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Charles Augustus Dwarris (Peile Photo)_edited.jpg

Charles Augustus Dwarris

Life                                1801 - 1830
Matriculation year     1819
Place connected          Jamaica

Charles was born in Warwickshire and was educated at Rugby School. He initially matriculated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1819, before migrating to Christ's at an unknown date: this is recorded in external sources, though not in the Christ's Admissions Book. He was ordained as a priest in 1825, and completed his studies by 1826. He served as a vicar in Everton, where he died relatively young, in 1830.

Connection to enslavement

Charles Augustus Dwarris was the son of William Dwarris, who worked as an attorney in Jamaica.¹ William had gone to Jamaica in 1771, and returned to England by 1810, where he died in 1813.² In his will, he left £2,000 to each of his children (of whom there were seven), including £2,000 to Charles.²


William owned the Golden Grove estate in Jamaica during his lifetime, in addition to the enslaved people working on it. He was recorded as owning 231 enslaved people on the estate in 1811, two years before his death.³ In his will, he left the plantation and the enslaved people there in trust to pay the various annuities and legacies he had bequeathed.² In a codicil to his will, he instructed that 58 enslaved people, whom he had recently bought, should be included in this settlement.² It is unclear whether these people were already included in the 231 enslaved people registered on the plantation in 1811.


Notably, the earliest records of the Golden Grove estate indicate it had been owned by Charles' family for many decades.³ Thomas Dwarris, Charles' great-grandfather, owned this and other estates in Jamaica, in addition to 143 enslaved people, at his death in 1739.⁴ Additionally, Charles' grandfather, Harman Atkins Dwarris, was recorded as personally owning 166 acres of land, and 18 enslaved people, by his death in 1756.⁵ In records from 1754, D'warris and Company, a firm probably linked to the family, was recorded as owning 1,042 acres of land across Jamaica.⁵


It seems likely that some of the money financing Charles' education at Emmanuel and then Christ's was derived from his family's long involvement in owning plantations and enslaved people in Jamaica. Moreover, the money Charles inherited from his father was generated primarily by the Golden Grove estate and the at least 231 enslaved people held on it, who were placed in trust to fund his father's bequests.


¹ Venn, J.A., ed. (1944) "Dwarris, Charles Augustus".( Alumni Cantabrigienses (Part 2). Vol.2, Cambridge University Press - via Internet Archive. ² Legacies of British Slavery database, 'William Dwarris', [accessed 8th September 2022]. ³ Legacies of British Slavery database,'Golden Grove [ Jamaica | St George ]', [accessed 8th September 2022]. ⁴ Legacies of British Slavery database, 'Thomas D'warris [Dwarris]', [accessed 8th September 2022]. ⁵ Legacies of British Slavery database, 'Harman Atkins D'warris [Dwarris?]', [accessed 8th September 2022].

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