MOUNT EDGECOMBE ESTATE has been a plantation for hundreds of years, but not always called Mount Edgecombe. In 1763, when France ceded Grenada to Britain, the Cavalan family, related by marriage to the famous Fédons, owned the land. At that time, and for more than a hundred years after it was called Nettle Point Estate, named after the rock outcrop with the same name located close by on the west coast.
Following the Fédon Revolution, 1795-96, Nettle Point was owned by a succession of British planters, with familiar names in the Slave Trade including: Boyd, Houstoun, Guthrie, and Walsh. After the apprenticeship of slaves was abolished in 1838, the estate became the property of John Copland who changed production from sugar and rum to cocoa and nutmeg, and the name from Nettle Point to Mount Edgecombe.
John Copland arrived in Grenada in 1836 from Scotland to work at Mount Rose Estate in the parish of St Patrick’s. In 1847, he married Alice Wilson in England, and on their return to Grenada, Alice raised John’s 2-year-old natural son, John David, alongside their own forthcoming nine children. All ten were sent to England for their education: the boys to University, the girls to finishing schools.
By the time of his death in 1870, he owned 5 estates: Mount Edgecombe, Hope, Diamond, Prospect and Tufton Hall, with family and business connections throughout Britain and the Colonies.
grenada 1780 map
There are a number of Mount Edgecombes around the world. Captain James Cook visited the Plymouth manor, described by Samuel Pepys as “a most beautiful place as ever seen”. On his voyages Cook named a mountain in New Zealand, Mount Edgecombe, and a volcano in Alaska, Mount Edgecumbe. A town in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa and a county in North Carolina are both titled Mount Edgecombe: these last three as a tribute to the Barons and later Earls of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall.