Page:A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica.djvu/57

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MONUMENT OF THE LATE THOMAS HIBBERT, ESQ. AT AGUALTA VALE PENN, ST. MARY'S.




The annexed View represents the Monument of the late Thomas Hibbert, Esq., erected on the summit of an eminence, which, besides the pleasure it gave to the proprietor in affording him a commanding view of the penn on which it is situated, and on either hand the works and cane fields of Agualta Vale and Orange Hill Sugar Estates, opened likewise to the south-east the buildings of the penn, and the winding course of the Agualta River immediately beneath his eye; onward, the beautiful sweeping line of Anotto Bay and Town, the buildings of Gibraltar and Gray Inn Estates, and the distant high lands of St. George's. The plate before us embraces these interesting objects. On this spot, as having yielded him many a happy moment, in the reflection of an amiable mind surveying his own creation of wealth and independence for a long inheritance, he desired that his remains should be placed. He died on the 20th of May 1780, aged 71 years.

"This tribute to the dead, no church's care,
Nor solemn sprinkling boasts, nor prelate's prayer,
But rites more sacred sanctify the dust
Where rest revered the reliques of the just:
Prayers from the poor, which sooner reach the sky,
And holier drops which fall from friendship's eye."

Mr. Hibbert arrived in Jamaica in 1734, and soon became one of the principal and most opulent merchants in Kingston, where he erected the very handsome house in Duke Street, late the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, and still known as Hibbert's House.

Agualta Vale, containing about 3000 acres, was purchased from the heir of Mr. Bendish about the year 1760; part of it was in coffee, but by far the larger portion in wood and pasture. The sugar estate, formed out of a part of it, was settled in 1771, and the coffee abandoned, while a large breeding penn was established in place of it.

Orange Hill was a small sugar estate, joining line and line with Agualta Vale, almost in ruins, and had been the property of William Beckford Ellis, Esq. It was sold by a decree of the Court of Chancery, and purchased and in a manner resettled by Mr. Hibbert.

These estates are at present the property of Thomas Hibbert, Esq. nephew to the original settler. Upon them are 896 negroes and 633 head of cattle. The family of Hibbert possess very extensive property in other parts of the island, as Georgia in Hanover, belonging to Robert Hibbert, Esq. of East Hyde, Bedfordshire; the Valleys in Hanover, and Albion in St. Thomas in the East, the property of Robert Hibbert, Esq. of Birtles in Cheshire.

These gentlemen, as well as George Hibbert, Esq., to whom the agency of the island is confided at home, are nephews of the original settler of Agualta Vale Estates.