went to school in Banff and, after a brief time in Edinburgh, was placed, early in 1799, in the counting house of James Connell, a Glasgow merchant who had ‘a most extensive business with Demerary and the West Indies’. By June he had found a Mr Richardson who agreed to teach him the basics of land-surveying and, having acquired this skill, he sailed for Demerara, aged only 17, in September of the following year. On his arrival he wrote to his brother:

'I arrived here in perfect safety on the 2nd curt. On first landing I fell in with Mr T. and Mr L. Cumming at a sale of negroes. . . . Grant, the brother of Mr Grant, in Glasgow, some distant friend of ours, is dead. He came out about 11 months ago. Mr Donaldson, whom you also know, is dead. He went out with Gellie. For Heaven's sake, let slip no opportunity of writing me. Nov. 27—Two of the passenger that came out in the same vessel with me have been rather unfortunate, the one having already gone to his grave and the other returned home in a very bad way a few days after arrival. I have just received a letter down the coast mentioning that another passenger of the Herbert's lies at the point of death. He is a lad of a very promising appearance.'

Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, 5 April 1898 quoting letter in Rose Papers

He was looked after by his relative Lachlan Cumming, who found him surveying work with some of his friends and recommended his appointment as a ‘colonial land surveyor’. By December he has work to fill the following two months, which was to earn him £200, and expected more.

Before his nineteenth birthday he was earning enough to be able to send money home and to consider setting up in trade on his own account. In April 1801 he wrote home suggesting that his sister Anna could marry well in the colony and in 1805 he send her £100 to make this trip possible.

In a letter to his father written in 1802 he said:

'Tell Mr Gellie I generally see his son George every day or two, who is in very good health, and is my most intimate companion and friend. There is a Banff sloop in our river. The captain died as soon, poor fellow, almost as his arrivaL John M`Gillivray's son died two or three days ago. He has had but a very short time of the West Indies. For people newly come out the climate is sickly, and I would advise you, my dear father and mother, if any young people have an inclination to get here, that you are acquainted with, to let them know the risk they run at first. When you or any of the rest of the family write me forget not the most trifling occurrence, as anything is agreeable, and little trifles oftentimes bring your mind homewards.'

Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, 5 April 1898 quoting letter in Rose Papers

In 1806 Anna, married Philip Frederick Tinne, Esq., Secretary for the Colony of Demerara [Scots Magazine]. Anna Rose had been living with Mr and Mrs Lachlan Cuming prior to the wedding and the ceremony was held at the Cuming’s plantation, Chateau Margo [Essequebo & Demerary Gazette]

On 5 June 1807, Anna, who had just been delivered of a baby son, wrote to her mother saying:

I told you in my last letter that Andrew had lost his little Mary. On the whole it is a fortunate circumstance as ‘tis next to impossible to bring up a girl of that colour virtuously.

Four years later Andrew manumitted (freed) ‘a negro woman named Minkie, and her mulatto child Anna [E&DRG 12 Oct 1811].

Some of Andrew’s business was carried out from plantation Kitty but he soon build himself a fine house ‘in Cumingsburg . . . adjoining the Public road leading to the Block-House’. [E&DRG 24 July 1810]

It is very desirably situated, and in ever respect well adapted for the residence of a Gentleman in a Public Office; having a most excellent Garden, and being a convenient retirement from Town.

In 1810 he offered the house and its contents for sale. The advertisement gives an insight into the life style of a thriving colony official [E&DRG 29 May 1810]:

Sundry household furniture, &c. a handsome mahogany Sideboard with lead celearet
Dining Table with Double ends fit for 18 or 20,
Sopha with pillows and two covers,
mahogany Chest of Drawers with a Desk and Book-case on the top and glass doors,
looking glass &c. elegant patent manifold writers,
a considerable number of valuable Books,
a Cot of a large size with bedding, curtains &c. complete,
a Rifle and other guns and accoutrements,
a Sword,
a Chaise with good Harness, a good Chaise Horse, an easy ambling Poney,
water Jars,
a few dozen excellent old Sherry,
a fine Canoe or Coriale, with seven benches, completely buoyed, with back-board, cushion and paddles, &c.

Likewise will be put up, his House, &c. The House is of Hardwood and consists of, -
1st, on the ground floor, seven small chambers for stores, &c. boarded and floored -
2d. Dining Room, pitch-pine floor and Glass Windows, large bed, a withdrawing Room, small bed Room, Pantry, Closet and two Galleries, -
and above, two good bed Chambers, one with glass Windows.

In the side Buildings are floored Negro Houses, Brick Kitchen, Stable, water House, Necessary, &c. and an enclosed Stock-yard and Stock-House, with deep fresh water ponds, &c. together with another Lot on which is a Garden having a fine arbour and paved pond, with a variety of fine young plants.

In 1815 Minkie Rose, now of the Island of St Vincent, with the consent of Andrew Rose also of St Vincent, appointed John Strathie in Demerara as her attorney and authorised him to sell her lot of land in Cumingsburg.

Andrew returned to Scotland twice but made his home in the colony, where he became a member of the Council of Government. He died there in 1822 [Blackwoods Magazine,1822]. In some sources his death is wrongly given as 1832.

Dr James Robinson

Mrs Rose (Mary Robinson) had a brother, James, who became doctor and practised in London before emigrating to Demerara, where he died in 1810 [Prob 11/1515/f426]. He owned lot 23 on the west coast of the Essequibo River, known as Plantation Andrew, probably after his son.

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