Monday, May 10, 2010

The English have landed and "The Great Barbados Robbery"

On May the 14th 1626 Captain John Powell was the first Englishman to encounter Barbados. He along with his crew was in fact on their way from Brazil when the trade winds blew their ship the "Olive Blossom" into Barbados.

On arrival to the Island, The Captain sent some men to the shore. They wrote the words James K of E on a tree and named the area James's town (Jamestown). Today Jamestown is called Holetown because the river outlet in the area reminded them of an area called "The Hole" in the Thames River in England.

After the landing in Holetown they proceeded south along the coastline until they came upon a river, later known as Indian River. It was there that they took possession of the Island in the name of King James I of England. The mouth of the river is now known at the Careenage which is in the heart of Bridgetown the Island capital. Bridgetown derived its name from the remnants of a bridge left behind by the Amerindians and the Careenage was given its name because this was the part of the river that they careened their ships onto a side to repair them.

Following Captain John Powell claiming the Island for England another expedition was planned to the Island, this time by Captain Henery Powell on the "William and John.” John and Henery were brothers and William was Sir William Courteen. The three had come together financially to settle the Island. The William and John landed in Barbados on the 17th of February 1627 with 50 settlers and 10 captives. By 1629 the settlement had begun to prosper and the population had grown to nearly 1800 persons. This growth was attributed to the management of Sir William Courteen and his associates. The enterprise was undoubtedly successful and the entire expense was born by Courteen and his company. The settlers neither owned the land nor stocks they were mainly Courteens tenants at will and all the profits had to be returned to the merchant prince. Courteen looked after the needs of the settlement, he paid the colonist regular wages and supplied them with all of their requirements.

At that time in England there was a Scotsman name of the Earl of Carlisle. He had followed the King from Scotland when James came over to accept the English Crown and his first reward to be created an Earl.
Carlisle was always heavily in debt. To remedy his financial woes he sold his influence at Court to the merchants of London. They had heard that the business of colonization in the Leeward’s was a profitable one and resolved to use Carlisle influence to gain a footing in this area.

Carlisle paid off his debts by leasing 10,000 acres in Barbados. He misled many people and Courteen himself was kept in the dark having had no friend at Court who would protect his interest. The King himself who is said to have been careless and indifferent confirmed Carlisle as the owner of the Caribbean Islands. This was called the "Great Barbados Robbery." The pioneer in the settlement of Barbados suffered a great injustice and lost his rights completely.
Below is a picture of Carlisle Bay a beautiful bay named after a man many rightfully called a villain.

Provided with the compliments of your friends at Glory Tours. The #1 Provider of Sightseeing Tours in Barbados

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