Donald Cameron of Valentines 1788- 1797

Donald Cameron of Valentines 1788- 1797

When Sir Charles Raymond died in 1788 his two surviving daughters inherited Valentines Mansion and they sold it to Donald Cameron. He was a Scotsman, the son of Dr.Archebald Cameron of Lochiel and his wife Jean, and the brother of Allen Cameron. He had married Mary Guy and they seem to have had just one child, a son called Charles. He married Lady Margaret Hay, daughter of James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll on 6 August 1789, a few months after his father had purchased Valentines.

Donald Cameron died just nine years after purchasing Valentines, on 29 April 1797 just after his banking partnership of Harley, Cameron & Co. collapsed during a run on the Bank of England, so Valentines was sold to pay his considerable debts. His house at Ilford Lodge with 35 acres was sold separately.

In 1784 Donald Cameron was listed as paying rates on 103 acres in Barking ward with another 205 acres in Ilford (Town) ward which included his house. This was almost certainly Ilford Lodge to the south of the Valentines estate. At that time William Raikes was paying rent for Valentines to Sir Charles Raymond who had moved to Highlands, another house he owned, in 1782/3.

Donald Cameron had several business interests in common with Raymond. He first appears in the East India Company records as taking over from Raymond as manager of the East Indiaman Valentine in1780. This was a new ship of 790 tons which had been built to replace the vessel lost off the island of Sark on 16 November 1779. In all Cameron was the Principal Managing Owner of seven ships making a total of 29 voyages for the East India Company, without loss.

In 1778 Sir Charles Raymond started a new bank called Raymond, Harley, Webber and Co. at George Street, near the Mansion House. The Webber was, presumably, William Webber of Highlands, a friend from his days at sea, partner in managing ships, and the husband of his wife’s sister. When Webber died on 25 April 1779 they needed a new partner and in 1781 the bank became Raymond, Harley, Lloyd and Cameron. After the death of Raymond it became Thomas Harley, Cameron and Sons but the bank failed in 1789.

The Right Honable Thomas Harley of the City of London, Banker, was a close associate of Cameron, and one of the backers when he bought Valentines on 30 & 31 January 1789. He was the fourth son of Edward Harley, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, an influential MP who had held the office of Lord Mayor of London between 1767 and 1768.

Donald Cameron held the office of High Sheriff of Essex in 1791. He was also a Master Keeper of Waltham Forest for the West Hainault Walk 1790– 97, both positions which had been held by Sir Charles Raymond in the 1770s.

After Donald Cameron died his widow was shown living at Southborough Cottage (Kent) with his only son and heir, Charles Cameron, and his wife.

© Georgina Green 23 March 2009

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