Créer un site internet

Joseph Etienne Maingot 1766-1821 English


Joseph Etienne Maingot

Surveyor General of the Island of Trinidad


Joseph Etienne MAINGOT (see Maingot de Surge?res) was born in 1766 in Bordeaux, a port city on the Garonne River, in the Gironde department in south western France. Also known as "La perle d'Aquitaine" ('The Pearl of Aquitaine'), and "La Belle Endormie" ('Sleeping Beauty'). He died in Lyon on March 5, 1821.(burial site at De Loyasse Cemetery in Lyons-France)

Joseph etienne maingot

Joseph ETIENNE MAINGOT (1766-1821)

Charcoal sketched portrait of a young Joseph Etienne Maingot by the acclaimed Trinidadian painter and internationally known artist, Michel-Jean Cazabon.

English version

The french version is here

English version of the research of Madame Suzanne Smart about her ancestors

As one descended from the family of the Maingots de Surgères, Joseph Étienne Maingot, who was a Major in The Royal Corps of Military Engineers of the French Army under King Louis XVI, was commissioned to undertake a position as Surveyor in Trinidad, under the terms of the 1783 Royal Spanish 'Cedula of Population', either in 1783 or 1786 (these two dates are referred to in the publication of the Historical Society of Trinidad). 

Joseph Étienne Maingot was to serve under the Spanish Governor Don Chacon as Sworn Surveyor, eventually being promoted to the joint position (with Major Williamson) as Commissary of Population and later to Surveyor General in the Island of Trinidad.

Since the arrival of Columbus, who discovered Trinidad on his third voyage in 1498 and named it 'La Ysla de la Trinidad' ("The Island of the Trinity"), it was always a Spanish Colony.  Trinidad became predominantly French as a result of the 1783 'Spanish Royal Cedula of Population’, which invited immigration of French Catholic families and their slaves from neighbouring islands, and from countries in alliance with Spain. 

On the capitulation of the Island to the British General, Sir Ralph Abercrombie in 1797, Maingot was continued in his original appointment by Sir Thomas Picton, the first British Governor of the Island. British control was recognized by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. When the English captured the island, Sir Ralph Abercrombie allowed the Spanish laws to remain in force and he appointed his assistant, Sir Thomas Picton to be the first Governor of the Island. Joseph Etienne Maingot retained his appointment, both in the Government and in the Cabildo (City Council). Trinidad then became a British Crown Colony governed by Spanish laws where the majority spoke French.

In those days, Tobago was not yet a sister island of Trinidad. They only became a 'union' in 1889 when Britain joined the smaller Tobago to Trinidad as an administrative ward. Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1962 and became a Republic and Member of the British Commonwealth.


New text 12 Jan 2016


What follows  is an excerpt of the details of despatches from the Trinidad and Tobago Historical Society, preserved at the T&T National Library and Information System Authority - NALIS):


Joseph Etienne Maingot


Occupation: "I was appointed sworn surveyor under the Spanish Government, and intrusted with Commissions to form the Plan of different Quarters of the Island, I was also employed under that Government at the Public Works in the Peninsula of Pointe Gorda, and the Island of Gaspard Grande." AFT 06 MAR 1786 - JE Maingot

Map by the spaniards bef british conq 1797

Map of Trinidad in 1797- Angelo Bissessarsingh (Trinidad, WI)

This map was originally made by the Spaniards shortly before the British Conquest of 1797

As Surveyor, in the Surveyor General's Office, Joseph Etienne Maingot would have had a hand in its creation.


Map by the spaniards bef british conq 1797

'Plan of the Island of Trinidad under the Spaniards from actual survey made in 1797'

Source:   Angelo Bissessarsingh (1983-2017)


Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University


Map added Feb 10 2017

1 0barre vert prom haies


"After the Conquest of the Colony, Capt. Mallet, Engineer Surveyor, was sent by General Abercrombie for the purpose of making a General Map of the Colony, I was employed with him, and assisted him with the local Knowledge I had acquired during my residence here." (Excerpt from Dispatch Pub. No. 399. - Mr. Maingot to H.E. the Governor. Document detailing Mr. Maingot's services to Government. (13th March, 1816)

'A new map of the Island of Trinidad, made by Order of His Excellency Sir Ralph Abercromby K.B., Lieutenant-General & Commander in Chief of the British Forces in the West Indies. By F. Mallet, cap'n. of the Surveying Engineers, Four Sheets. With a short Description and reduced Map. MDCCXCVII (1797) London. Published by W. Faden Geographer to his Majesty and to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, No. 5 Charing Cross, March 1st, 1802.'  



Map Collection-John Carter Brown Library:

Map added in this page Feb 2017-16 CMT

1 0barre vert prom haies

Joseph Etienne Maingot


Occupation: Employed with Captain Mallet for the purpose of making a general map of Trinidad AFT 18 FEB 1797

Occupation: Assistant in the department of Captain Mallett, Commissary of Population 1799 

Occupation: Appointed Commissary of Population (jointly with Major Williamson) on the death of Captain Mallet JAN 1803 

Occupation: Admitted as Assistant in the Department of the Survey General, having always the charge and direction of the Office formerly under the Commissary of Population. AUG 1803 

Occupation: Appointed Deputy Survey General ABT NOV 1806

Occupation: Appointed Survey General & acted as Commissary of Population BET 1810 AND MAY 1814

Occupation: Appointment of Commissary of Population of Trinidad confirmed by His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent. 1814 

Occupation: Coffee Plantation Owner and Proprietor, located in St. Ann's Quarter - 'The Rose'

1815-1816 JEM is the subject of 3 letters (documents 397, 398, 399) Trinidad and Tobago National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) Digital Library - Historical Society Collection

The following is the substance of these communications:

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – NALIS Historical Publications – Re: J.E. Magnet

Title: Publication #397.Author: Sir Ralph Woodford to Earl Bathurst. Mr. Maingot’s salary and extra Medical Officer.

Description: Historical correspondence about a salary increase for Mr. Maingot and a request for an additional medical officer to answer unceasing demands.Red House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Duplicate Despatches, No. 122. 1815 


Salary mfn414

Title: Publication #398.Author: Sir Ralph Woodford to Earl Bathurst. Mr. Maingot’s salary again and the Medical Officer.

Description: Report stating that Sir Ralph Woodford’s recommendation for a salary increase for Mr. Maingot was not met.
Red House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Duplicate Despatches, No. 160. 1816 Subject: TRINIDAD Copyright: NALIS

In the following dispatch, declares in his own words that he came into the Island of Trinidad on the 6th March, 1786: 

Title: Publication #399.Author: Mr. Maingot to H. E. the Governor. Document detailing Mr. Maingot’s services to government.
Description: Historical correspondence containing a document detailing Mr. Maingot’s services to the government.Red House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. 1816 -Subject: TRINIDAD-Copyright: NALIS-13 March, 1816

"Sir, I have the honor of informing Your Excellency that I came into this Island the 6th March, 1786 at which period I was appointed Sworn Surveyor under the Spanish Government, and intrusted with Commissions to form the Plan of different Quarters of the Island, I was also employed under that Government, at the Public Works in the Peninsular of Pointe Gorda and the Island of Gaspard Grande."

 Read more at link:

Joseph E?tienne Maingot was thus appointed either in 1783 (vide the Governor’s dispatch to Earl Bathurst, the Secretary of State, dated 13-3-1816, where he states in the 4th paragraph that Mr. Maingot arrived in 1783), or in 1786 vide Mr. Maingot’s application to this Governor, dated 13-3-1816, detailing his services to Government, where he states that he arrived in the Island on March 6th, 1786), as Sworn Surveyor under the Spanish Government in Trinidad with political rights by the King of Spain; or 1793, as per his statement, under oath, in defence of Colonel Picton at his trial. I believe either the transcription of this trial is either in error or J. E. Maingot may simply be “generalizing” as we have a dispatched letter, 'in his own words' (Publication #399 - 1818) stating his arrival in the island in 1786. 

We also have the following excerpt from the website “Chaguaramus – The Past” which mentions J.E. Maingot’s services as it relates to surveying the ward at Chaguaramus on 19th June, 1791 (before 1793):

“On the 17th, September 1791, Don Jose Maria Chacon granted the islands of Patos, Huevos and Monos to the Cabildo in perpetuity to increase the towns' funds. The island of Chacachacare had previously been granted to Don Gerado Carry, who hired out various portions of it at annual rents.

On the 19th June, 1791, Surveyor Maingot certified that he had surveyed the lands of Don Guaspar de la Guardia in Chaguaramas in the quarter of the Carenage. These lands were bordered by those of Juan Pillet, J. Baptiste Boudin, and the brown woman Elie.

On the 5th, November, 1791, Surveyor Maingot certified that he had surveyed 38 fanegas and 2 quarte?s of land granted to Don Francisco Pelethier in the Boca de Mono in the quarter of Carenage.”

Source: TRINIVIEW.COM By Boswell John – 1998 – Chaguaramas – Chapter 1 - The Past -

1 0barre vert prom haies

The following map, signed by Joseph Etienne Maingot, is

"A Plan of the Town of Port of Spain, Island of Trinidad, in which it is pointed out the houses burnt down by the fire of the 24th and 25th March 1808".

"In 1808, a German apothecary of Frederick Street Dr. Schaw, became notorious. He is reputed to have entered an outhouse with a lighted candle and accidentally set fire to some wood shavings and straw. The flames spread rapidly to a neighbouring store of nitrates and essential oils and in the resulting conflagration 9 blocks of the town of Port of Spain and all the public buildings were burnt."

('The Germans in Trinidad' by Anthony de Verteuil, C.S.Sp. - The Litho Press, P.O.S., Trinidad (1994)


Map of port of spain 1808

A true Extract from the Original Plan of the Town of Port of Spain lodged in the office of the Surveyor General-

J.E. Maingot, Dept. Surveyor General.

Barre bleue


If you are interested by this research you can contact me by email

Image001 1


1 0barre vert prom haies









Créer un site gratuit avec e-monsite - Signaler un contenu illicite sur ce site