James Irving (1713-1775)

James Irving "The Elder" of Ironshore, Jamaica

He was the eighth son of a Scottish Laird and the uncle of General Sir Paulus Aemilius Irving, 1st Bt., of Woodhouse, Dumfries. He qualified as a Physician before setting off into the world to make his fortune. He travelled to Russia, Bermuda, and South Carolina before settling on a plantation in Jamaica where he owned 4,404-acres and 473-slaves. He married Elizabeth Motte, but shortly before they were to be married another a rival suitor stepped onto the scene. He was a very wealthy Englishman named Dawkins, and his offer for her hand exceeded Irving's which forced them to elope. Despite this, he was still welcomed at the house of her father. But, the marriage did not put a stop to Dawkins' advances and tempers eventually boiled over at a party when Irving hurled a decanter at Dawkins. A duel was called with small swords and without seconds to take take place behind St. Phillip's Church. Both combatants were wounded and lay on the ground "picking at" each other. Both recovered and Dawkins, licking his wounds, returned to England. James and Elizabeth were the parents of 13-children.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 29/01/2019 and last updated on 08/08/2020.