John Pinney

Links with Nevis

Photograph of Nevis map

In 1685 Azariah Pinney sailed under Captain Wogan on the ship the Rose Pink and landed at Charlestown harbour, Nevis in the Caribbean. His wife did not accompany him.

His brother, Nathaniel, was a London-based merchant. He was a member of the Royal African Company, an English trading company which traded with Africa in slaves and other commodities. Nathaniel Pinney was trading to islands in the Caribbean where Europeans owned land, called plantations. Azariah became his agent, importing goods for his brother, including lace from the family business in England and tools, to sell to the owners of the sugar plantations on the island. He also bought produce on Nevis, mainly sugar, to sell to English buyers. He managed estates for ‘absentee’ plantation owners, that is, owners who chose to live in Britain and run their estates through a manager.

Azariah started buying property on the island. In 1697, in partnership with Richard Meriwether, he purchased Bawdon’s, a sugar plantation. A few years later, with Meriwether, he purchased Charloes (or Charlots). This estate ran down to the beach, enabling them to ship out sugar and land incoming supplies. The beach is still known as Pinney’s Beach.

Azariah made short visits back to England. He continued to trade from Nevis through the port of Bristol. His son, John, ran the plantation on Nevis. John became Chief Justice on the island and married Mary Helme, heir to the Proctor plantation, which lay next to Charloes. Eventually the two plantations were joined, 273 acres in all, and named Mountravers.

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