Potsdam, the school that became Munro

Charles Plummer continued:

the headmaster    :    1865    :    afterwards    :    in education    :    family

the Plummer family

It has proved very difficult to establish the identities of Charles Plummer's 12 surviving children. How many of the Miss Plummers ran the school and lived at Mary Villa? Who were his sons? Were Oscar and Simon, whose names do surface, two of the six sons who survived him?

I hope that someone will help me out, or that I, by chance, turn up some more relevant information!

The Sangster connection

'the Plummers - who I discovered just a few short years ago were cousins of the late Sir Donald Sangster'
Manley and the New Jamaica, p xcvii

Sir Donald Sangster,  who was, like Bustamante and Manley,  a Premier/Prime Minister of Jamaica, was a member of the Plummer clan. His mother, Cassandra, was the daughter of Oscar Plummer, who may well have been one of Charles Plummer's elusive sons!

Oscar Plummer was well-known, especially in Kingston, as an educator and local historian; he was, like Charles Plummer and H A Plummer, an enthusiastic Freemason.

The Mary Villa connection

There are two references which link the Manley family and their cousin Alexander Bustamante to the Plummer family at Mary Villa, where the Plummer sisters seem to have continued to live, after their father's death in 1899, probably until the whole property was divided up into building lots, a process which seems to have continued into the early 1920s.

Alexander Clarke, later Bustamante

'While in Panama city, he also met and courted Mildred Edith Blanck, an English woman and widow of an English consulting  engineer and father of her two sons. Along with Mrs. Blanck, who was in all probability his senior in years, Aleck Clarke, now turned twenty-six, returned to Jamaica in December 1910, and on the 12th day of that month, married Mrs. Blanck in a ceremony which took place at the Kingston Parish Church. The newly-weds returned to Panama shortly after . . .'

Alexander Bustamante and Modern Jamaica, George E Eaton, LMH Publishing, 1995, p 14

[1910 seems to be the correct year, rather than Norman Manley's recollection of 1912.]

' It was at the home of the Plummers at the top of Church Street that Sir Alexander, still called Clarke, got married for the first time in 1912.'

Manley and the new Jamaica,  p xcvii

Margaret Ann Manley

'Very shortly after this Mother died. She had been ill for a long time and when she was moved to Kingston where treatment and care were better it was too late to save her life. I doubt if the nature of the illness was ever diagnosed. She was only fourty-four years old and her death was in 1909, just when I became sixteen years old.'

Manley and the New Jamaica, p xcix

               Daily Gleaner, February 27, 1911

The clear implication here is that Mrs Manley spent her last days with the Plummers at Mary Villa, but there is another strange discrepancy, over the date of her death, for which I can find no explanation.

 Cyril George Plummer

Daily Gleaner, January 8, 1977

'Mr. Plummer, one of St. Andrew's longest serving Jusices of the Peace died at the age of 79 at the Green Nursng Home, Stony Hill, on Sunday last. He had been ailing for two years. He was a long established auctioneer, real estate agent, businessman and propnetor of Argos Agencies.

Popularly known as 'C G ' he was a veteran turfite and racing enthusiast. He founded Plummer's Sporting XI in 1938 and donated the Iglodine Cricket Cup for police competition. He was also a member of the Kensington Cricket Club and a long serving member of the PNP.'
'Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael Manley, and Mrs. Manley, a close friend of Mr. Plummer and his family, he being the god-father of their youngest child, Natasha, headed the list of mourners . . .'

'C G' was the son of Simon Plummer, a baker, about whom I have found no further information; given the time-line he could have been one of Charles Plummer's sons, but there is nothing to confirm this possibility.

The friendship with Michael Manley and the membership of the PNP do however suggest that there was an ongoing relationship between the Manley and Plummer families.

 I find the story of Charles Plummer, his relatives and descendants, a fascinating thread weaving its way through the history of 19th and 20th century Jamaica, and I hope that I will be able to expand the information available about these interesting Jamaicans.