JOHN THARP

John Tharp was born in 1744 and came from Batchelor's Hall in Hanover. After being educated in England, he returned to Jamaica and took employment at Potosi Estate where he ended up marrying Elizabeth Partridge, joint heiress to the Estate in 1766. In 1767 he sold Batchelor's Hall and purchased Good Hope, Lansquinet and Wales. By the end of the eighteenth century he had purchased most of the estates in the area, including Bunkers Hill, Covey, Merrywood, Pantrepant, Unity -in 1778- and Windsor. He also acquired Dean's Valley Estate in Westmoreland and Chippenham Park in St Ann. where he lived in the later years of his life. He died in 1804.

Tharp had four legitimate sons, John, William,
Joseph, Thomas, and one daughter Eliza. Five years after the death of his wife, Tharp had a daughter by one of his slaves, and she became his favourite child. She later married well in England bringing with her an income of six hundred pounds a year given to her by her father (this may have been Mary Hyde, wife of Robert Hayward of Fordham??). By 1788 Tharp was spending most of his time at Chippenham Park (named after his St Ann property) in Cambridgeshire, England and he married again (this may have been with Ann Gallimore of Trelawny in 1792??). This marriage, however, did not work out well for him. He was so discouraged by the scandal of his wife's affair with his daughter's husband, an Anglican minister, that he returned to Good Hope, where he remained for the rest of his life.
The Jamaica Almanac of 1840 lists the heirs of John Tharp as owning 22,409 acres. Although he'd been dead for 36 years, it seems that he had disinherited his children in a family quarrel and left most of his property to his baby grandson; alas the latter turned out to be mentally ill and attempts by a variety of people to get hold of the money ....his property was valued at over 4.5 million pounds!...led to a horrendous lawsuit of the Jarndyce v Jarndyce variety. Happily this has preserved the Tharp papers which are deposited at Cambridge, England

 

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