Jamaica was seized from the Spanish by the English on May 10, 1655; Cromwellian forces, led by Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, captured the Spanish fort at the mouth of the Rio Cobre on the south coast and on the following day entered Villa de la Vega, the Spanish capital, which but for a few persons, was entirely deserted. Believing that this attack was another brief raid by English freebooters, the Spaniards approached General Venables, under flags of truce, offering him provisions of cassava and beef to feed his men in the hope that they would depart quickly. But this surprise attack was different from previous ones, it was intended to lead to something permanent; they were told by the English general himself that “he came not to pillage but to plant.”
Hoping to find a place of safety for their wives and children, the majority of the citizens of Villa de la Vega fled westwards. In the following year, 1656, although most Spanish settlers had left for Cuba, some 200 persons, including women and children, were discovered in the neighbourhood of Oristano in the west. General Brayne, who had been appointed by Oliver Cromwell to secure their new colony, sent a party to rout this Spanish remnant as well as a large number of Africans who, it was reported, “still lurked in the woods.”
A great deal of secrecy had surrounded Cromwell’s Western Design, including the expedition’s true aims and objectives, and how it had been financed. Cromwell, the Puritan, may not have been as disappointed with its outcome as is often reported. The English attack on the island of Santo Domingo had turned out to be a dismal failure, but then the strategic value of Jamaica may have been understood by Cromwell; from Jamaica, other possessions of “Popish Spain” could be attacked. From this new base in the heart of Spain’s dominions, English privateers and the Protectorate’s warships could capture an increasing number of Spanish and Dutch “prizes.”
In 1656 while in the western end of the Jamaica, English search for Spanish remnants was still going on, at the eastern end English settlement was actually being attempted with most disastrous results. Luke Stokes, the elderly Governor of Nevis and 1,600 from that island chose to settle in an area near Morant Bay in the present parish of St Thomas but within three months, 1,400, including Stokes himself, had died. On the Liguanea Plain and the plains of St Catherine, however, English settlement grew rapidly. These areas were relatively healthy and
had the protection of the increasing number of privateers and freebooters based at Point Caguaya. They were sufficiently far away from bands of “rebellious negroes” in the mountainous interior.
In that same year, 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State voted that a thousand Irish girls, and as many young men, should be sent to Jamaica, and in the same year, Cromwell ordered the Scottish government to apprehend all known, idle, masterless robbers and vagabonds, male and female, and transport them to the island. So thoroughly was the Crowmellian policy pursued that the military commander in Jamaica had to appeal to the government for help towards “a vent for those idle rogues he had secured for the present, some in one country, some in another, being not able to find security for their peaceable demeanour, not fit to live on this side some or other of our plantations”. He added that he could collect two or three hundred at twenty-four hours notice, and that Jamaica would be well rid of them.
By 1660 the Puritan Commonwealth created by Oliver Cromwell in England in 1653 was no longer in existence and the country had returned to being a monarchy with the restoration of Charles II as king. In Jamaica, in recognition of this political change, Caguaya was renamed Port Royal. The five-year period, 1655 to 1660, however, had been a decisive one for Jamaica; soldiers, now becoming settlers, had secured an important outpost of empire for England. These “Old Standers” as they came to be called, regarded buccaneering as a curse which would only destabilize their efforts to establish their plantations. Some of the “Old Standers” were Whitgift Aylmer, Thomas Ballard, Hersey Barrett, Samuel Barry, John Colbeck, Richard Guy, Richard Hemmings, and Richard Hope. Captain Harden is also said to have been an early settler in the area that later would become Westmoreland.
In Westmoreland, the property, Mount Cromwell Pen, which lies between Baulk Pen and Geneva, and north of Kings Valley and Bulstrode, is certainly a reminder of this brief Cromwellian period of Jamaica’s history when English names began to replace Spanish. The military term, “quarters” seen on early maps, patents and plats is yet another reminder of this earliest period of English rule in Jamaica. Examples are Fat-Hog-Quarters and Privateers’ Quarters in Flinty Valley in present-day Hanover; Middle Quarters in present-day St Elizabeth, where Cromwellian soldiers were quartered; Cornett ‘s Quarters and Cabarottos Quarters, in today’s Westmoreland.
A plat in the Jamaica Archives in Spanish Town also refers to a “Camp’s Hill” in the vicinity of 500 acres of land patented by Mordecai Afflato “in the mountains above the Thicket River.” As mentioned in Chapter Two, Sephardic Jews from the Iberian Peninsula had settled in Jamaica in Spanish times, but with the change of government those who owned land would wish to have their properties registered legally in keeping with the laws of the new rulers.
Several properties were also owned by members of the Senior family, originally a Jewish family whose members were “conversos.” A map in the collection of the National Library of Jamaica shows Dr Christopher Senior owning 1,000 acres of land in Westmoreland in 1692. However, the name, Joseph A’Costa Alvaringa’s, is not included among the few Jewish owners of land in Westmoreland, mentioned by Jacob Andrade, although there is a plat of Alvaringa’s in the Jamaica Archives dated July1675. He owned 500 acres of woodland “lying about two miles Northerly from the Cave upon the Mountains.”
By 1662, early in the reign of Charles II, Jamaica, for the purpose of a census, had been divided into ten districts, referred to as precincts. One of the ten was the area “between Black River, Bower Savanna, and thereabouts” and would have included the area which is now present-day Westmoreland. Early maps show a few small “farmes” in this area, which were mainly owned by former soldiers. This remote south-western part of the island, however, was vulnerable to attack from bands comprised of Africans, former slaves of the Spanish as well as free African persons. These bands were the nucleus of the group who would become known as Maroons. It seems apparent that the English could only make wild guesses as to their number, some reports making out that they were few in number, but this was far from the truth.
Their palenques were spread over a wide area of the island; there was one at Paretty near Great Pedro Point, and others at Luidas Vale, Caymanas and Cave Valley, near the border of Clarendon and St Ann. A number of reports were made of inhabitants of these palenques attacking the English. The increased arrival of slaves meant that there were more runaways who sought refuge with these earlier groups. James Knight, an author, in 1720 was the first person to make mention of a group in the area that would become Westmoreland. He wrote in a letter that a “New Partie” had been formed behind Deans Valley; its leader was a “Madagascar” whom he describes as a “resolute cunning Fellow.” After he was killed, his group joined with a group of Coromantines who lived nearby and with whom it had previously had many disputes. This resulted in the formation of the Leeward Rebels, which became a very large group, to which many discontented slaves from Deans Valley estate itself and other estates in the neighbourhood fled.
In his journal, Colonel William Beeston, who came to the island in April 1660, and was to become speaker of the House of Assembly and later governor, reports that in 1665 “factors” or agents of the Royal African Company came to Jamaica for the first time “to settle their negro trade there.” Port Royal now became a busy transshipment port for enslaved Africans with Spanish galleons sailing north from places on the South American mainland like Cartagena to purchase Africans. The king, Charles II, whose brother had a substantial interest in the Royal African Company, understandably wanted peace with the Spaniards so that the trade in slaves could prosper, but privateers continued to go “in and out” from Port Royal bringing in “prizes” as if there was an actual war going on with Spain.
These predators at sea, who were beyond territorial jurisdiction, “could not be eliminated given the reputed richness of the pickings in the Caribbean and the limited resources available to any nation for defence…” One of these “predators” was John Duglas, who in 1664 captured the Blue Dove which was owned by Sir Charles Littleton, who had become governor of Jamaica in 1662. The ship was transporting a valuable cargo for some Jewish merchants in Port Royal. Duglas hovered around Bluefields Bay, where “most ships sailing westwards out of Port Royal paused to wood and water.” A few days later, accompanied by the Lucretia, the Blue Dove arrived in Bluefields. The following is an account of what took place:
After dark, Duglas sent a couple of men to talk to the crew of the Lucretia and distract their attention while, with the rest, he paddled over to the Blue Dove, hoping to secure his prize by relying on the privateers’ usual mixture of cunning, surprise, and overwhelming numbers. When they approached, the ship’s watch hailed them and they made friendly reply. Then, when they got right up alongside the Blue Dove, some twenty of Duglas’s men jumped on board, fired just one shot, hitting the arm of the ship’s captain Robert Cook, and frightening his nine hopelessly outnumbered men, into immediate submission.
Cook and his crew were locked in the hold, then Duglas cut the ship’s cables and sailed away leaving the Lucretia behind.
Exploits such as the attack of Captain Henry Morgan on Portobello in 1668, when he obtained a ransom of 100,000 pieces of eight, were not viewed favourably in England. Three years later, Morgan carried out the sack of Panama City, which has been described as “the most remarkable military undertaking carried out in the era of the buccaneers.” In April 1671, he was back in Port Royal. In the mean time the Treaty of Madrid had been signed between Spain and England in 1670 and the wrath of the Crown came down on Lieutenant-Governor Modyford, who was accused of having “committed many depredations and hostilities against our good brother the Catholic King in America”. The actions of Modyford and Morgan were now regarded as “contrary to official policy” and in order to placate the Spaniards, both men were arrested in August 1671 and sent back to London. Two years later, Morgan having regained official favour, was knighted and returned to the island as lieutenant-governor.
It was in this period when buccaneering was at its height that the area of present-day Westmoreland, now known as Surinam Quarters, was first settled by the English. By the Treaty of Breda, between the English and the Dutch in 1667, the Dutch ceded Manhattan in North America to the English, while the English gave up possession of Surinam to the Dutch. It was agreed that English subjects living in Surinam would be removed to another English colony, if they so desired.
One thousand two hundred settlers, “his Majesty’s subjects and slaves,” sailed from the north coast of South America to Jamaica where they settled in the south-west.
The Dutch governor, Philip Julius Lichhtenberge, however, privately gave orders that no one should buy the plantations of English settlers who were trying to leave Surinam; he realized that without the wealthy settlers, Surinam would soon become bankrupt.
With a limited number of ships, on April 8, 1671, James Bannister, Major-general of All Forces in Jamaica was only able to carry away two ship-loads of passengers. However, he took with him to England a petition to the king, signed by Thomas Scattergood, Oliver Hempson and 54 others explaining the seriousness of their plight and growing indebtedness which had been caused by the long delay in making arrangements for their removal. Later, upon his return to Surinam, Major Bannister was prevented from communicating with the remaining settlers as two guards were stationed to watch him. All but one of the English settlers wanted to leave Surinam and on learning of this Lichtenberge became even more menacing, writing messages to Bannister in Dutch, which Bannister could not understand.
Eventually, Bannister in the America was able to weigh anchor and leave Surinam with more passengers who disembarked at Port Royal where they were received by the governor, Sir Thomas Modyford “with all possible respect and friendship.” “Shallops” with provisions were ordered to carry “the people to proper places of the island, with a surveyor to lay out their lands.” The planters from Surinam were intelligent and skilled in the art of sugar production and Governor Modyford was quick to welcome them as he recognized that their industry would transform Jamaica into “one of his Majesty’s best plantations.” Those English settlers still left behind in Surinam were in great distress, wishing to remove from the “subjection to such strange people’s government…”In 1675 on September 1, Col. William Beeston reported the following:
Arrived several families from Surinam, about forty families in one ship and on the eighth arrived the America, captain Paxton commander, and the Hercules, captain Broad commander, from thence, with about eleven hundred people…
This group consisted mainly of families with their slaves; the more well off had as many as 50 or 60, while other individuals had very few, or only one. In some cases, there were one or two “Indians,” meaning Amerindians. Besides the HMS Hercules, two merchant ships were hired for their transportation to Jamaica, the America and the Henry and Sarah. Lord Vaughn, the governor of Jamaica at the time, was instructed to see that these industrious persons were given compensation, lands double in size to what was usually granted. There were those who brought with them knowledge of the cultivation of sugar cane and the manufacture of sugar.Most likely Aaron de Silva, Isaac de la Parr, overseer, and Gabriell de Solis, with 33 slaves were Sephardic Jews, or conversos.
In March 1694, Lieutenant Governor Beeston placed on record the fact that Bannister had been killed by a man named Burford who was hanged shortly afterwards for the crime. Presumably, contemporaries knew the context in which the murder occurred. The nineteenth century historian, G.W. Bridges only states that “a great sensation was soon after caused by the murder of General Bannister.” Whether his death had anything to do with his voyages to Surinam has not been ascertained.
The passing of a law in 1677 to establish 15 parishes, including the very large parish of St Elizabeth, may well have had to do with the fact that the arrival of the Surinam settlers made it necessary for the government to define boundaries more clearly for the purposes of representation in the House of Assembly and tax collection. The names, “Westmoreland” and “Hanover,” however, were not showing Surinam Quarters included in this list of 15 as these parishes were not created until the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Maps of the period show that there still remained areas which were not designated and were marked “unnamed.” Properties established in the remote west in these early years were sometimes called “plantations,” “pens” or “runs.”
Around 1671, several soldiers attached to “companies” of the English forces in the island of Nevis also migrated to Jamaica. Among them was William Ricketts (sometimes referred to as Rickards). Before 1675 he had become commander of the Bluefields Fort. It is possible that this fort could have existed in Spanish times, and hopefully archaeologists will one day uncover more information of this period. The map above shows some of the 500 acre lots that were patented at different times by William Ricketts in the Bluefields area. This map is of significance as it shows the allocation of land in a wide area around Bluefields; it has many interesting features such as outlines of the coast road and two roads, a new and an old, which traversed the large properties acquired by Dr Senior. On the bay was Captain George Brimican’s property, 418 acres, which was patented in 1671, and on which a tavern is shown. The sites of Old Shafton and New Shafton are also indicated.
A few Welsh place names like Llandilo and Llantrisant in Westmoreland point to the fact that among the settlers who came from the British Isles there were Welshmen. Perhaps the most famous Welshman connected with Jamaica is the notorious Henry Morgan, who after his buccaneering career became lieutenant- governor between 1680 and 1682. Besides his connections with Lawrencefield, St Catherine, and his vast holdings in the parishes of Clarendon and St Mary, Henry Morgan once owned 4,000 acres of land in western Jamaica. Also, a plat (313) in the Jamaica Archives refers to a place called Morgan’s Savanna, south east of Caboroto.”
In Westmoreland, around Grange Hill, once known as Morgan’s Bridge, legends linger on of Henry Morgan coming over the hills and going down to his ships in the Bluefields bay. There is also a small river in the area which is known as Morgan’s Gut. It was from Bluefields that Henry Morgan sailed to sack Panama in 1670. Within approximately forty years, Oristano, the Spanish name for the bay, had been displaced by the name, Bluefields. Dutch trader and buccaneer, Abraham Blauvelt, after whose name, Bluefields on the Honduran coast is named, is believed to have accompanied Henry Morgan on his expedition to Panama and is likely to have come to Jamaica, perhaps to Oristano, hence the name, Bluefields in Westmoreland. The Dutch Wharf in the vicinity is also reminiscent of these Dutch buccaneer/traders who from time to time traded with the inhabitants of western Jamaica.
There were those less flamboyant Welshmen like the three Williams brothers, William, Rowland, and Lewis, whose family made more permanent contributions to the settlement of western Jamaica than did Henry Morgan. Encouraged by a cousin named Lewis, the Williamses came to Jamaica from Glamorgan in Wales; they named their properties after places in Wales like Carawina and Anglesea, and over the centuries, Anglesea, in the plains of Westmoreland was where many Williamses were buried.
The first record of a patent being issued to the Williamses is dated 1671 for 600 acres of land in what was then the parish of St Elizabeth. But there is a plat (146) for 590 acres of an earlier date, drawn up in 1670 to Mr Lewis Williams and Mr Murfitt at “Murfitts River” in Caboroto. Lieut William Williams also secured a plat for 370 acres near Deans Valley on the River Road in 1709, “part on Rowland Williams and part on Owon Edmonds.” As surveyors carved up vast acreages of land in western Jamaica and in the process acquired vast acreage for themselves, it is interesting to note that there were two Americans among them: Leonard Claiborne of Virginia and John Vassal of Boston, Massachusetts. Vassal’s father had been owner builder of the Mayflower, the ship which transported the Pilgrim Fathers to America.
Also among the early English settlers was a small suspect group, the Regicides, those who had signed the death warrant for King Charles I in 1649 and whose lives were at risk now that the monarchy had been restored. Some, too, were their descendants who possibly would have been sent secretly to Jamaica in order to protect them from reprisals of the Royalists who were once more in power. Some surnames connected with the Regicides are Blagrove, Bradshaw, Raines, Scott and Waite.
Besides attack from “the rebellious negroes,” settlers in the remote west were also vulnerable to attacks from ruthless pirates who were liable to come in from the sea, looting and burning isolated plantations. Governor William Beeston in his Journal describes graphically some of these incidents, which occurred, particularly where houses were in remote spots. It was with this in mind that the Royal Instructions to British Colonial Governors stipulated that plantations were to be near each other and the seacoast so as to protect themselves and to “better discover and prevent invasion.”
As the seventeenth century drew to a close, and the Spanish and Dutch threat to Jamaica diminished, the threat from another enemy, the French, increased. Bluefields in the west continued to be a very important centre. As it had been in Spanish times, the area could supply all the provisions for the fitting out of fleets. Beeston related how on July 9, 1679, the French fleet of “Count D’Estrees appeared before the harbour [Port Royal], sent four gentlemen ashore for leave to wood and water in Blue-fields Bay.” They were given permission by the authorities at Port Royal and also obtained a pilot to guide them on their voyage farther west.
French presence in Caribbean waters continued to increase during the next 15 years. An opportune time for them to invade Jamaica finally came in June 1694 when the island was in a most vulnerable position.
On June 7 1692, a violent earthquake had destroyed a large portion of Port Royal and just when the survivors were attempting to lay out a new town on the opposite shore in the parish of St Andrew’s, the alarm was raised that French invasion was imminent.
Buccaneer/governor of St Domingue, Jean DuCasse, and his men first burnt, plundered and ravaged the eastern end of the island, kidnapping slaves and destroying sugar works; from their base in Morant Bay they did the same thing on the “North-side.” Finally, not daring to enter the harbour of Port Royal on the south coast, they sailed farther west and made a surprise attack on the parish of Vere, landing at Carlisle Bay and destroying the town of Carlisle. Beeston states that Christians, Jews and Negroes, together, led by Major Richard Lloyd, finally repulsed these French invaders. The losses were great on both sides, and many plantations were destroyed; 1,300 slaves were carried off as well as an enormous amount of loot. Among the dead were Colonel Leonard Claiborne of the St Elizabeth regiment and his lieutenant, John Vassal, the American surveyors.
In the far west, at Bluefields Bay, where some years before the people from Surinam had settled, Major Bernard Andriess and a small party of militia stood ready to protect the settlement. Because of high winds, two French ships, separated from the fleet and in need of water, “bore away to Blue-Fields” and landed about 60 men who slaughtered livestock and tied up some cattle to take aboard, along with bread and salt, but Bernard Andriess and his small party fell upon them. On hearing shots fired by Monsieur Rollon, their admiral, signalling them to return to their ships, the Frenchmen ran on board in haste leaving everything behind and “sailed away as soon as they as they could take up anchor.” Of the Bluefields men, one was killed and two were wounded.
Eight years later, in 1702 it was at Negril that Admiral Benbow assembled his fleet for engagement with the French fleet under DuCasse in which Benbow was fatally wounded.
Writing later in 1774 Edward Long noted that at the West end, between Negril and Long Bay, there was good anchorage and shelter from the wind; during war time men-of-war would lie there in wait for Spanish vessels passing to and from Havana.
THE DARIEN ADVENTURE
The exclusion of the Scots from opportunities to share in the growing trade with the English colonies had been a source of great grievance to them; the English Navigation Acts had effectively barred Scottish merchants from participation in this trade. Men like Sir William Alexander had envisioned a colony of New Scotland in North America and as early as 1621 had actually received a charter from James I for such a colony but at the end of the seventeenth century, the Scots still had been unsuccessful in establishing a colony, although Scottish merchants in 1681 had proposed a Scottish plantation for Jamaica and had presented it to the Scottish Privy Council for consideration. Scottish adventurers and travellers had, however, visited the island; William Patterson, the founder of the Bank of England, is said to have paid a visit to Jamaica ca. 1679.
Scots as slaves and indentured servants had been transported to Jamaica since the late 1650s and the practice was still continuing in the 1690s. In 1699,
William Beeston referred to a bill being passed hurriedly so that a consignment of Scots could be quickly sold off by a Thomas Hudson and a Robert Coates.
In 1698 the inhabitants of Jamaica, particularly those in the south-east, were still recovering from the earthquake at Port Royal of 1692 and the devastating French invasion of 1694 when to their consternation it was learnt that a fleet consisting of three ships and two “pinks” and carrying 1,200 passengers were en route to the Caribbean to establish a Scottish colony in Darien on the Isthmus of Panama between Porto Bello and Cartagena on Spanish lands. Having informed his government in England of what was taking place in West Indian waters, Governor William Beeston received strict instructions that he was not to assist them in any way, and that he should punish anyone who did so.
As in Spanish times, Jamaica was still the best source of supplies of cheap food for ships needing victualling and there were men like Peter Wilmot, and captains Mitchell and Robbins in Jamaica who owned sloops and as part of their living delivered provisions to ships. These suppliers were warned by the authorities not to have any dealings with the Scots and an embargo was laid upon everything. Suspected of offering to give support to the scheme, Jacob Mears and John Sadler were tried and admonished by a council set up to investigate these matters and were bound over for a year, each having to find security of the considerable sum of £500.
In spite of the brave and optimistic outlook on this first Scottish expedition which left Leith, Scotland for the Darien, ill-fortune attended the efforts of the Scots at every turn and eventually at least 744 perished with only 30 finally returning to Scotland. One of these survivors was William Patterson, who had originally masterminded the scheme. Sickness and death took its toll on many of the passengers on the sea voyage. The Spaniards, at first taken by surprise at the new arrivals in their territory, became hostile and attacked them. News that the English had published proclamations against them all over the Americas was a great blow to the Scots’ spirits. In addition, the company’s organizers had not taken into account that New Caledonia, the area chosen for their trading station and settlement, was the wettest place on the Isthmus. Many died of fever; some of the few survivors were dispersed in Cuba, North America, and Jamaica, where many died.
Ignorant of the disaster that had overtaken the first expedition, an advance party of 300 Scots set out to the abandoned destination, later to be followed by a fleet of four ships with 1,300 passengers. Captain Thomas Drummond had also been dispatched by the company directors in a sloop with arms, ammunition, tools and provisions. Having reached New Caledonia, one of the ships with all the supplies burnt down on the water’s edge.
On arriving at New Caledonia the large contingent of 1,300 passengers discovered that surviving settlers from the first expedition had already fled. The suggestion that 500 of them should remain at the settlement and the rest sail on to Jamaica aroused great fear that a plot was afoot to sell them into slavery. This fear was not unfounded as it was discovered that such a plot was being hatched and Alexander Campbell, the ringleader, who had betrayed his countrymen, was summarily executed.
Abandoning the settlement on April 12, 1700, Captain Stark’s ship, the Hopeful Binning, left the shores of New Caledonia with his passengers, but was refused entry to ports in the Caribbean. In all, 250 persons are said to have died on the journey. Finally in. the first week of May 1700 Stark was able to anchor at Bluefields, Jamaica, where his weary passengers disembarked. At around the same time, the Rising Sun and the Duke of Hamilton, with their surviving passengers, also reached Bluefields.
Several historians refer to the Darien venture as “the worst disaster in Scotland’s history, greater than the bloody defeats of Flodden and Dunbar and Worcester.” A total of 2,000 men, women and children lost their lives. The anger of the Scots was intense; they blamed all their woes on English treachery, especially on William III, the Dutch king of England.
There is much still to be found out about the identity of the settlers from the Darien who settled in south-west Jamaica, and their descendants. It is known that in the first instance, they settled in Surinam Quarters, where the earlier English settlers from Surinam had been given land. It is not known, however, if they remained there or moved on to other areas in the west.
At least four of the survivors of the Darien disaster prospered greatly in Jamaica, their descendants playing leading roles in the development of the colony. Colonel John Blair, a surgeon, married and had a son and three daughters. He became Custos of St Catherine; and died highly respected in 1728 and was buried in Spanish Town. Colonel Lawrence Dowdall, a Royalist soldier from Ireland, had fought not only in that country at the Battle of the Boyne, but also in Scotland and Flanders before going on the Darien adventure; in Jamaica he became an overseer and then eventually an owner of several estates, including one near Frome in Westmoreland. Colonel John Campbell of Auchenbreck in Argyleshire, Scotland, the first of the Campbell line in Jamaica, became Custos of St Elizabeth; he married Katherine an heiress, the daughter of Colonel Leonard Claiborne, the American surveyor, who was killed at Carlisle Bay during the French invasion of 1694. Colonel John Guthrie also made a large fortune and became Custos of Westmoreland. We shall read further of him and the important role which he played in the first war between the Maroons and the British.
A reliable and ample source of fresh water, food and wood, Bluefields, in the first four decades of English settlement, played an important part in safeguarding Jamaica from recapture by the Spaniards. In addition, numerous groups hoping to make a new life in Jamaica landed at Bluefields, including industrious English and Jewish settlers from Surinam, and desperate Scottish survivors from the Darien.