In 1817 John Jones and his partner Charles Edmonstone were among the largest slave-holders in Demerara with 643 enslaved people on their plantations Wales and Vreedenstein on the west bank of the Demerary River. Yet little is known of Jones, who died about 1821 [J G Checkland, The Gladstones: A Family Biography 1764–1852 (Cambridge, 1971) 124, 137 & 196]. From the same source we know that his heirs spoke only Welsh.
John Jones and a Samuel O Nurse were in partnership in Demerara from at least as early as 1803, selling a small number of slaves and a range of imported goods and provisions. They traded from premises in Stabroek. Notice of the dissolution of the partnership was first given in late 1804 but the process of winding up continued until at least 1807. John Jones’s wife, only referred to as Mrs Jones, died in Demerara in that year.
Nurse, who continued in business in the partnership Nurse & Troughton, was probably from Barbados — both Samuel O Nurse and Richard Nurse were subscribers to a History of Barbados published in 1808. Troughton, like Jones, was born in Wales.
In 1817 Jones and Edmonstone acquired, first, the plantation De Jonge Rachael, on the west bank of the river, and then Goede Verwagting, which was annexed to De Jong Rachael to create Plantation Wales. Jones also bought property in the Charlestown district of Georgetown which was known as Yorkshire-Hall and changed the name to Anglesey-Hall.
Information from the Gladstone papers suggests that Jones drowned in 1821. His estates were then acquired by Gladstones who held a mortgage over them.
For Sale: - The whole or the one half of the Lot on which the subscriber resides. It is most eligibly situated for any kind of Mercantile business. The Buildings consist of two very comfortable Dwelling-Houses composed of the best materials and are faithfully [illegible]nished; for further particulars apply to
Labourgade, 29th Octbr. 1803. Samuel O. Nurse.
The Commissary of the Vendue advertises that on Tuesday the 24th Instant, will be exposed for Sale to the highest Bidders, at the Store of Messrs: Jones & Nurse: - A Lot of New Negroes lately received from Barbados, and a Lot of well disposed Seasoned People who are good Shovellers. - Also Beef, Pork, Soap, candles, Flour and sundry other Articles.
Demerary, 14th January 1804. E. N. Wichers.
Jones & Nurse give Notice, that their Partnership will be dissolved on the 31st Instant, all those who are indebted to the Concern are requested to make immediate Payment, and those to whom the said Concern is indebted, are requested to render their Accounts.
December 29th, 1804.
On Tuesday the 5th of February, will be Exposed for Sale to the highest bidders, at the Store of Messrs. Jones & Nurse, ale, porter and gin in bottles, old rum in casks from 15 to 40 gallons each, flour, beef, tongues in half barrels, candles, tobacco, in barrels, a case hats, a parcel of single and double blocks, rum puncheons, wood and iron hoops, and sundry other articles, Also two young Negro men, who are complete Coopers, and two Negro boys who have been under their tuition for the last two years.
January 26th 1805. Brereton & Kingston.
PUBLIC VENDUES. [heading]
On Wednesday, the 24th instant, at the Vendue Office, by order of John Jones, Esq. a general assortment of Dry Goods and Provisions, just imported from London, by the Ship Wilding, consisting of fine and coarse Irish Linen, and Sheeting, Checks, Stripes, Brown Holland, Dimities, Muslins, Handkerchiefs, Platillas, fresh Medicines, Irish Potatoes, Ling Fish, Porter, Cheese, Hams, &c. &c.
Dec. 19, 1806.
The Subscriber anxious to save those indebted to the late firm of Jones & Nurse the expence of Law Suits, and themselves the painful necessity of instituting them; requests they will come forward with payment, as longer indulgence will not be given. They have for Sale two Water Lots of Land situated in New Town.
14th March, 1807. S. O. Nurse.
Mr. Nurse solicits payment of those indebted to him on account of Lottery Tickets, as it will not be in his power to make personal application to all; he hopes this notice will be attended to.
Died. - On Sunday Morning, Mrs. Jones, Wife of John Jones Esq.
BANNS of MATRIMONY - between S. R. Nurse, batchelor, born in Barbados, and Miss Emma Charlotte Rutherford, born in England.
Any person knowing just cause or impediment, why the above parties should not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, must declare the same at the Colonial-Secretary's Office.
Secretary's Office, November 24, 1812.
Manumission: John Jones, for the mulatto woman Eliza, and mulatto girl Nancy.
By C. Remy, q.q. Mrs. Elizabeth Cornelia Swen, widow of J. H. Reyke, and q.q. S. P. Swen, Transport of three-fourths of Plantation De Jonge Rachael, situated on the West-bank of the River Demerary, with all the buildings, cultivation, and further appurtenances - to Charles Edmonstone and John Jones.
John Jones in 14 days or six weeks from May 3.
By the curators of the estate of N. Ronsselet [sic], transport of the concessions No. 1, 2, and 29, with all the buildings thereon, situated in Charlestown district, known as Yorkshire-Hall, and in future to be called Anglesey-Hall - to John Jones.
By John Wilson, Attorney of William Fraser, Transport of plantation Goede Verwagting, situate on the west bank of the River Demerary, between plantations Jonge Rachel and Good Intent and Sisters, with all the Buildings, Cultivation, and Negroes, agreeable to Contract of Sale, dated 16th July, 1813 - to Chs. Edmonstone and John Jones; the said plantation to be annexed to plantation Jonge Rachel, and known under the general name of plantation Wales.