Archiver > CARIBBEAN > 2002-05 > 1020777194

From: "Dean de Freitas" <>
Subject: Published References to AMBARD in Trinidad (long)
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 09:15:07 -0400

Hello all,

I transcribed several references to the AMBARD family for a relative from
books in my collection. I thought I would share them here in the event that
there is some interest. I will also get them up on TriniGenWeb at some
point. Other surnames that are mentioned include de VERTUEIL, CUMMING,


From "Sir Louis de Verteuil: his life and times. Trinidad 1800-1900" by
Father Anthony de Verteuil C.S.Sp. Columbus Publishers, Inc, Port of Spain,
Trinidad, 1973. Chapter 6 - Anti-Colonialist, page 133. In a section
discussing the drive for more self-rule and the conflicts between the
British and Creole members of the Legislative Council in Trinidad in 1855 we
find the following:

"The Board had agreed to import five hundred Indian immigrants and the
contract was entrusted to the firm of Ambard and Son which failed."


From Paria Publishing's - The First Oil Well in the World
In a section about oil exploration in Trinidad circa 1865.

Walter Darwent was the next oil pioneer who came to our shores. He was an
Englishman who had spent some years in Canada, where matters of the heart
had taken him. After a stint in the Civil War in the USA as a captain of the
Union army, he came to San Fernando, where he established the Paria
Petroleum Company in 1865.

This company included many influential men of the times: A. Ambard, J.
Cumming, Leon Agostini, Charles Feez, A. Gray, P.C. O'Connor, G. Wuppermann
and T.A. Finlayson.


From "Memoirs of an Honourable Gentleman", by Dillon and Claudette Leotaud.
The book is about Charles Leotaud, and is based on his handwritten memoirs.
In Part III, page 5:

"In 1875, we left San Fernando, for I joined partnership in the business of
A. Ambard & Son, in Port of Spain."

It continues:

"We were four partners at A. Ambard & Son, Leon Agostini, J. Belle Smyth, A.
Ambard, and myself. I continued to be with Ambard & Son until 1882. Whilst
at Ambard & Son, I was dissatisfied with the conduct of one of my partners."
He never says which partner this was.

From an obituary entitled THE LATE HON. CHARLES LEOTAUD, published in The
Mirror, Monday, May 12th, 1913, Port of Spain, Trinidad, as reprinted in
Memoirs of an Honourable Gentleman:

"Mr. Leotaud came back to Port of Spain and joined the firm of A. A. Ambard
and Son, at that time one of the most famous of the Trinidad commercial
houses. In 1882, he retired from A. A. Ambard and Co. and having invested in
some cocoa estates, started business entirely on his own account as a cocoa
planter and shipper, at the same time securing the agency of the French Line
of steamers etc., a position he has ever since retained."

Then in the section of the obituary that details the important folks who
attended we find A.P.T. Ambard and W. Ambard.


Extract from Trinidad Royal Gazette JANUARY 30th , 1884



Notice is hereby given that Mr. CHAS. LEOTAUD has retired, as from the 31st
day of December now last past, from the businesses carried on in the town of
Port-of-Spain under the firm of A. AMBARD & SON , and also under the firm of
JOAQUIN COLOMER ; in the town of San Fernando, under the firm of LEON
AGOSTINI AND COMPANY, and in the town of Arima under AMBARD AND COMPANY.


Francis Bath,
H. M. Iles.

The said businesses will be continued by the undersigned under the same


Francis Bath
H. M. Iles.


From "The Making of Port of Spain, volume one", by Michael Anthony. National
Cultural Council of Trinidad and Tobago, 1978.

Chapter 11 - Street Names Changed to Mark New Era, page 72. The year is

"So far as commerce was concerned, these were the great cocoa days, too, and
cocoa merchants were in formidable array on South Quay. Names like
Agostini, Ambard, Bosseire, Centeno, Daniel, Gordon Grant, etc. - preovided
a veritable roll-call of cocoa greats."

Chapter 13 - Age of Reconciliation and Development, Page 87. In a section
detailing the houses found on the Serpentine Road south of Queens Royal
College ca 1904:

"Then came the home of Dr. Enrique Prada, businessman and Borough
Councillor. After that came the residence of L.F. Ambard, a cocoa merchant,
followed by the residence of the Catholic Archbishop of Port of Spain,
Vincent Flood."

Chapter 31 - Gradually a New Port of Spain Emerges. Page 191 in a section
about about the City Council election of November 1936. "She" refers to a
woman named Audrey Jeffers::

"People smiled at the daring of this social worker, but on Election Day she
defeated the Editor of the Port of Spain Gazette, A.P.T. Ambard, to make
history in Port of Spain. She was the first woman ever to serve as a City


From "Voices in the Street, by Olga J. Mavrogordata". Inprint Caribbean
Ltd, Port of Spain, Trinidad, 1977. Page 107, in the chapter called
"Coblentz House 1877":

"The property actually belonged to Mrs. Bell-Smythe who was the sister of
Mrs. Leon Agostini, both ladies being daughters of Andre Ambard."

Pages 133 - 134, "Ambard's House - 'Roomor', 25 Maraval Road, 1904"

"This house was built by Lucien F. Ambard in 1904 as a family home. It was
designed by a French architect, and the rafters came from an estate in Erin
owned by the Ambard family. The marble was imported from Italy and the
tiles from France. This house is characteristic of liberated building in
the French Baroque colonial style. The Renaissance iron work is very
beautiful, particularly its elongated columns, all of which were made by the
English firm, Braithwaites, and an illustration of it appeared in their
sales brochure for many years. John Newel Lewis says: "The crowning glory
of this great house is in its roof, whose towers, pinnacles, dormers and
coupolas of unusual proportions, together with its roof galleries, form a
sky-line unmatched in these parts" he considers it as a 'queen of

In 1918-19, L.F. Ambard lost his home on a mortgage to Gordon Grant &
Company, and it was at this time that Pointz Mackenzie bought it from Gordon
Grant & Co., where he lived with his family. In 1923, when P. Mackenzie
went into bankruptcy, the house went back to Gordon Grant as one of the
assets which he had pledged. In 1925 William Pettigrew Humphrey, an American
businessman, rented the house from Gordon Grant & Company for $70 per month,
and he lived there with his family until 1940. In 1940 the house was bought
by Timothy Roodal of Fyzabad for $24,000 and it is still in the possession
of his heirs. It is now occupied by his grand-daughter, Dr. Yvonne Morgan,
by whom it has been named Roomor.

A picture of the house can be found here:


Andre Paul Terence Ambard was the publisher of the Port of Spain Gazette.


The Port of Spain Gazette was published from 1825-1956. Archives of the
Port of Spain Gazette can be found at The British Library, The Public Record
Office (PRO) in London, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of
Chicago, and the University of Florida.

Seems like Mr. APT Ambard, owner of the Port of Spain Gazette, was quite
vocal in his beliefs.

Trinidad Express Newspaper, March 8, 1998
"On UWI's 50th anniversary Carlisle Chang shares his vision"
In a section about an artist's movement in Trinidad:

They were known as the Society of Trinidad Independents, although they were
not a formal group, but were linked by their enthusiasm for modern French
art. "We were all crazy about Gauguin-about anything new from France:
Matisse, Braque, Picasso."

Another central figure in the group was Hugh Stollmeyer, whose family owned
estates in the Santa Cruz valley and who grew up there among sugarcane,
coffee and cocoa. As a result, said Chang, Stollmeyer was "a very special
painter; he had a marvellous sense of the environment". Stollmeyer was a
surrealist painter who was also influenced by the art nouveau and art deco
movements, and had had, said Chang, a curious upbringing: "He was supposed
to be a Shango Baptist."

Stollmeyer's eccentricity cost him dear. The Independents were in any case
the targets of vilification, especially in the pages of the Port of Spain
Gazette, whose owner, APT Ambard, considered himself a protector of the
Catholic Church, said Chang. When the Independents posed nude for each other
the paper denounced this as "licentious and lewd".

Stollmeyer's family made him leave Trinidad, and for most of his life he
worked in a wallpaper factory in New York, designing wallpaper and fabrics.


Ambard's ourspoken manner got him into hot water. The end result was a
famous Privy Council decision.


In Ambard v. The Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago, the Privy Council
dealt with the issue of contempt of court outside the court room and
specifically with a publication that seemingly "scandalised or lowered the
authority of the court". In Ambard, a newspaper published an article
commenting on the inequality of criminal sentences. The author expressly
disclaimed the suggestion that a particular judge was habitually severe, and
another habitually lenient. The editor of the newspaper was convicted of
contempt of court and ordered to pay a fine. He appealed to the Privy
Council and his conviction was set aside.
In other words, while the public is entitled to criticize the judiciary,
such criticism must be fair, reasonable and not based on "untruth" or
"malice", and should not "lower or scandalize" the authority of the
judiciary. Lord Atkin in Ambard, said that, "provided that members of the
public abstain from imputing improper motives to those taking part in the
administration of justice, and are genuinely exercising a right of criticism
and not acting in malice or attempting to impair the administration of
justice, they are immune."


From "The Book of Trinidad", page 324, in a section called "List of Trinidad
Cocoa Estates are from Franklyn's Year Book 1916":

Estate Owner
Annandale L.F. Ambard
Buenos Ayres L.F. Ambard
St. Michael L.F. Ambard

This thread: