Summary of Individual | Legacies of British Slavery

Selina Innes (née Chambers)

1754 - 1827


Biography

Selena [sic] Innes, of Park Place Regent Park, assigned her claim for compensation for the enslaved people on Williamsfield Jamaica to Peter Cherry, a London hotelier. The claim identified her as widow of William Innes of Jamaica deceased and as the daughter of Sir William Chambers (the architect of Somerset House and a prime mover behind, and first treasurer of, the Royal Academy of Arts).

  1. Marriage of William Innes Esq. a minor and Selina Chambers spinster 20/01/1778 at St Marylebone.

  2. The ODNB entry for Sir William Chambers says: 'Chambers objected to Selina (b. 1754) marrying William Innes, a merchant in Jamaica, in 1778. Even in Lady Chambers's will, declared in March 1798, Selina was required to return to London within two years or be disinherited.' The grounds for Sir Williams Chambers' objection to the marriage are not stated. 'William Chambers' (presumably the father, whose title, given to him by the Swedish monarch in 1770, he was 'later' allowed to use as his address in England by George III) was nevertheless one of the witnesses at the wedding. The claim that William Innes was 'a merchant in Jamaica' also appears unsubstantiated. William Innes of Jamaica was a different man from the William Innes merchant of Lime Street Square (q.v.) who died in 1795 and whose estates in Jamaica were left to George Hanbury Mitchell (q.v.) as executor. The Royal Academy archives includes correspondence with Sir William Chambers dated 1779 which place both William Innes and Selina Inness on Williamsfield Jamaica, presumably the Williamsfield in St Thomas-in-the-East for which Selina later assigned her claim for compensation. "Letters in the RA Archives show that William Chambers was not averse to the marriage but William was very young. Echoing the advice of William's guardians - his two brothers in law, Chambers wrote a very kind letter counselling the 19 year old William to go home and sort things out first. He returned a year later and married Selina." William was born in Jamaica, attended Oxford University and was appointed Commissioner for Sick and Wounded and Prisoners of War for Jamaica in 1793.

  3. In his will, proved 19/06/1795, William Chambers left £100 to his son-in-law William Innes and £3000 to his daughter Selina Innes, 'to be paid her out of the money lent by me on mortgage to her said husband William Innes in addition to the two thousand pounds already given her".

  4. Selina was born in Rome in 1754. Selina and William Innes had two daughters, Selina (1784-1856, who married Zachary Hume Edwards, son of Bryan Edwards, in Millbrook Church, Hampshire, 22/08/1801) and Lavinia (1793-1863). Selina Innes, age 77, of Howland Street, St Pancras, was buried at St Marylebone, 14/11/1827. She died at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Samuel Harman and Lavinia Harman (q.v.).


Sources

Ancestry.com, London, England , Land Tax Records, 1692-1932 [database online] show Selina Innes at 10 Park Place between 1818 (paying £70 p.a.) and 1826.

  1. Ancestry.com London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online]

  2. ODNB online John Harris, 'Chambers, Sir William (1722-1796), architect.' Email from Michael Harrison, 28/01/2014. The National Archives, TS 21/83, Bonds to His Majesty as surety for persons appointed Commissioners.

  3. PROB 11/1272/188.

  4. Email from J. M. Harrison, 19/01/2014. Ancestry.com, England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database online]. Ancestry.com, London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 [database online]. See separate entry for Lavinia Harman.

We are grateful to J. M. Harrison and Jennifer Harrison for their assistance in compiling this entry.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Maiden Name
Chambers
Name in compensation records
Selena Innes
Spouse
William Innes
Children
Selina (1784-1856), Lavinia (1793-1863)

Associated Claims (1)

£169 9s 6d
Other association

Relationships (4)

Assignor → Assignee
Mother → Daughter
Mother-in-law → Son-in-law
Widow → Deceased Husband

Addresses (1)

10 Park Place, Regents Park, London, Middlesex, London, England