100-year-old Ms. Rosiliza Price went to her grave fighting for the generation rights to a valuable strip of land on Hog Island (renamed Paradise Island). The property was left by her father, John Alexander Burrows when he died in 1913. Alexander Burrows, a negro Minister and Registrar from Alexandra, Abaco, had been born into slavery in 1830. Although other descendants of John Alexander Burrows had sold their land shares, which eventually ended up being bought by Alex Wenner-Gren – Rosiliza Price contended that her rights to the land remained. She never agreed to sell. When Ms. Rosiliza passed away, her survivors, took up the fight for the land. The fight went to the Privy Council in London, years after both Rosiliza Elizabeth Price and Alex Wenner-Gren had died.

What the 1912 Will of John Alexander Burrows originally said…

The Nassau Daily Tribune, Monday 21 August 1961
The Miami Herald, Monday, 28 August 1961

TRACING ROOTS From Olympian Thomas “Tommy” Robinson MBE to his great, great grandfather John Alexander Burrows who born into slavery

Rosiliza Elizabeth Price was the great-grandmother of Bahamian Olympic athlete Thomas ‘Tommy’ Augustus Robinson MBE (1938-2012) on his father’s side.

Tommy Robinson’s mother was Willisie I Bain (1917-2001) and father was Cyril H. Robinson (1911- 2005). Cyril H. Robinson’s mother Beatrice Louise Price (1891-1966) was Grandmother to athlete Tommy Robinson. The father of Beatrice Louise Price (Great grandfather to Tommy Robinson) was William Price and mother of Beatrice (Great grandmother) was Rosiliza Elizabeth Price.

Rosiliza Elizabeth Price’s father was John Alexander Burrows (1830 – 1913) was from of Alexandra, Abaco. He would have been born into slavery as Slave Emancipation did not happen until 1834. Alexandra, Abaco may have been renamed or amalgamated into Moore’s Island, Abaco.

Courtesy of ancestry.com
Courtesy of ancestry.com

Paradise Beach and Transportation Company owned by Alex Wenner-Gren QUIETS 62 ACRES OF LAND ON HOG ISLAND in 1960

This notice, for the intention to Quiet Title 62 acres of property on Hog Island, appearing in the Nassau Guardian of 31 May 1960, may well have been the catalyst to eight long years of litigation.

Nassau Guardian, Tuesday, May 31, 1960

Rosiliza Price challenged Paradise Beach and Transportation Company’s claim to the land. Two cases were eventually heard. The first in 1961 (which Ms. Rosiliza Elizabeth Price at the time, 100-years-old, lost) and another case in 1963. Paradise Beach and Transportation Co. and others appealed the 1963 ruling. In the end, the Privy Council decided the ongoing second case in 1968.

The Gazette, Thursday, 24 August 1961
Nanaimo Daily News, Friday, 25 August 1961

Alex Wenner Gren’s company Paradise Beach and Transportation Co. contended that they had bought the Hog Island land from an Arne Lindroth who had in turn bought the land from the divided descendants of John Alexander Burrows, excluding Rosiliza Price and her descendants. Rosiliza Price contended that her legal rights in the Hog Island property were not extinguished in any way shape or form. Rosiliza filed an adverse possession claim after losing the original case in 1961. When the Supreme Court in Nassau found in Rosiliza’s favour, Paradise Beach and Transportation Co. and some of the divided descendants of John Alexander Burrows joined as appellants against the respondents Cyril Price Robinson and others.

KEY RULING IN THE CASE of Paradise Beach and Transportation Co and others v Cyril Price-Robinson and others: One co-tenant [whether joint tenant or tenant in common] can bar the title of another co-tenant by separate possession, that is by occupying the land for his own benefit for the prescribed limitation period.

Excerpts from Appellant’s brief to Privy Council
Excerpts from Appellant’s brief to Privy Council
Excerpts from Appellant’s brief to Privy Council

Alex Wenner-Gren

By 1960, fifteen years had passed since 1945 and the international fallout over Gren’s friendship with top Nazi Herman Göring and Wenner-Gren’s Bank of the Bahamas being used to fund the Nazis. The Bahamas had chosen to put aside Alex Wenner-Gren’s scandals during World War II which saw him exiled from the islands and his businesses blacklisted. By 1960, his money and influence bought him political and economic favour in Nassau. Gren died in November 1961.

Wenner-Gren’s Bahamas registered companies were seized in 1942, including Paradise Beach and Transportation Co Ltd. which would in 1961 win, in a long court battle over the generation land of Ms. Roseliza Price. This case with Rosiliza Price was the first of two cases over the Hog Island inheritance.

Daily News, New York, Sunday 17 May 1942
Daily News, New York, Sunday 17 May 1942

Alex Wenner-Gren needed clear, unobstructed title to the Hog Island, Paradise Island land in order to sell it for $14,000,000 to another multimillionaire Huntington Hartford.

The Nassau Guardian, Thursday 5 May 1960

Some History of HOG ISLAND begins when Governor Dunmore took the whole island for himself. Eventually he was forced to relinquish these land rights and others in The Bahama to the Government in exchange for his pension.

When the Earl of Dunmore became the 20th Royal Governor of the Bahama Islands between 1787–1796, he quickly secured the entirety of Hog Island for himself. John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1730 – 25 February 1809), known as Lord Dunmore. He was a Scottish peer and colonial governor in the early American colonies and The Bahamas. Governor Dunmore gave notice of the fact on 10th May, 1791 in the local Nassau newspaper.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, That the EARL OF DUNMORE is now Proprietor of the whole of Hog Island, except thirty Acres belonging to Mr Russell the Ship Builder. His Lordship having been informed, that some people have is stock on the island, and that others cut Wood, Grass, &c. this is to desire that the former will remove their stock before the 1st of June, and that the latter will desist immediately from cutting Wood, &c. Persons offending may be assured of being prosecuted against as the Law directs. May 20, 1791

Governor Dunmore left the Bahama Islands in 1796 and died in 1809. Parts of Hog Island must have been parcelled off and sold by him in the intervening years. One owner, of 130 acres, was a man named Edwin Blatch. In 1813, a notice was posted for the sale of some 130 acres on Hog Island. The government in a probability took the land as part of its Crown Land holdings. From there, bits and pieces of Hog Island must have been sold off until, wealthy foreign investors came to buy large acreages on it.

Edwin Blatch who was married to Elizabeth Necks, had apparently died by 1812. The sale of Blatch’s 130 acres on Hog Island must have been a way of dividing his estate among the inheritors.

Courtesy of: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Necks-3

Parts of Hog Island Owned By Edwin Blatch For Sale in October 27, 1813. Auction held at Vendue House 31st January 1814

Bahama Gazette, Sunday January 9, 1814

1838 – EARL OF DUNMORE’S Daughter to receive his pension which was granted ONLY AFTER DUNMORE WAS MADE TO SURRENDER OWNERSHIP RIGHTS ON HOG ISLAND, Bahamas

Daughter of the Earl of Dunmore, governor of the Bahamas. It is stated that this pension was granted in consideration of the surrender by Lord Dunmore of certain lands to the Government. By reason of his attachment to the cause of the Crown he also suffered considerable losses in the United States.

The Morning Post, Thursday, 09 August 1838


Paradise Beach and Transportation Co., Ltd. and Others v. Price-Robinson and Others, [1968] AC 1072, [1968] 1 All ER 530, [1968] 2 WLR 873 (Privy Council).

Facts : – This is an appeal from a judgment in the Supreme Court of the Bahamas on the Equity Side, dismissing the appellants’ claim under the Quieting Titles Act, 1959 to certain acreage on Hog Island (renamed Paradise Island).

The appellants, Paradise Beach and Transportation and Others, claim undivided shares in the land by devolution of title under the will of John Alexander Burrows (the testator), who had devised the land in question to named children and grandchildren as tenants in common.* Of these persons, Rosiliza Price and her sister Victoria Hanna were original takers under the testator’s will and each entitled to 10/105 undivided shares in the land, and their successors in interest are the respondents (defendants below).

The Supreme Court judge heard and accepted evidence that Roseliza and Victoria and their successors had been in exclusive possession of the land for over 20 years. Respondents (Cyril Price-Robinson and Others) claim that Roseliza and Victoria, and they as successors, have been in exclusive possession of the land since the death of the testator or for more than twenty years before action been in exclusive possession of the land since the death of the testator or for more than twenty years before action brought, and that therefore, the 20-year statute of limitation bars the appellants’ title.

Procedure: Appellants (plaintiffs below) sued under the Quieting Titles Act, 1959 to establish their claim to the specified land.

The Bahamas Supreme Court held in favor of respondents (defendants). Appellants (Paradise Beach and Transportation Co and Others) appealed to the Privy Council.

Privy Council verdict in 1968 decides in Roseliza Price’s favour