Basket summary:
0.
Total value £0.00.

View basket
Enter your email address below to have a password reminder emailed to you.

E-mail address:

< Back to results
JAMAICA - The case of Lecesne and Escoffery

JAMAICA - The case of Lecesne and Escoffery

London (1824-8)
Original set of Court Papers for the legal case brought in London comprising Dispatches sent by Lord Manchester, Governor of Jamaica from 1824 to 1827, 728pp + Letters received from the Colonial Department 1824-7, 104pp + “Statement of the Estate & Effects of George Mackay of Pembroke in Trelawny” together with papers relating to this, 11pp. + 1828 Affidavits and papers to support the claim that Louis Lecesne had not in fact been born in Jamaica + sundry other papers relating to the case. All in neat and clear manuscript in fine condition housed in quarter calf box. Also 1825 House of Commons report on the affair and a finely bound book of photocopies of Legal works connected with the case. These documents, dealing with Jamaica’s colonial jurisprudence, will be of great interest to lawyers and historians, particularly to legal historians, interested in the unfair, discriminatory and inhuman colonial legal and judicial system. People conversant with the present day principles of civil liberties and human rights will be shocked to read these legal documents highlighting the iniquitous and heartless colonial jurisprudence and callous judicial system. These documents show the colonial cruel and injudicious slave-owning mentality persisting in the 1820s and after. Simply stated, the facts of this long and sordid episode in Jamaica, where justice was finally achieved by a tortuous route to the British House of Commons, were that in 1823 the governor of Jamaica, acting hastily upon rumours of revolt by slaves and others against the Jamaican government, deported to Haiti two liquor merchants, who were disenfranchised ‘people of colour’. This was done despite the fact that, during the deportation process, they were freed from detention, for lack of evidence, by the courts accepting their application under a petition of habeaus corpus. The proceedings of this case in Jamaica in the 19th century case highlight the heavy handedness of the colonial authorities against former slaves and other subjugated minorities. It is important to emphasise that in those days the laws of categorising the population of Jamaica, and some other colonies, were rather complicated and cumbersome. For example, people of colour (mostly the result of white fathers and black mothers) unless born free or ‘manumized’ (the act of liberation of a slave from bondage: see Fenwick v. Chapman 9 Pet 472), remained slaves until the fourth degree. Until the mixing of blood had reached that degree, they remained slaves. People in colonies were categorised as whites, free people of colour, free blacks, people of colour in slavery, and blacks in slavery. The restrictions on non-whites were grievously onerous and obnoxious. For example, all non-whites were incapacitated by the Jamaican law-makers from giving evidence against white persons. The two merchants were lucky as a British sea captain took them from Haiti to England. On finding out their plight, some of the Abolitionists took their petition to the House of Commons. The parliamentary debates and the document produced therefor are of great interest. So is the other correspondence connection with this, particularly a letter written on 17th September 1816 by Stephen Lushington to William Courtenay. A related Court of the King’s Bench law report of 1830 of a libel case again John Murray, a bookseller of repute, is also included: R. v. Murray. The two merchants eventually were found to have been born in Jamaica and to be Jamaican citizens. As such they could not have been deported. They triumphantly returned to Jamaica.