George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

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Macknie
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George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Macknie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:36 am

Hello Forum,
I am hoping someone here may have information on my 5th Great grandfather George Clinton, who was a jeweler and silversmith in Kingston, Jamaica. I do not know his exact date of birth, but have found some information on him. George Clinton of the Parish of Kingston, jeweler, & Catherine Crosby of the same Parish, spinster were joined together in Holy Matrimony May 31, 1760. His Death is also recorder in The Parish of Kingston where it is written, George Clinton, Silversmith was buried October 8, 1789 in the Churchyard. I have found on this site that his mark was, (Script G C with Cayman). I don't understand what is meant by adding (with Cayman), as I have no records of him ever living there. I was also curious as to information on any way of obtaining a small piece of something he made. I don't know where one would go to find a item of his manufacture. I also have a question as to the training a silversmith / jeweler would have needed for their craft? Would he have been apprenticed to someone? If he was an apprentice would there not be a record in the guild hall which overseen silversmiths, jewelers, and etc. I apologize for my ignorance on the silver trade and manufacture and hope someone may be able to add more to his story. He was at least a silversmith from 1760-1789. Any Suggestions on how to find further information on this man.
Thanks you,
Macknie

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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Aguest » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:39 am

The added phrase "with cayman" probably refers to a "caiman" which is an alligator, the "alligator head" appears on Jamaica silver (according to the article posted here by dognose), it seems as if your question about George Clinton has been added to this thread so perhaps more information will be uncovered...

I think some people say "caiman" and some people say "alligator" so I think it is the same general idea which refers to the Jamaican Hallmarking System which often had this symbol (caiman/alligator head):

Image

Refer to the article by dognose for specific details and the actual codified laws from the 18th century in Jamaica.

Macknie
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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Macknie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:10 am

Aquest
Thanks for that information about the "caiman". I thought the mark referred somehow to the Cayman Islands, and I couldn't understand why that would be part of his makers mark. I feel kind of stupid for mentioning it now, but I had no way of knowing that it was referring to a crocodile or alligator. I've spent half the night trying to find a George Clinton connection to the Cayman Islands.

Macknie

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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby silverly » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:46 pm

1761-1773 George and Catherine Clinton's children George Russell, Mary Jane Russell, John Francis, Robert Thomas, Sarah Ann, Langford Woodham, and Jane's baptisms are listed in the Church of England Parish Register Transcripts for Kingston, Jamaica. Possibly some of these children that lived on to adulthood will have records that lead back to your 5th great grandfather.

1768 George Clinton is listed as a member of the United Grand Lodge of England Freemason, Mother Lodge No. 105 at Kingston, Jamaica. I don't know anything about getting further information about this member from the Masons, but it may be a path to pursue.

Macknie
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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Macknie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:40 pm

Silverly,
Thank you for responding to my post and even looking up information to help me. I greatly appreciate it. Jane Clinton was the only child who lived to adulthood and married Edward Manning Paplay (my 4th great grandparents). All the other 6 children died by age 14.
Macknie

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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Aguest » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:54 am

I found a reference to George Clinton in a gold coin auction catalogue. During the late 18th century, gold coins were "certified" to be the precise gold weight they were supposed to be in order to prevent fraud such as shaving off the sides of the coins. George Clinton was one of the silversmiths in Jamaica whose hallmark is known to be stamped upon gold coins. These gold coins are known as "regulated gold coins":

"prior to 1784 Script-GC with cayman = George Clinton, Jamaica, ca. 1770-80."

Macknie
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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Macknie » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:21 am

Aguest,

Thank you for the information. If his mark was stamped on gold coins would you say that he was someone who was considered quite honest and reliable. It mentioned that there were unscrupulous dealers whose weight in precious metals was questionable due to shaving and etc. So would you say this meant that his weights and etc could be considered as reliable as could be obtained? My 4th great grandfather Edward Manning Paplay who married Jane Clinton, George's daughter, was quite wealthy at one time and it is well known that all his horses were shod in silver. I guess regular horse shoes were not as good. My 4th great grandfather Paplay claimed the silver ones were better for his respectable horses. According to his father George Paplay's will in 1769, from age 14 to age 21 Edward was given 5,000 pounds sterling per anum, until age 21 when he would inherit everything. else, which is quite considerable in the money of today...oh well, I guess he couldn't exactly chrome out his cars...you know guys got to make their rides look good. I wonder if that his how he met George Clinton and then come to later marry his daughter, perhaps George Clinton was a silver-shoe-smith as well as jeweler and regular silversmith.

I have also found that George had a brother named John Clinton who was a copper-smith, and I'm seeing if another man who was a blacksmith may be their common father. I don't understand why all three would be involved in different aspects of "smithing", any ideas?

Macknie

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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Aguest » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:56 pm

Yes, I have been reading about the regulation of gold coins, and all the history books say that only members of the community of the highest standing were chosen to regulate gold coins and stamp them as a certification of their weight and authenticity and purity of gold. Perhaps he also reached the highest levels of the Masonic Organization, which would also imply that he was considered of high social standing in the community, not sure how to investigate that avenue.

As to why goldsmiths and coppersmiths and blacksmiths were often found in the same family, there was a lot of mystery to the silversmithing art, and so these secrets of silversmithing were often passed down among families. Apprentices from other families were often chosen, but since the children of the silversmith were already there in the house watching the silver being forged, it makes sense that the children of silversmiths were sometimes chosen to follow in the silversmith's footsteps. Many times you will discover that siblings and children of silversmiths were also involved in the art of silversmithing. It does make sense that other members of the family were involved in the arts of forging and sculpting metal.

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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Aguest » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:02 pm

And by the way:

"An inflation rate of 2.19% per year means £100 in 1780 is worth £17057.62 in 2017."

That would mean that 5000 pounds per year in 1780 had the purchasing power of around 850,000 pounds per year in today's money.

Macknie
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Re: George Clinton of Kingston, Jamaica

Postby Macknie » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:52 pm

Thanks again,
I truly appreciate the help from the people on this forum.
As for Edward Manning Paplay 850,000 pounds left him plenty of money to spend on silver horse shoes. His eldest sister Dorothy Paplay married John Stables of the East India Company, she received 4,000 lbs per anum, and the estate in England. The second sister Catharine Paplay married Augustus Gould, she recieved 3,000 lbs per anum, and the youngest sister Sarah Paplay married William Hey who was the first chief Justice of Canada in Quebec, she only got 2,000 lbs per anum if I remember correctly. It payed to be the only son and the eldest daughter in those days.
Macknie


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