Nicholas Lawes

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Sir Nicholas Lawes
Died 1731 (aged 78–79)
Nationality English
Occupation Governor of Jamaica 1718 - 1722

Sir Nicholas Lawes (1652-1731) (sometimes "'Laws'" in contemporary documents) was Governor of Jamaica from 1718 to 1722.

Early life[edit]

Nicholas Lawes was born in 1652 to Nicholas Lawes Sr. and Amy Lawes.


He was a British knight.

Governor of Jamaica[edit]

In his capacity as Governor during the Golden Age of Piracy he tried many pirates, among them "Calico Jack" Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Robert Deal, & Charles Vane. He signed an arrangement with Jeremy, king of the Miskito, to bring some of his followers over to Jamaica to hunt down runaway slaves in 1720.[1]


Lawes married five widows in succession. No children survived from the first three marriages.[2]

James and Temple Lawes were the sons of his fourth wife Susannah Temple who he married in 1698.[2][3] She had previously been married to Samuel Bernard.[2] Her father, Thomas Temple, is said to have given Lawes his Temple Hall, Jamaica estate as a dowry.[3]

Lawes later married Elizabeth Lawley (1690-1725). Their youngest surviving daughter, Judith Maria Lawes, married Simon Luttrell, 1st Earl of Carhampton and so became both wife and mother of the Earls of Carhampton.[2]

Coffee and printing[edit]

At Temple Hall Lawes experimented with a variety of crops and introduced the very lucrative coffee growing into the island in 1721 according to some sources[3][4] or 1728 according to others.[5]

He is also credited with setting up the first printing press in Jamaica.[2]


He died 18 June 1731 in Jamaica.


  1. ^ Michael Olien, "The Miskito Kings and the Line of Succession," Journal of Anthropological Research 39 (1983),
  2. ^ a b c d e Powers, Anne (17 March 2012). "The Queen of Hell in Portman Square". A Parcel of Ribbons. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Sibley, Inez Knibb (1978). Dictionary of Place Names in Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica: Institute of Jamaica. p. 196. 
  4. ^ "Jamaican History 2 / 1692-1782 / Foundation of Kingston to the Battle of the Saints". Gleaner Company. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kingston & St. Andrew Economy". Jamaica Information Service. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Peter Heywood
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
The Duke of Portland