Col. Thomas Ashmeade (1771-1829), the founder of the Ashmeade family in Jamaica, was born in Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, England, and came out to Jamaica in 1788. The Ashmeade family (who originally spelled their name Ashmead) were descended from Nicholas de Ashmead and had held lands in Gloucestershire since the 13th Century. Col. Ashmeade settled in St. Ann parish,Jamaica, and later became a prominent and wealthy coffee planter. In 1793 he married Ann Ewbank, daughter and co-heiress of William Ewbank, Esq. of Bradfield and Albion Plantations, St. Ann. Col. Ashmeade was a leading Magistrate and Colonel of the St. Ann Regiment of Foot Militia 1820-1828. He was also a close friend of the 5th Duke of Manchester, Royal Governor of Jamaica 1808-1827. He named one of his coffee plantations Charlton Kings, after his birthplace in England. His son, the Hon. Thomas Ashmeade II (1794-1839), inherited Albion and Charlton Kings Plantations and later became Custos (Chief Magistrate) of St. Ann 1838-1839. He bred racehorses and was known for his lavish hospitality. He married in 1829 Frances Lawrence Hilton, daughter of Major-General the Hon. James Lawrence Hilton (1778-1836) of Seven Oaks and Scarborough Plantations, St. Ann. Their son, Robert Ashmeade (1829-1892), was the owner of Fort Stewart Plantation, a 4,100 acre plantation on the border of St. Mary and Portland parishes in Jamaica. He also owned land in British Honduras (Belize) and in 1865 was granted the title of Count by the Emperor Maximilian I. He married in 1848 his cousin, Arabella Whitehorne Rose, daughter of Dr. William Bromley Rose, M.D., and Susannah Ashmeade, and grandaughter of Col. Samuel Whitehorne Rose of Geddes Plantation, St. Ann. Their son, Robert Ashmeade II (1849-1916), Merchant and Planter, was my maternal Great-Great-Grandfather, and in 1996, having become the heir to the remainder of the Ashmeade Estate, I assumed the additional name and arms of the Ashmeade family. I have some of the ancestral portraits of the Ashmeade family and the old Ashmeade family silver and china in my possession.