Alexander Cuthill Jamaica Scotland

Biography of Alexander Cuthill

Alexander Cuthill was born in Jamaica and matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1786 to study Arts. According to his matriculation record, Cuthill (also Cuthell) was the eldest son of Adam, a merchant on the island of Jamaica. He would undoubtedly have found some friends after he registered for Professor John Young’s Greek class in 1786 as other Jamaican students were in Glasgow at the time.

Whilst his father was described as a merchant in the matriculation records, he was the owner of a sugar estate and enslaved people: Alexander was a privileged son of the ‘plantocracy’. At the request of his father in the early 1800s, Alexander Cuthill and his Scottish wife Jean returned to Jamaica. Alexander and Jean remained on the island several months, a period during which his father died. As sole heir, the son took ownership of the estate. With the affairs ostensibly in order, Alexander returned to Scotland with no intentions of ever returning to Jamaica. He seemed destined to become the classic absentee plantation owner, living in luxury in Great Britain based on the profits of enslaved labour in the West Indies. However, Alexander and Jean Cuthill returned to Jamaica where both died around 1807.


Archival Materials

  • Addison, W Innes, The Matriculation Albums of the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1913); Murray, David, Memories of the Old College of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1927)


Alexander Cuthill
Born 1772.
Died 1810.
GU Degree: Arts, 1786;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: merchants; plantation owners
English snippet: Arts student at the University of Glasgow
Record last updated: 1st Jul 2019

Country Associations

Jamaica Jamaica, No Region
Place of Birth

Jamaica Jamaica, No Region
Place of Death

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student