About Joseph Marryat, MP
Family and Education b. 8 Oct. 1757, 1st s. of Thomas Marryat by Sarah, da. of John Davy of Southwold, Suff. m. 17 Dec. 1788 at Boston, Mass., Charlotte, da. of Frederick von Geyer of Boston, 6s. 4da. and other issued. v.p.
Offices Held Agent for Trinidad by 1807-?1815, Grenada 1815-d.; chairman of Lloyd’s 1811-d.
Marryat’s father, who was descended from a Huguenot family which produced its full share of eccentrics, was educated for the presbyterian church and ordained minister at Southwold, Suffolk (where Joseph was born) in 1754, but in I760 he gave up the ministry and turned to medicine. After studying at Edinburgh, touring the continental medical schools and visiting America he lived and practised for several years in Northern Ireland, later moved to Shrewsbury, and finally settled in Bristol, where he died in straitened circumstances in 1792.1
Joseph Marryat trained for a mercantile career in London and in 1782 went to Grenada. He met and married the daughter of an American loyalist on a visit to the United States in 1788 and returned to England in 1791. He went into business in London as a West India merchant, initially at 4 Catherine Court, Tower Hill, which was still his address when he invested £1,000 in the 1797 loyalty loan. Shortly afterwards he moved to an address in Blackfriars and by 1811 was trading from 2 Great Bush Lane, Cannon Street. By 1814 the business, now styled Joseph Marryat and Son, was based at 2 Laurence Pountney Lane, where it was to remain until after his death.
Marryat was very much a self-made man who, although he inherited virtually nothing from his father and was said to have lost the first £500 capital he invested in business, eventually prospered handsomely as a merchant and ship-owner, with interests in Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and America. He became an underwriter at Lloyd’s and a well-known figure at the Stock Exchange. On 19 Feb. 1807 he petitioned the Commons, as agent for Trinidad, against the abolition of the slave trade and later in the year he published Concessions to America the Bane of Britain, in which he attributed the distress of the West India planters and merchants to the maritime concessions made to America by the ‘Talents’. He gave evidence to this effect to the select committee on the West Indian colonies, 13 July 1807. He had a country residence at Sydenham until 1815, when he bought the imposing property of Wimbledon House.2
Warrender complained that a boast by Marryat's second son Frederick, naval officer who was later to become famous as the novelist of sea life, that he was 'immediately to have a ship, was a serious inquiry to me, in the face of his father's most gratuitous advertisement'.7
In 1819, Marryat became a partner in the London bank of Sir Charles Price, Price & Co., and the firm, which had premises at 1 Mansion House Street, became known as Marryat, Kay, Price and Coleman. He dropped dead at his office there, 12 Jan. 1824.
- The loyalists of Massachusetts and the other side of the American Revolution By James Henry Stark. Page 351