The Pattersons of Christianburg – by Dmitri Allicock



By Dmitri Allicock

 The reign of business alongside the peaceful Demerara River was once held firmly for almost a century by one of the most successful families that ventured where so many others failed. The Paterson’s family accepted the enormous challenges of 1800’s frontier life and became legendary in the early history and foundations of British Guiana.

“These rivers know that strong and quiet man
Drove back a jungle, gave Guiana root
Against the shock of circumstances, and then
History move down river, leaving free
The forest to creep back, foot by quiet foot
And overhang black water to the sea.”           

 It was in the early 1800s that Scotsman John Dagleish Paterson {1775-1842} settled at Christianburg, Upper Demerara and founded the family concerns which grew to be one of the most noteworthy and prosperous in British Guiana. He was of the trios of Britons known in the history of the district as Three Friends, who arrived together to settle in Demerara as the colony capitulated to the British in 1803. The three men, Paterson, Spencer, and Blount, established themselves separately on estates on the Upper Demerara.      

There were already estates in the area, Robert Frederick Allicock lived on the eastern shore of the Demerara River and owned Noitgedacht or Plantation Retrieve, an area of 4901 Rhynland acre or 8.040 square miles.  John Allicock had owned Plantation Wismar 401 acres after 1759. Anthony and John Somersall Harrower and Donvin owned Nerva Sawmill; Christian Fenette owned Christianburg prior to John Dagleish Paterson.

[Read more: The Paterson Family of Christianburg]

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  • Dr. Hewick  On 05/27/2013 at 12:58 pm

    An excellent piece of well documented history. Should be part of the history curriculum in Guyana. It is wisely said, “It is only by looking to the past, we can understand the future.” Kieregaard. Finally, a consciousness of your heritage is short-lived when little action is taken to preserve it for the future. This author contributes maximally to Guyana’s history and should be applauded for the succinct synthesis of it.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 06/02/2013 at 12:35 am

    Thanks guys.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 06/06/2013 at 12:45 am

    Of Akyma-De Maria Elisabeth
    By Dmitri Allicock
    “One Boviander family on the Demerara River lived at a lovely placed called Akyma, on a little Hill, rising about thirty feet from the river and crowned with feathery bamboos and tall cucurite and manicole palms. Their name was Bremner and their immediate ancestor was a Dutchman, who had been the post-holder at the Government post of Sebacabra, a hill on the right bank of the river about ninety miles from Georgetown.” Henry Kirke 1870.
    Read more:

  • Deen  On 06/06/2013 at 9:50 pm

    Dmitri, another historical and interesting article. The story of John Dagleish Paterson was fascinating. Thanks.

    • Dmitri Allicock  On 06/07/2013 at 12:37 am

      Thanks Deen. The relationship of John D Paterson and George Booker was very close. I am trying to obtain this book “The Booker Story (Andover, Jarrold Publishing,” to examine it a bit closer. George Bookers was one of the executors of his 1842 Will. Incidentally Paterson was the executor of my namesake Robert Frederick Allicock {original Allicock} 1822 Will.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 06/08/2013 at 12:17 pm

    A boat ride of time-travel which offer just a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors is not unlike a text or message from the past and, for a brief moment, their immortal spirit lives once more. A special opportunity revealed in the realization that our fragile existence might be made just in little more secured by our appreciation of them.

    Click to access peg-leg-george-of-sebacabra-rev1.pdf

  • de castro compton  On 09/24/2013 at 7:20 am

    Interesting colonisation history….
    Land ownership an extension of British feudal history.
    It is also part of America s short British rule.
    The aboriginal Indians rounded up like cattle and forced to live
    on communes….they lived a nomadic life until the arrival of Europeans et al

    Land ownership and title to the land is why some political leaders are suggesting
    “Land reformation” similar to Henry Viii religious reformation but for other reason….
    The King wished a divorce to remarry but Rome s (Roman catholic church)
    refused…he started his new Church of England.
    We must never forget that Guyana first settlers/occupants were the indigenous
    peoples of the amazonia ….colonisation was introduced at a much later time.

    Tribal wars by the original tribes of the amazonia existed long before the arrival
    of European settlers/conquestadorers.

    Some of the victorious tribes did eat their victims after their victory…not for food
    but to swallow the “spirit” of the defenders of their territory.


    we can but learn from it or remain fools….it repeats itself.


  • de castro compton  On 09/24/2013 at 9:02 am

    Write on my brother ! Cyril will be “knighted” for his initiative in creating
    GUYANESE ON LINE……hoping his readership quadruples over next few years.

    Our generation are “rewriting” history for the next generations benefit…
    In the same breadth past generations wrote for our generation…..write on !

    We are what we read
    We are what we think
    We are also what we eat….physically medically mentally demographically
    physcology socially even theologically.

    Will step down from my soapbox now to gives others a chance to express their opinion/critique ! I welcome disagreement as I learn more from it !
    Am never confrontational but will not turn the other cheek… no Jesus or god !

    Just simple kamptan…stay in touch.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 09/24/2013 at 9:16 am

    Thank you kamptan.

    • H C Marks  On 02/15/2019 at 5:02 pm

      in the 1990’s we corresponded by email about family history, though at the time i didn’t know a great deal about the people involved, like JDP and how he fitted in with the van gronigen family history.
      since then i,ve been to a couple of allicock family reunion, including the last one in georgetown. lately i,ve been reading alot about guyanese history and geography, all of which i find very interesting.
      please keep writing. thank you

  • Jan Augustin  On 02/17/2016 at 6:16 pm

    Very good article. History is so important. Also a good idea to include lines from one of the best loved poems by A.J. Seymour – There Runs A Dream. Wonderful!

  • Myrtle Watson  On 03/19/2019 at 12:14 am

    Great historic report, I really appreciate your work in reporting. Thanks

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