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Henry McGilchrist

Male 1754 -


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  • Name Henry McGilchrist 
    Born 1754  Passley Pen, Portland, Jamaica, West Indies Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Adult Baptism 4 Sep 1773  Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • M Corse and B Edwards were witnesses to this Adult Baptism. They do not appear to be associated with the church so their significance is unknown.
    Occupation Between 1774 and 1810 
    Soldier Musician 
    Miltary Service Between 1774 and 1810  [3
    Trumpeter (Kettle Drummer), 3rd (King's Own) Dragoons 
    Residence 1811  Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • At Present there is no direct evidence that Henry is in fact Sarah's father but the evidence of some relationship is clear, the age differance ruling out siblings. At the baptism of Sarah's child by Levi Baldwin,( AKA Balden), Henry was one of the witnesses along with John McDonald another Soldier of black origins.
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      In the Glasgow original parish registers there is an entry on 4 September 1773, " Henry McGilchrist a Negro man baptised witnessed by M Corse and Bob Edwards.
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      Military referances to Henry McGilchrist found so far are in the 3rd Dragoons Description Book, the muster rolls and his discharge papers. The description book of 1772 - 1781 lists Henry as being in the troop of Major Fitzroy. He was recruited as a Trumpeter by Major Whyte of the 3rd Dragoons on the 25 may 1774 at Greenwich. The description book shows that the regiment was at Black Heath, Greenwich, on the 25th May 1774. Unfortunately the description books from 1781 - 1810 have not survived. The Muster rolls for the period to 1781 do not list individual privates but later ones list Henry as a Trumpeter - Kettle Drummer. The 3rd Dragoons have only one Kettle Drummer but each troop had it's own Trumpeter. The troop Henry was assigned too listed two trumpeters and besides Henry's name was entered (Kettle Drummer), it is likely that although officially a Trumpeter for muster purposes, he was and always had been, a Kettle Drummer.

      He was paid a premium for his service for example the 1806 - 1809 muster (PRO ref: WO 12/374) shows :
      Henry McGilchrist Trumpeter (Kettledrummer) paid £8 5s for 90 days
      ( An ordinary private received £5 12/6 and a Serjeant £9 15s)
      This amounts to £25 per annum at a time when an agricultural labourer would receive £5 plus bed and board.

      There is a discrepancy with his discharge papers which quote his enlistment as 25 May 1773. The 1774 date is more likely as this entry was made at the time of his enlistment.
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      Abstract of Description book Entry
      -------------------------------------------------------
      Trumpeter Henry McGilchrist 5'6 " age 19 born Passley Pen, Jamaica (the writing is difficult to read and has only recently been identified as Passley). A Passley Garden Pen is listed in the 1878 Portland Directory Jamaica when it was in the hands of the Thomson family.
      See

      Here for extract


      Enlisted by Major Whyte 25 May 1774 at Greenwich a Labourer Black Eyes/ Black Hair - Black Complexion.

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      Abstract of Discharge papers for Henry McGilchrist 18/11/1810 at Guildford
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------
      At discharge he was serving in the 3rd or (King's Own) regiment of Dragoons under Lieutenant General William Cartwright in the troop of Captain Randal Gossip.
      Said to be 56 years old born in the Parish of Jamaica and enlisted at 18 years old on 25 May 1773. He served for 37 Years 177 days as a musician - Kettle Drummer and was discharged for " being rhumatic and worn out from length of service " .
      His general description at discharge was :
      56 years age, 5'11 " in height, Black Hair, Black Eyes, and Black complexion by trade a labourer.

      What is interesting is that none of this service was in either the East or West Indies.
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      After his discharge he returned to Glasgow, Scotland, where in 1811 he was a witness to the Baptism of Levi Baldwin son of Levi Baldwin and Sarah McGilchrist. Levi Baldwin was also a Soldier of Black Origins as was the other witness John McDonald who had served in the Glasgow Light Infantry.
      _________________________________________________________________
    Person ID I4786  bolstridge
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2017 

    Family 1 Unknown UNKNOWN,   b. Abt 1760 
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F2262  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Frances Akin,   b. Abt 1760,   d. UNKNOWN 
    Married 12 Dec 1791  Saint Mary's, Carlisle, Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Witness James Allan 
    Witness Michael Smith 
    Minister J Brown 
    Notes 
    • The following entry was found in the marriage register of Saint Mary, Carlisle; CUL
      12 Dec 1791
      Henry X McGilcrist widower married Frances X Akin widow by banns both of this parish
      Witnessed by James Allan and Michael Smith ( Smith was a witness to most marriages)
      J Brown minister.
      Although the marriage was said to be by banns and both of the parish no banns entry was found in the banns book although marriages preceeding and following had the required banns entry.
      It is proposed to examine the regimental diary currently at the Regimental Museum to ascertain if the 3rd Dragoons were in the area at that time.
      The baptism of Sussanah McGilchrist at Birmingham in 1795 who subsequently died In Devizes seems to confirm that this Marriage is in fact that of our Henry McGilchrist
      ********************************************************************** **************************************************
    Children 
    +1. Sarah McGilchrist,   b. Between 1794 and 1795, Devizes, Wiltstshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aug 1863, Ryecroft, Walsall, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years)  [natural]
     2. Susannah McGilchrist,   b. 1795, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1800, Devizes, Wiltstshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)  [natural]
     3. Harry McGilchrist,   b. 1798,   d. Feb 1800, Devizes, Wiltstshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F124  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1754 - Passley Pen, Portland, Jamaica, West Indies Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsAdult Baptism - 4 Sep 1773 - Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1811 - Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Histories
    Black Musicians of the British Army
    Black Musicians of the British Army
    Background Information
    Henry McGilchrist b. 1754 Jamaica
    Henry McGilchrist b. 1754 Jamaica
    The Negro Kettledrummer of the 3rd King's Own Dragoons 1773 - 1811

  • Sources 
    1. [S62] Army : Regimental Description Records 3rd Dragoons 1773 - 1781, War Office WO series, ( PRO;), WO 25/275., 121 - 110.
      See Notes for Abstract
      Near Port Antionio
      PDF copy
      http://www.bolstridge.co.uk/genealogy/index.php?name=Downloads&req=vie wdownload&cid=3 " >
      here

    2. [S656] OPR Scotland Glasgow Lanarkshire, Original Register, 644/1/15/18., 4 September 1773 Glasgow Parish Church.
      Henry McGilchrist a Negro Man Baptised Witnesses M Corse & Bob Edwards

    3. [S63] Army : Soldiers Discharge Papers, 1760 - 1913, War Office WO series, ( PRO;), W0 97 series., WO 121/110.
      Discharge papers for Henry McGilchrist 18/11/1810 at Guildford
      3rd or (King's Own) regiment of Dragoons under Lieutenant General William Cartwright in the troop of Captain Randal Gossip.Said to be 56 years old born in the Parish of Jamaica and enlisted at 18 years old on 25 May 1773. He served for 37 Years 177 days as a musician - Kettle Drummer and was discharged for " being rhumatic and worn out from length of service " .
      His general description at discharge was : 56 years age, 5'11 " in height, Black Hair, Black Eyes, and Black complexion by trade a labourer.


    4. [S397] Parish Registers CUL, Carlisle St Mary's Marriages 1754 - 1806 with banns, ( LDS Film of Original Transcripts;), FHL 252813., See Marriage Notes.
      Henry X McGilchrist Widower = Frances X Akin Widow