Americas, America, Atlantic Islands, Antilles Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Jamaica

Jamaica is in Greater Antilles.

1655 Capture of Jamaica

1671 Raid on Panama

1702 Aug 1702 West Indies Action

Capture of Jamaica

In May 1655 the English under Admiral William Penn (age 34) captured Jamaica. Vice-Admiral William Goodson was present.


Calendars. 16 May 1655. 67. John Lanyon to the Navy Comrs. Understands from the seamen that the conduct of Capts. Nixon and Stanesby, in their late engagement with two Dutch capers, was very foul; the night they left the Dutch, no lights were put out as formerly, and though in sight of them in the morning, they still kept on their way; the Eagle lay by some time, and both the enemy's ships plied on her, but finding the Elizabeth nearly out of sight, she also made sail; it is true the wind and sea were high, but there were no sufficient reasons for such endeavours to get from them. Will send account of the ten tons of cordage and Mr. Backer's yarn. The Katherine, on her voyage from Jamaica, got upon the shoals off the coast of Florida; the long boat, with ten persons and gold and silver to the value of 600/., was lost. The Sorlings has gone to sea, promising to recover what was amiss through long lying for orders. In expectation of the Dutch, the captain has torn down all his close cabins, and the men lie on deck. [Copy. The original being sent to Coventry for the trial of Nixon and Stanesby. Two pages.]

Evelyn's Diary. 27 Sep 1660. The King (age 30) received the merchant's addresses in his closet, giving them assurances of his persisting to keep Jamaica, choosing Sir Edward Massey Governor (age 41). In the afternoon, the Danish Ambassador's condolences were presented, on the death of the Duke of Gloucester (deceased). This evening, I saw the Princess Royal (age 28), mother to the Prince of Orange (age 28), now come out of Holland in a fatal period.

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Pepy's Diary. 05 Jan 1661. Home all the morning. Several people came to me about business, among others the great Tom Fuller (age 52), who came to desire a kindness for a friend of his, who hath a mind to go to Jamaica with these two ships that are going, which I promised to do. So to Whitehall to my Lady, whom I found at dinner and dined with her, and staid with her talking all the afternoon, and thence walked to Westminster Hall [Map]. So to Will's, and drank with Spicer, and thence by coach home, staying a little in Paul's Churchyard, to bespeak Ogilby's AEsop's Fables and Tully's Officys to be bound for me. So home and to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 20 Mar 1661. That done to White Hall to Mr. Coventry (age 33), where I did some business with him, and so with Sir W. Pen (age 39) (who I found with Mr. Coventry (age 33) teaching of him upon the map to understand Jamaica1). By water in the dark home, and so to my Lady Batten's where my wife was, and there we sat and eat and drank till very late, and so home to bed. The great talk of the town is the strange election that the City of London made yesterday for Parliament-men; viz. Fowke, Love, Jones, and... men that are so far from being episcopall that they are thought to be Anabaptists; and chosen with a great deal of zeal, in spite of the other party that thought themselves very strong, calling out in the Hall, "No Bishops! no Lord Bishops!" It do make people to fear it may come to worse, by being an example to the country to do the same. And indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them.

Note 1. Sir William Pen (age 39) was well fitted to give this information, as it was he who took the island from the Spaniards in 1655.

Pepy's Diary. 20 Jun 1662.Then he and I to Alderman Backwell's (age 44) and did the like there, and I gave one receipt for all the money I have received thence upon the receipt of my Lord's crusados. Then I went to the Exchange [Map], and hear that the merchants have a great fear of a breach with the Spaniard; for they think he will not brook our having Tangier, Dunkirk, and Jamaica; and our merchants begin to draw home their estates as fast as they can.

Pepy's Diary. 13 Feb 1663. Took my wife home, and I to my office. Find myself pretty well but fearful of cold, and so to my office, where late upon business; Mr. Bland sitting with me, talking of my Lord Windsor's (age 36) being come home from Jamaica, unlooked-for; which makes us think that these young Lords are not fit to do any service abroad, though it is said that he could not have his health there, but hath razed a fort of the King of Spain (age 57) upon Cuba, which is considerable, or said to be so, for his honour.


Pepy's Diary. 23 Feb 1663. This morning came my Lord Windsor (age 36) to kiss the Duke's (age 29) hand, being returned from Jamaica. He tells the Duke (age 29), that from such a degree of latitude going thither he begun to be sick, and was never well till his coming so far back again, and then presently begun to be well. He told the Duke (age 29) of their taking the fort of St. Jago, upon Cuba, by his men; but, upon the whole, I believe that he did matters like a young lord, and was weary of being upon service out of his own country, where he might have pleasure. For methought it was a shame to see him this very afternoon, being the first day of his coming to town, to be at a playhouse.

Pepy's Diary. 09 Nov 1663. He tells me that the King (age 33) by name, with all his dignities, is prayed for by them that they call Fanatiques, as heartily and powerfully as in any of the other churches that are thought better: and that, let the King (age 33) think what he will, it is them that must helpe him in the day of warr. For as they are the most, so generally they are the most substantial sort of people, and the soberest; and did desire me to observe it to my Lord Sandwich (age 38), among other things, that of all the old army now you cannot see a man begging about the street; but what? You shall have this captain turned a shoemaker; the lieutenant, a baker; this a brewer; that a haberdasher; this common soldier, a porter; and every man in his apron and frock, &c., as if they never had done anything else: whereas the others go with their belts and swords, swearing and cursing, and stealing; running into people's houses, by force oftentimes, to carry away something; and this is the difference between the temper of one and the other; and concludes (and I think with some reason,) that the spirits of the old parliament soldiers are so quiett and contented with God's providences, that the King (age 33) is safer from any evil meant him by them one thousand times more than from his own discontented Cavalier. And then to the publique management of business: it is done, as he observes, so loosely and so carelessly, that the Kingdom can never be happy with it, every man looking after himself, and his owne lust and luxury; among other things he instanced in the business of money, he do believe that half of what money the Parliament gives the King (age 33) is not so much as gathered. And to the purpose he told me how the Bellamys (who had some of the Northern counties assigned them for their debt for the petty warrant victualling) have often complained to him that they cannot get it collected, for that nobody minds, or, if they do, they won't pay it in. Whereas (which is a very remarkable thing,) he hath been told by some of the Treasurers at Warr here of late, to whom the most of the £120,000 monthly was paid, that for most months the payments were gathered so duly, that they seldom had so much or more than 40s., or the like, short in the whole collection; whereas now the very Commissioners for Assessments and other publique payments are such persons, and those that they choose in the country so like themselves, that from top to bottom there is not a man carefull of any thing, or if he be, he is not solvent; that what between the beggar and the knave, the King (age 33) is abused the best part of all his revenue. From thence we began to talk of the Navy, and particularly of Sir W. Pen (age 42), of whose rise to be a general I had a mind to be informed. He told me he was always a conceited man, and one that would put the best side outward, but that it was his pretence of sanctity that brought him into play. Lawson, and Portman, and the Fifth-monarchy men, among whom he was a great brother, importuned that he might be general; and it was pleasant to see how Blackburne himself did act it, how when the Commissioners of the Admiralty would enquire of the captains and admirals of such and such men, how they would with a sigh and casting up the eyes say, "Such a man fears the Lord", or, "I hope such a man hath the Spirit of God", and such things as that. But he tells me that there was a cruel articling against Pen after one fight, for cowardice, in putting himself within a coyle of cables, of which he had much ado to acquit himself: and by great friends did it, not without remains of guilt, but that his brethren had a mind to pass it by, and Sir H. Vane did advise him to search his heart, and see whether this fault or a greater sin was not the occasion of this so great tryall. And he tells me, that what Pen gives out about Cromwell's sending and entreating him to go to Jamaica, is very false; he knows the contrary: besides, the Protector never was a man that needed to send for any man, specially such a one as he, twice. He tells me that the business of Jamaica did miscarry absolutely by his pride, and that when he was in the Tower he would cry like a child. This he says of his own personal knowledge, and lastly tells me that just upon the turne, when Monk (age 54) was come from the North to the City, and did begin to think of bringing in the King (age 33), Pen was then turned Quaker. This he is most certain of. He tells me that Lawson was never counted any thing but only a seaman, and a stout man, but a false man, and that now he appears the greatest hypocrite in the world. And Pen the same. He tells me that it is much talked of, that the King (age 33) intends to legitimate the Duke of Monmouth (age 14); and that he has not, nor his friends of his persuasion, have any hopes of getting their consciences at liberty but by God Almighty's turning of the King's heart, which they expect, and are resolved to live and die in quiett hopes of it; but never to repine, or act any thing more than by prayers towards it. And that not only himself but all of them have, and are willing at any time to take the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy. Thus far, and upon many more things, we had discoursed when some persons in a room hard by began to sing in three parts very finely and to play upon a flagilette so pleasantly that my discourse afterwards was but troublesome, and I could not attend it, and so, anon, considering of a sudden the time of night, we found it 11 o'clock, which I thought it had not been by two hours, but we were close in talk, and so we rose, he having drunk some wine and I some beer and sugar, and so by a fair moonshine home and to bed, my wife troubled with tooth ache.

Pepy's Diary. 20 Feb 1667. He tells me, too, as a grand secret, that he do believe the peace offensive and defensive between Spayne and us is quite finished, but must not be known, to prevent the King of France's (age 28) present falling upon Flanders. He do believe the Duke of York (age 33) will be made General of the Spanish armies there, and Governor of Flanders, if the French should come against it, and we assist the Spaniard: that we have done the Spaniard abundance of mischief in the West Indys, by our privateers at Jamaica, which they lament mightily, and I am sorry for it to have it done at this time.

By 1670 Fulke Rose of Jamaica (age 25) owned 380 acres in Jamaica and was one of six colonists who regularly imported significant numbers of enslaved people via the Royal Africa Company, which had a monopoly on the British trans-Atlantic trade at that time.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Jun 1671. I went to Council, where was produced a most exact and ample information of the state of Jamaica, and of the best expedients as to New England, on which there was a long debate; but at length it was concluded that, if any, it should be only a conciliating paper at first, or civil letter, till we had better information of the present face of things, since we understood they were a people almost upon the very brink of renouncing any dependence on the Crown.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Jun 1671. To Council, where were letters from Sir Thomas Modiford (age 51), of the expedition and exploit of Colonel Morgan (age 36), and others of Jamaica, on the Spanish Continent at Panama.

1671 Raid on Panama

Evelyn's Diary. 19 Aug 1671. To Council. The letters of Sir Thomas Modiford (age 51) were read, giving relation of the exploit at Panama, which was very brave; they took, burned, and pillaged the town of vast treasures, but the best of the booty had been shipped off, and lay at anchor in the South Sea, so that, after our men had ranged the country sixty miles about, they went back to Nombre de Dios, and embarked for Jamaica. Such an action had not been done since the famous Drake.


Evelyn's Diary. 12 Feb 1672. At the Council, we entered on inquiries about improving the plantations by silks, galls, flax, senna, etc., and considered how nutmegs and cinnamon might be obtained and brought to Jamaica, that soil and climate promising success. Dr. Worsley being called in, spoke many considerable things to encourage it. We took order to send to the plantations, that none of their ships should adventure homeward single, but stay for company and convoys. We also deliberated on some fit person to go as commissioner to inspect their actions in New England, and, from time to time, report how that people stood affected. In future, to meet at Whitehall [Map].

On 06 Oct 1688 Christopher Monck 2nd Duke Albemarle (age 35) died in Jamaica. Duke Albemarle 2C 1660 and Earl Torrington in Devon extinct.


Evelyn's Diary. 16 Apr 1691. I went to see Dr. Sloane's curiosities, being an universal collection of the natural productions of Jamaica, consisting of plants, fruits, corals, minerals, stones, earth, shells, animals, and insects, collected with great judgment; several folios of dried plants, and one which had about 80 several sorts of ferns, and another of grasses; the Jamaica pepper, in branch, leaves, flower, fruit, etc. This collection with his Journal and other philosophical and natural discourses and observations, indeed very copious and extraordinary, sufficient to furnish a history of that island, to which I encouraged him.

Evelyn's Diary. 09 Aug 1692. A fast. Came the sad news of the hurricane and earthquake, which has destroyed almost the whole Island of Jamaica, many thousands having perished.

Evelyn's Diary. 15 Sep 1692. There happened an earthquake, which, though not so great as to do any harm in England, was universal in all these parts of Europe. It shook the house at Wotton, but was not perceived by any save a servant or two, who were making my bed, and another in a garret. I and the rest being at dinner below in the parlor, were not sensible of it. The dreadful one in Jamaica this summer was profanely and ludicrously represented in a puppet play, or some such lewd pastime, in the fair of Southwark [Map], which caused the Queen (age 30) to put down that idle and vicious mock show.


On 07 Dec 1707 George Heathcote Lord Mayor was born to Josiah Heathcote in Jamaica.

Before 19 Dec 1709 William Beckford was born to Peter Beckford (age 37) in Jamaica.

Around 1717 Julines Beckford was born to Peter Beckford (age 45) in Jamaica.

On 18 Jun 1731 Nicholas Lawes (age 79) died in Jamaica.

On 24 May 1741 Augustus Fitzroy (age 24) died at Jamaica.

On 16 Sep 1746 Thomas Davers (age 57) died of yellow fever in Jamaica.


In 1777 James Brydges 3rd Duke Chandos (age 45) and Anne Eliza Gamon Duchess Chandos (age 40) were married. She by marriage Duchess Chandos. Her first husband had left her all his property in Jamaica making her a wealthy widow. He the son of Henry Brydges 2nd Duke Chandos and Mary Bruce.


Around 1785 Charlotte Mary Long Lady Pocock was born to Edward Long (age 50) in Jamaica.

Around 1788 John Parkinson was born to Leonard Parkinson (age 44) at Jamaica.

In 1808 Lieutenant Charles Cecil Bisshop (age 23) died of yellow fever in Jamaica after the frigate Muros was wrecked whilst endeavouring to destroy some batteries near Havana, Cuba.

On 07 Dec 1823 Rowland Edward Cotton (age 28) died at Jamaica.

On 04 Jun 1843 Mary Bruce was born to James Bruce 12th Earl Kincardine 8th Earl Elgin (age 31) and Elizabeth Mary Cumming Bruce Countess Kincardine and Elgin at Jamaica. On 07 Jun 1843 Mary Bruce and her mother died.

In 1865 Edward Joseph Vernon (age 55) died at Jamaica.

Americas, America, Atlantic Islands, Antilles Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Clarendon Jamaica

On 24 May 1728 Henry Dawkins was born in Clarendon Jamaica.

Americas, America, Atlantic Islands, Antilles Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Middlesex Jamaica

In 1853 Reginald Courtenay Bishop (age 40) was appointed Archdeacon of Middlesex at Middlesex Jamaica.

Americas, America, Atlantic Islands, Antilles Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Jamaica, Port Royal

In 1662 Charles Lyttelton 3rd Baronet (age 34) was appointed Governor of Jamaica in which post he served until 1664 during which time he founded Port Royal.

In 1671 Mary Moders (age 28) was arrested after stealing a silver tankard, and was sentenced to penal transportation and sent to Port Royal, where she worked as a prostitute.

On 11 Jun 1678 Fulke Rose of Jamaica (age 34) and Elizabeth Langley (age 16) were married at Port Royal.

In 1692 an earthquake that destroyed Port Royal. Fulke Rose of Jamaica (age 47) returned to England to seek funds for rebuilding.

Aug 1702. The Aug 1702 West Indies Action was a naval engagement between the English West-Indies Fleet commanded by Vice Admiral John Benbow (age 49) and the French Fleet commanded by Admiral Jean du Casse (age 55). The action lasted five days during with the English eventually being beaten off and Vice Admiral John Benbow (age 49) being mortally wounded. The action was notable for a number of English ships refusing to engage with the French. Following the action the English Fleet returned to Port Royal where a number of captains were court-martialed for cowardice and disobedience. Found guilty Captains Richard Kirkby and Copper Wade were returned to Plymouth, Devon [Map] where they were shot aboard Bristol in the presence of other officers. Captain Constable was cleared of the charge of cowardice, but was convicted on other charges and cashiered. Captain Hudson died before he could be tried. Captains Fogg and Vincent were charged with having signed a paper with the other captains of the squadron, stating they would not fight, but they represented this as a device to keep Captain Kirkby from deserting; Benbow testifying in their favour, they were merely suspended.

Benbow's (age 49) leg was amputated; but a fever developed. On 04 Nov 1702 he died.

Before 11 Aug 1740 James Annesley (age 25), on his third attempt, escaped his captors and made his way overland to Philadelphia where he took passage on a merchant ship to Port Royal in Jamaica.

On 30 Sep 1795 James Cope died at Port Royal on board HMS Hannibal.

Americas, America, Atlantic Islands, Antilles Caribbean, Greater Antilles, Spanish Town Jamaica

On 04 Jul 1726 Henry Bentinck 1st Duke Portland (age 44) died in Spanish Town Jamaica. His body was returned to England. On 03 Nov 1726 he was buried in the Duke of Ormonde, Vault Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey. His son William Bentinck 2nd Duke Portland (age 17) succeeded 2nd Duke Portland, 3rd Earl of Portland 2C 1689.