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Sir Archibald Paull Burt (1810–1879)

by Xavier Reader and Jane Lydon

This article was published:

Sugarcane in the garden of Strawberry Hill, home of Archibald Burt, Adelaide Terrace, Perth, 1862, by A.H. Stone

Sugarcane in the garden of Strawberry Hill, home of Archibald Burt, Adelaide Terrace, Perth, 1862, by A.H. Stone

State Library of Western Australia, 54717793

Sir Archibald Paull Burt was a colonial chief justice who emigrated to the Swan River colony from the West Indies in 1861. He was born on 1 September 1810 on the island of Saint Christopher (now known as Saint Kitts) in the West Indies. [1] He was the son of George Henry Burt (1787-1851) and Eliza Anne McTair (b.1787-1835). [2] George was a large-scale slave owner and the Speaker of the House of Assembly in St Kitts.[3] The couple married in 1808, probably in St Kitts, two years before Archibald’s birth.[4] Burt had several other siblings: George Henry Burt (1809-1846), Elizabeth Burt (1811-1811), Catherine Burt (1813-1813), Eliza Pitcher Burt (b.1814), Thomas Burt (1815-1817), Sarah Lynch Burt (b.1818) and Anna Louisa Burt (1819-1840), though most did not survive infancy. [5]

The ‘Burt’ family name was well known in the British West Indies, a legacy which began with Colonel William Burt (c.1610-1686), Archibald’s great-great-great grandfather, who had settled on the neighbouring island of Nevis in 1634.[6] At the time, tobacco was the main crop under cultivation, so any plantations in Nevis owned by Burt were most likely producing tobacco.[7] William may have also owned plantations and enslaved people in Jamaica prior to re-settling on Nevis. In 1670 William owned 110 acres of land in the parish of Saint Andrew, Jamaica, though further details are unknown.[8] In any case, William continued the enterprise on Nevis.[9] In 1678, for instance, the Nevis census recorded that his household included “16 negro men, 17 women and 15 children.”[10] In 1685 William was appointed to the position of Deputy-Governor of Leeward Islands.[11] The following year, he received a gift of 100,000 pounds of sugar from the Nevis Council and Assembly, as his position had no formal salary.[12] His son, also named William Burt (1640-1707), Archibald’s great-great grandfather, was a member of the Executive Council, Nevis, and later served as the island’s President.[13] William junior was the owner of the ‘Tower Hill Estate’ located in Saint Thomas’ parish, Nevis, an estate of 240 acres.[14] The Tower Hill estate, like most Nevis estates during this period, likely concentrated on the cultivation and production of sugar.[15] During the 1760s, Tower Hill sold for the substantial sum of £12,500.[16] William also inherited ‘Dog Island,’ an island described as of “only limited agricultural potential.”[17] Cotton was planted on Dog Island during the early 1900s, though it is unclear whether any part of the island was under cultivation during the time of the Burts’ ownership.[18] Although it is unclear exactly how much of William junior’s wealth was passed to his son Charles Pym Burt II (dates unknown), he received at least 50,000 pounds of sugar from his father’s will.[19] Presumably this wealth continued to pass down intergenerationally from Charles Pym to his son Thomas Burt (1753-1804), and to his son, George Henry, Archibald’s father.[20] Many other members of the Burt family not in Archibald’s direct line also owned sugar estates and enslaved people, including William Pym Burt (d.1750), who owned at least part of the ‘Morning Star’ plantation in Nevis, and his sons Charles Pym Burt II (1726-1788) and William Mathew Burt (c.1725-1781).[21]

Archibald’s childhood was likely spent on the island of St Kitts, perhaps on his father’s plantation ‘Brothersons’, a sugar estate of 300 acres located in the region of Capesterre, which George Burt listed as his primary place of residence.[22] George is recorded as the owner of the Brotherson’s estate by at least 1825, in joint ownership with his son Archibald, aged fifteen.[23] At the time, the Brothersons estate housed 129 enslaved people, and George remained a proprietor until at least 1834.[24] George also owned a number of other plantations in St Kitts: ‘Camp’ estate, also located in Capesterre, a plantation of 269 acres which housed a further 66 enslaved people, whilst he was also joint owner of the ‘Dieppe Bay’ plantation in 1834. [25] George is also listed as the owner of ‘Leigh’ plantation in 1847, many years after the formal abolition of slavery in 1834.[26] In addition to his ownership of slave plantations George Burt is listed as owning enslaved people from as early as 1817.[27] By 1825, George Burt was in ownership of over 120 enslaved people.[28]

Archibald travelled to England to pursue his education, which he received in Richmond, Surrey, England, and was later accepted to Middle Temple in 1825.[29] Following the completion of his studies, Burt returned to the West Indies.[30] In 1830 he successfully passed the Bar in the West Indies, and subsequently began practising law in a small private practice located in Saint Kitts.[31]

During his early career, Archibald owned several enslaved people, and by the time of abolition in 1834, he was in the ownership of at least three enslaved people: Sarah, about forty years old, John, aged twelve, and John, an infant.[32] Burt continued to develop his ownership and enterprise of plantation owning, particularly around the area of Baseterre, through his partnership with his brother-in-law Francis Wigley, also a barrister. Together, the partners traded in sugar and other products cultivated by an enslaved labour force, and purchased several new estates.[33] In 1835 and 1856, following the abolition of British slavery, Archibald received a total of £186 in compensation for the ownership of a number of enslaved people, some of which was shared with Francis Wigley.[34] Following the formal abolition of slavery and payments of compensation, Burt continued to invest in plantation enterprises. In 1847 the Burt and Wigley partnership is listed as in ownership of the estates Otley’s Cayon, Dieppe Bay, Gibbon’s, Jerrold’s, and Browne’s.[35] By 1857, Burt and Wigley were recorded as living in Charlestown, Nevis.[36]

In June 1836 Burt married Louisa Emily Bryan (1814-1870), at the Church of Saint George, Basseterre, Saint Kitts.[37] She was the daughter of John Bryan, a local physician, and an unknown mother.[38] They had several children: George Henry (1837-1867), Archibald Piguenit (1838-1871), Frederick (1840-1912), Frederick Augustus Edward Musgrove (1842-1843), John Musgrove (1844-1845), Edmund Wigley (1846-1926) Septimus (1847-1919), Octavius (1849-1940), Alfred Earle (1852-1945), Francis Sinclair (1854-1872), Louisa Emily (b.1856), and Mina Eliza (1861-1947).[39]

Throughout his legal career in the West Indies, Archibald assumed a number of positions, including barrister at law, legal adviser, attorney general (1849-1860) of Saint Christopher and Anguilla, and Chancellor of the Diocese. [40] He also served as a member of both the Legislative Assembly for the area of Saint Paul, Capesterre, and later was a member of the Administration Committee. [41] For his position as Attorney General, Burt received an annual salary of £300.[42] On several occasions, Burt was put forward for the position of Chief Justice, a promotion which carried the much more substantial salary of £900. However, Burt was unsuccessful, disqualified under the precedent that it was “not desirable that men should succeed to the Bench in the Colony in which they have practised and been long resident.”[43]

In 1851 his father George passed away.[44] His will bequeathed his estate was to be divided between his son Archibald and his son-in-law Francis Wigley.[45] Although George’s will has not yet been traced, his estate is likely to have included wealth derived from slavery compensation he received for his West Indian estates, awarded in 1835.[46]

In 1860 Burt had decided to emigrate with his family to the colony of Swan River (Western Australia). His reason for emigration was explained in his letter to the Colonial Office where he expressed the wish to “serve the Crown in any of Her Majesty’s possessions” following his inability to serve as Chief Justice in the West Indies.[47] He accepted a position as the Civil Commissioner and Chairman of the Quarter Sessions in the Swan River colony, which had a substantial annual salary of £1,000.[48] Upon his departure of St Kitts, Burt was given £500 for his public service in the West Indies by the House of Assembly.[49] He was recognised in particular for his “exertions in aiding the cause of the labouring population” and for acting as a “father and friend of the poor and distressed.”[50]

After departing the West Indies to Southampton aboard the La Mata, Burt, along with his wife Louisa and several of their children, Archibald Piguenit, Septimus, Octavius, Alfred Earle and Louisa Emily, arrived at the Swan River on 29 January 1861 aboard the Hastings.[51] Burt leased, and later purchased, the riverfront property ‘Strawberry Hill’ on Adelaide Terrace for £800.[52] In a legacy to Burt’s planter background in St Kitts, he grew sugar in the garden of his Strawberry Hill property.[53] Burt also recognised the Swan River’s potential to develop vineyards to rival the size of the wine production industry in Madeira. His successful cultivation in the Strawberry Hill garden led him to note that “grapes grow here without culture and I am convinced that there cannot be a better wine country.”[54]

Despite having left St Kitts, Archibald maintained interests and investments in St Kitts in the trust of his partner Francis Wigley.[55] The pair had purchased many estates in the wake of the abolition of slavery.[56] Although the full scope of Burt and Wigley’s ownership of property and investments in the West Indies remains unknown, among them was the Spooner’s estate, which was jointly owned by Burt and Wigley between 1862 and 1863.[57] In a letter Burt demonstrated a continued interest in the production of sugar at St Kitts, noting that he hoped “that the brewers will get into the habit of sugar using and thus help out the consumption of west india produce (sic).”[58] He also noted his hope that his correspondent “will this year receive large compensation from St Kitts.”[59]

By 1873, all estates in joint ownership of Burt and Wigley were declared bankrupt, due to large loans owing to creditors that remained unpaid following Wigley’s death in 1872.[60] In January 1873 Burt wrote to a creditor explaining that he was unaware “that so large a balance was due to you.”[61] In October 1874 he returned to Saint Kitts in order to sort the business partnerships’ affairs. [62] Despite the earlier profitability of Burt and Wigley’s joint estates, Burt left the West Indies with many of his debts remaining outstanding, and with instructions to his son and nephew to “dispose of all properties, mortgaged or not.”[63] By mid-1874, Burt found himself with a debt exceeding £19,500.[64] After balancing his debts with Scottish merchants who were the agents managing his West Indian interests, he had “lost everything.”[65]

In Western Australia, Burt enjoyed a number of civil positions in the colony, the most significant of which was as Chief Justice, a position he occupied upon his arrival in June 1861 and retained until his death in 1879. [66] In his legal judgements, he was considered by early biographers to be fair and impartial, particularly with cases that concerned Aboriginal people. In an address to a prisoner following a verdict, he expressed his view that the law should “afford equal protection to the settlers and to the aborigines, the life of each being of like value.”[67] In a letter to the governor at the time, Sir William Robinson, Burt reiterated his view that indigenous people should not be regarded “as a degraded and imbecile race.”[68] For his public services, Burt was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1874 in recognition of his public services to the British Empire in the West Indies and Western Australia.[69]

Burt’s wife, Louisa, died on the 19 September 1870, following a period of prolonged illness.[70] A few years later, his son Francis Sinclair passed away from typhoid at Strawberry Hill in 1872, aged seventeen.[71] His son George Henry Burt, who had not emigrated to Western Australia, also died in 1872, in Jamaica.[72]

Sir Archibald Burt himself died on 21 November 1879, aged sixty-nine.[73] His cause of death was attributed to “erysipelas in the legs”.[74] He was buried in the East Perth Cemetery in the Burt family plot.[75] At the time of his death, his personal estate was valued at under £100.[76] Newspaper obituaries at the time described him as “a patriotic statesman, an impartial legal adviser, and an honest man” with a “kindly courteous nature” and “well known high character.” who “enjoyed a reputation throughout the West Indies for his ability and stern resolution.” [77] Another noted that he “was well known and appreciated, and he was beloved and esteemed by all.”[78] None mention details of his background of slave ownership and slavery-generated wealth in Saint Kitts.

Archibald was succeeded by his children Frederick (d.1912), Edmund Wigley (d.1926) Septimus (d.1919), Octavius (d.1940), Alfred Earle (d.1945), Louisa Emily and Mina Eliza (d.1947), many of whom occupied positions of privilege and success in Western Australia.[79] Of particular note is Archibald’s son Septimus, who followed his father’s professional pursuits and became a barrister. Septimus also played a prominent role in the continual colonisation of Western Australia.[80] Septimus became one of the colony’s leading pastoralists, appropriating huge tracts of Indigenous Country in the Pilbara, worked by Aboriginal labour to further develop his wealth.[81] A corollary of pastoralism was techniques of discipline and punishment to ensure an Indigenous labour force, and Septimus was a central proponent of the 1892 Aboriginal Offenders Act (Amendment) which re-introduced flogging for Aboriginal people into Western Australia. In 1892 Septimus revived a venerable planter argument in stating that, “the only way of effectually dealing with all these coloured races — whether blackfellows, or Indians, or Chinamen, is to treat them like children…whip them. It is the only argument they recognise, brute force. … give them a little stick when they really deserve it, and it does them a power of good.”[82]

A number of properties owned by the Burt family still exist around Perth today, including ‘Tukurua’ house in Cottesloe, built in the 1890s by Archibald’s children Septimus and Louisa Burt.[83]

Footnotes
[1] Burt family papers, 1834-1941, State Library of Western Australia (SLWA), accession no. 4859A/19; ‘His Honor the Chief Justice,’ Inquirer, 26 November 1870, 3; ‘The Late Sir Archibald Paull Burt,’ West Australian, 28 November 1879, 2.

[2] List of Burt family deaths, births and marriages, ‘Burt family papers, SLWA, acc. no. 4859A/19.

[3] Boyd Brown and Vere Langford Oliver, More Monumental Inscriptions: Tombstones of the British West Indies (Maryland: Wildside Press, 1993): 167; George Henry Burt,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/25516; Port of Spain Gazette, 17 December 1847, http://www.dloc.com/UF00094730/09441/, 2.

[4] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19.

[5] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19.

[6] ‘The Late Sir Archibald Paull Burt,’ West Australian, 28 November 1879, 2; Vere Langford Oliver, eds, Caribbeana: being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies, vol. 5 (London: Mitchell Hughes and Clarke Publishing, 1919), 90; Vere Langford Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, one of the Leeward Caribbees in the West Indies, from the first settlement in 1635 to the present time, vol. 1 (London: Mitchell and Hughes, 1894), 88; Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19; Ruth Marchant James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” Early Days 14, no. 1 (2012): 21.

[7] Chris Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat: Two Families, two Caribbean islands, 1635-1987 (Cambridge: Pegasus Publishing, 2008): 12. Sugar did not begin to be produced in the Leeward Islands until the 1640s, and not in Nevis until 1648. See Vincent Hubbard, A History of St Kitts: The Sweet Trade (Oxford: MacMillan Publishing, 2002): 26.

[8] ‘America and West Indies: September 1670,’ 23 September, in Calendar of State Papers Colonial America and West Indies, volume 7 1669-1674 (London: Sainsbury, 1889), British History Online Database, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/america-west-indies/vol7/pp94-110; Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, 30.

[9] Chris Birch, “Slaveowners in my family,” Genealogists’ Magazine 26, no. 7 (1999): 289; J.M Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002), 2. In 1670, William Burt also signed a “petition of the planters of the Leeward Islands,” although further details of his slave or plantation ownership are yet to be established. See Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, 90.

[10] Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, 90; Birch, “Slaveowners in my family,” 289.

[11] Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, 86.

[12] ‘America and West Indies: January 1686,’ 29 January, in Calendar of State Papers Colonial America and West Indies, volume 12 1685-1688 (London: J.W Fortescue, 1899) British History Online Database, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/america-west-indies/vol12/pp135-147; Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, 37.

[13] Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, 88-90; Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 2; James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 22.

[14] Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, 88; ‘Tower Hill Estate,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/3384

[15] Personal communication with David Small, 18 January 2023; David Small and Christine Eickelmann, ‘Tower Hill Estate, Nevis: A Preliminary Chronological Account,’ University of Bristol, https://seis.bristol.ac.uk/~emceee/towerhillhistory.pdf, 12.

[16] Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, 71-2.

[17] J.M Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt: first Chief Justice of Western Australia 1861-1879 (Sydney: Federation Press, 2000), 2.

[18] Jane Dilon McKinney, ‘Anguilla and the Art of Resistance,’ PhD dissertation: College of William and Mary, 2002, https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/235406116.pdf, 110. A search for ‘Dog Island’ generates no results on the Legacies of British Slavery Database. See Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/search/

[19] Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, 49.

[20] Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, 49; 90. A ‘Thomas Burt’ is identified in the Legacies of British Slavery database as the owner of 400 acres of land in Jamaica, though it is unclear if this refers to the same Thomas Burt. See ‘Thomas Burt,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146656619.

[21] See Birch, The Milk Jug was a Goat, especially chapters 2 and 3; ‘William Mathew Burt,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146644479; ‘Charles Pym Burt the elder,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/2146644473.

[22] ‘Brothersons,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/3434; ‘Brotherson’s Estate,’ Heritage Matters, vol. 1 (2018): St Christopher National Trust, 7, https://www.culture.gov.kn/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Heritage-Matters-Vol-1-Jan-April-2018-1.pdf; Brown and Oliver, More Monumental Inscriptions, 167.

[23] ‘Triennial Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1825, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives (UKNA), Kew, T71, piece no. 256, Ancestry.com Online Database, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gnd248&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1129&gsfn=george&gsln=burt&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=8a6&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=2&h=8730195&recoff=&ml_rpos=3&queryId=a2541a0d2fd2cb4de6b5bb7b04e5a31f

[24] Brothersons,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/3434; ‘Brotherson’s Estate,’ Heritage Matters, vol. 1 (2018): St Christopher National Trust, 7, https://www.culture.gov.kn/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Heritage-Matters-Vol-1-Jan-April-2018-1.pdf; ‘Triennial Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1834, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives, Kew, T71, piece no. 260, Ancestry.com Online Database, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gnd248&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1129&gsfn=george&gsln=burt&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=8a6&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=8&h=8746270&recoff=&ml_rpos=9&queryId=a2541a0d2fd2cb4de6b5bb7b04e5a31f . In September 1835, the Brotherson’s estate sustained major damage during a seasonal hurricane, where “dwelling and works [were] injured,” alongside Leigh’s. Although ownership is not listed, their association may indicate that both the Brotherson’s and Leigh’s estates were both under the ownership of the Burt’s. See ‘The Gale,’ The Barbados Mercury, 8 September 1835, https://dloc.com/AA00047511/02141/, 3.

[25] ‘Plan of the Camp Estate Nevis,’ Plans and Maps, British Library Endangered Archives, EAP794/1/10/1/14, https://eap.bl.uk/archive-file/EAP794-1-10-1; ‘Camp Estate,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/3128. The Camp Estate was owned by the Burts between 1830 and 1834; ‘Dieppe Bay,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/3474

[26] House of Commons, ‘Select Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting,’ Reports from Committees, vol. 23, part 3, (Parliament of Great Britain: London, 1847), 121.

[27] ‘Original Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1817, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives, Kew, T71, piece no. 253,  Ancestry.com Online Database, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gnd248&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1129&gsfn=george&gsln=burt&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=8a6&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=10&h=8568498&recoff=&ml_rpos=11&queryId=a2541a0d2fd2cb4de6b5bb7b04e5a31f

[28] ‘Triennial Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1825, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives, Kew, T71, piece no. 256,  Ancestry.com Online Database, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gnd248&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1129&gsfn=george&gsln=burt&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=8a6&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=0&h=8577324&recoff=&ml_rpos=1&queryId=a2541a0d2fd2cb4de6b5bb7b04e5a31f; ‘Triennial Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1825, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives, Kew, T71, piece no. 256, Ancestry.com Online Database, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gnd248&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1129&gsfn=george&gsln=burt&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=8a6&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=2&h=8730195&recoff=&ml_rpos=3&queryId=a2541a0d2fd2cb4de6b5bb7b04e5a31f

[29] Sheila McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Database, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/burt-sir-archibald-paull-3122; John Hutchinson, A Catalogue of Notable Middle Templars, with Brief Biographical Notices (London: Butterworth Publishing, 1902), 38.

[30] James, “The Burt Family,” 22.

[31] James, “The Burt Family,” 22. In 1845 he was also called to the English bar. See Hutchinson, A Catalogue of Notable Middle Templars, 38.

[32] ‘Triennial Return of Slaves,’ St Christopher, 1834, Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834, The UK National Archives, Kew, T71, piece no. 260. Ancestry.com Online Database, https://www.ancestrylibrary.com.au/imageviewer/collections/1129/images/CSUK1812_133691-01088?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=7b9bfa4e6fdb5b09e55620eb3ba8d4b3&usePUB=true&_phsrc=Gnd209&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=3750234

[33] McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt: First Chief Justice on Western Australia,” in Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, vol. 6, part 5, (1966): 65.

[34] ‘St Kitts 182,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25406; ‘St Kitts 42,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25914; ‘St Kitts 677,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25411

[35] House of Commons, ‘Select Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting,’ Reports from Committees, vol. 23, part 3, (Parliament of Great Britain: London, 1847), 121.

[36] ‘Notice: West India Bank,’ The Dominican, 22 July 1857, http://www.dloc.com/AA00079438/01913/, 4.

[37] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19 SLWA; Inquirer, 26 November 1879, 1.

[38] James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 22.

[39] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19; ‘Archibald Paull Burt,’ The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1988, ed. Rica Erickson (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1987).

[40] ‘Barristers at Law,’ St Kitt’s Establishment held in Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/6; Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/28; ‘Burt, Sir Archibald Caull,’ in John Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time (Illinois: G. Robertson Publishing, 1879), 29; ‘His Honor the Chief Justice,’ Inquirer, 26 November 1870, 3.

[41] ‘St Kitt’s Establishment,’ Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/7; ‘The Late Sir Archibald Paull Burt,’ West Australian, 28 November 1879, 2.

[42] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 5.

[43] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 5. This policy had been compromised in two of the past four appointments of Chief Justices.

[44] ‘George Henry Burt, LBS, Will of George Henry Burt, 1847, National Archives of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Registry of Deeds St Christopher, 10509, no. 20701, https://eap.bl.uk/archive-file/EAP794-1-5-6#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=9&xywh=149%2C-1132%2C962%2C3815

[45] ‘George Henry Burt, LBS, Will of George Henry Burt, 1847, National Archives of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Registry of Deeds St Christopher, 10509, no. 20701, https://eap.bl.uk/archive-file/EAP794-1-5-6#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=9&xywh=149%2C-1132%2C962%2C3815

[46] ‘St Kitts 708,’ Legacies of British Slavery, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25438; ‘St Kitts 89,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/claim/view/25989.

[47] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 2.

[48] James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 23.

[49] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 13.

[50] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/28.

[51] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 20; Hastings passenger list, Passengers WA arrivals and departures, produced by Graham Brown for the Swan River Pioneers Special Interest Group of the Western Australian Genealogical Society, Family History WA Online Database, http://data.fhwa.org.au/members-data/members-only-data/523-wa-passenger-arrivals-index-1839-1890; ‘Shipping Intelligence,’ Perth Gazette, 1 February 1861, 2; ‘Archibald Paull Burt,’ WABD; ‘Septimus Burt’ The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888, ed. Rica Erickson (Perth: Western Australia Press, 1987); ‘Octavius Burt,’ The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888, ed. Rica Erickson (Perth: Western Australia Press, 1987); ‘Alfred Earle Burt,’ The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829–1988, ed. Rica Erickson (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1987). Archibald’s other sons, Archibald Piquenit and Frederick, remained in the West Indies and continued careers as plantation owners. See McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 67.

[52] James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 24.

[53] Jane Lydon, “From Demerara to Swan River: Charles Dawson Ridley and James Walcott in Western Australia,” Australian Journal of Biographical History (Special Issue) 6, no. 1 (2022): 46.

[54] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/33.

[55] McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 65.

[56] Chris Birch, ‘Burt, Sir Archibald Paull,’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online Database (ODNB), Oxford University Press, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/95645; Nicholas Draper, “Possessing People,” in Catherine Hall, eds, Legacies of British Slave-ownership: Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014): 64.

[57] ‘Spooners Plantation, Cayon,’ Historic St Kitts, National Archives of St Kitts, https://www.historicstkitts.kn/places/spooners-plantation-cayon; ‘Spooners Cayon,’ Legacies of British Slavery Database, University College London, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/4827

[58] Archibald Paull Burt, ‘My Dear Bankhead,’ 24 June 1861, Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/33.

[59] Archibald Paull Burt, ‘My Dear Bankhead,’ 24 June 1861, Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/33.

[60] Birch, ‘Burt, Sir Archibald Paull,’ ODNB; Draper, “Possessing People,” in Hall, Legacies of British Slave-ownership, 64.

[61] Bennett, Sir Archibald Burt, 94.

[62] Saint Christopher Gazette, 19 December 1879, British Newspaper Archive, https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003318/18791219/016/0002, 2; Saint Christopher Gazette and Caribbean Courier, 2 October 1874, British Newspaper Archive, https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003318/18741002/013/0002, 2.

[63] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/33.

[64] McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 83.

[65] McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 83.

[66] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/33; James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 25.

[67] ‘Printed charge to the jury re trial of Robert Rowley,’ Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/8; McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 73.

[68] Archibald Paull Burt to Sir William Robinson, 25 April 1876, quoted in McClemans, “Sir Archibald Paull Burt,” 73.

[69] Sir Francis Burt and Ronda Jamieson,“The Life of Sir Francis Burt: Lawyer, Judge, Chief Justice and Governor of Western Australia,” interview transcript, interview with Sir Francis Burt,  1994, SLWA, OH2629, https://purl.slwa.wa.gov.au/slwa_b1831996_680, 9; Inquirer, 26 November 1879, 1.

[70] The Herald, 24 September 1870, 3.

[71] ‘Francis Sinclair Burt,’ Find a Grave Online Database, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/152890605/francis-sinclair-burt

[72] James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 26.

[73] Herald, 22 November 1879, 3.

[74] Herald, 22 November 1879, 3.

[75] ‘His Honor the Chief Justice,’ Inquirer, 26 November 1870, 3; Sir Archibald Paull Burt, Find a Grave Online Database, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/152890604/archibald-paull-burt

[76] Sir Archibald Paull Burt, Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England, 1881, London, England, https://www.ancestry.com.au/discoveryui-content/view/2403362:1904?tid=&pid=&queryId=bc3d623dc0beabbc5d6a053e7add6a4e&_phsrc=Gnd241&_phstart=successSource

[77] ‘The Late Sir Archibald Paull Burt,’ West Australian, 28 November 1879, 2.

[78] Inquirer, 26 November 1879, 3.

[79] Burt family papers, SLWA, 4859A/19; ‘Archibald Paull Burt,’ WABD.

[80] Jane Lydon, “Racial Punishment from Slavery to Settler Colonialism: John Picton Beete in Demerara and Swan River,” Slavery and Abolition, https://doi.org/10.1080/0144039X.2022.2122713, 17.

[81] Herald, November 22, 1879, 3. In 1879 (with the Forrest brothers) his holdings were 1,145,070 acres; B. K. De Garis and Tom Stannage, ‘Burt, Septimus (1847–1919)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/burt-septimus-179/text9227 . Western Australia Parliamentary Debates, 29 January 1892, p. 398 (S. Burt, Attorney-General). WA 55 Vic., No. 18, 398; Lydon, “Racial Punishment from Slavery to Settler Colonialism,” 17.

[82] Western Australian Parliamentary Debates, 29 January 1892, (S. Burt, Attorney-General). WA 55 Vic., no. 18, 398; Lydon, “Racial Punishment from Slavery to Settler Colonialism,” 17.

[83] James, “The Burt Family and their Colonial Properties,” 33.

Original Publication

This person appears as a part of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3. [View Article]

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Herald (Fremantle, WA), 29 November 1879, p 3

Citation details

Xavier Reader and Jane Lydon, 'Burt, Sir Archibald Paull (1810–1879)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/burt-sir-archibald-paull-3122/text41349, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Sugarcane in the garden of Strawberry Hill, home of Archibald Burt, Adelaide Terrace, Perth, 1862, by A.H. Stone

Sugarcane in the garden of Strawberry Hill, home of Archibald Burt, Adelaide Terrace, Perth, 1862, by A.H. Stone

State Library of Western Australia, 54717793

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Life Summary [details]

Birth

1 September, 1810
St Kitts, Federation of St Kitts and Nevis

Death

21 November, 1879 (aged 69)
East Perth, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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