Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
War between England and the United States; it continued till 1815.
Oct. 12 Severe storm.
Nov. 11. Four severe shocks of earthquake; one at 20 minutes past two a. m. and the others about 10 minutes before six, which did considerable damage to a number of buildings.
The duke of Manchester returned to his government.
July 3. An act passed, allowing persons of colour to give evidence, under certain restrictions.
Presbyterian kirk erected in Kingston.
The parish of Manchester formed out of portions of Vere, Clarendon, and St. Elizabeth.
Hon. Thomas Witter Jackson, attorney-general, appointed chief justice.
June. A bill for the registration of slaves introduced into the house of commons, and subsequently carried into effect after the measure had been adopted by the colonial legislatures.
July 13. Dreadful fire at Port-Royal. "This common victim of the convulsions of nature, and of the carelessness of man, was again devoured by the flames of a general conflagration. Excepting the naval and military establishments, with the church, and a few scattered houses, the ill-fated town, which had once more been enriched by the profitable trade of war, was involved in one common destruction. The vigilance of government, and the benevolent sympathy of the public, neglected no opportunity or precaution, which might relieve the effects of so dreadful a calamity. The charitable subscriptions of the citizens of Kingston alone amounted to £11,000."
Oct. 18 & 19. Severe storm, by which the county of Surrey suffered very materially, particularly the parishes of St. George and St. David, and the upper part of that of Port-Royal, where the works of many of the sugar estates and coffee plantations were destroyed, and great portions of the soil carried away by the overwhelming rapidity of the rivers. A number of lives were lost.
Dec. 11. An act passed by the legislature for a more particular return of slaves, and the enrolment thereof, which commenced its operation on the 28th June following; and continued until the commencement of the apprenticeship system in 1834 -- The enrolment of the registry returns cost the country a considerable sum of money.
The assembly having existed for the full term of seven years, was dissolved by the duke of Manchester. This was the first time that any governor had beheld the natural death of his own house.
Nov. 19 & 20. Severe hurricane by which the county of Cornwall sustained great injury.
Fees of the chief-justice abolished by law, and the independence of the chair secured by a fixed and permanent salary of £5600.
Dreadful accident occurred to the duke of Manchester, by being thrown from his carriage. He was rendered insensible by a blow from one of the unmanageable horses, which struck him on the head, and fractured his skull. the accident caused a temporary absence of the duke from his government, for the re-establishment of his health. He embarked for England on the 30th July, 1821.
Major-general Henry Conran, commander of the forces, administrated the government during the absence of the duke of Manchester.
Aug. 21. Hon Thomas Witter Jackson, chief-justice, died in Kingston.
Dec. 8. The duke of Manchester again returned to the government.
Feb. 7. Ten pirates executed at Port-Royal point.
On the 15th May, a motion for the gradual abolition of slavery was made by Mr. T. F. Buxton, member for Weymouth, and he proposed a resolution to the effect, which was negatived, and certain others, offered by Mr. Secretary Canning, pledging the government to adopt effectual measures for the abolition of slavery in the colonies, agreed to.
May 22 & 23. Nineteen pirates of the Zaragozana piratical schooner, with their captain, Cayctano Aragonez, were executed on the Gallows Point near Port-Royal. The schooner was captured at the entrance of the harbour of Mata, in the island of Cuba, on the 31st march, by the boats of the Tyne frigate, Capt. Walcot, and the Thracian sloop, commander Roberts.
Dec. A conspiracy discovered among the negroes in St. Mary's and St. George's; it was speedily suppressed, and several of the ringleaders executed.
June. A rebellion broke out in the parish of Hanover. A number of negroes paid the forfeiture of their lives.
Two bishops appointed, one for the windward islands, and the other for this island.
Feb. 11. The right reverend Christopher Lipscomb, D. D. lord bishop of Jamaica, and the Bahama islands, and the settlement of Honduras, and their respective dependencies, arrived, and was installed on the 15th.
April 13. The lord bishop held his first ordination.
Dec. 22. A new consolidated slave law passed.
July 2. The duke of Manchester quitting the government, it devolved on major-general sir John Keane, K. C. B. as lieut.-governor. [The duke died at Rome in 1843.]
Sept. 22. Order in council passed by his majesty, disallowing the new consolidated slave law, on account of the restrictions it contained as to preaching and teaching by sectarian ministers.
A rheumatic fever (called the dando), with pains in the joints, raged in the island. It was not attended with any serious consequences; the pains lasted for three or four days. It was also prevalent at the time in all the West-India colonies and in some parts of Europe.
The same consolidated slave law as passed in 1826 re-enacted, and the assent of the lieutenant-governor thereto refused.
Feb. 20. Somerset Lowry, earl of Belmore, arrived as captain-general and governor-in-chief.
Sept. 12 & 13. On these days the first cattle fair in the island was held on Pedro Plains, in the parish of St. Ann, under the patronage of Hamilton Brown, esq., when large sales were affected. It was honoured with the presence of his excellency the earl of Belmore, the governor, and gentlemen from all parts of the island.
The slave law brought into the house of assembly again. It received the sanction of the governor, but not that of the king.
Dec. A law passed for giving unrestricted privileges to all free persons.
The slave law of 1826 again brought into the house of assembly a fourth time, but rejected by a majority of eight.
Feb. Slave law passed by the legislature without the sectarian clauses, and by an order in council left to its own operation.
Oct. 6. Sir William Anglin Scarlett, knight, chief-justice, died at Cedar-Grove, in the parish of Manchester.
Dec. 30. Martial law proclaimed, a rebellion having broken out in the county of Cornwall, which was attended by commotions and a spirit of disaffection almost general among the whole slave population; a great number of estates were burnt by the insurgents. The united exertions of the regulars and the militia with the seamen of the navy and merchant vessels, and the aid of the maroons, directed by the military skill and experience of Major-general sir Willoughby Cotton, the commander of the forces, who hastened without a moment's delay to the scene of insurrection, speedily suppressed this extensive and formidable rebellion. Property to a considerable amount was destroyed by the rebels. A great number of them, in resisting the military, were killed in the field, and not a few expiated their crimes on the scaffold. Martial law terminated on the 5th February. The British government, in commiseration of the deplorable state to which the proprietors of estates were reduced, extended to them pecuniary assistance by a loan of £200,000.
Feb. 3. Proclamation issued, offering pardon to all rebellious slaves who would surrender themselves in ten days - not to extend to the rebel principals or chiefs.
April 19. Proclamation by the king, requiring the submission of the slaves to the constituted authorities of the island.
April 28. His excellency the governor (the earl of Belmore) assented to the "act to colonise the interior lands of this island, and to form a permanent police"; also to "an act for the better prevention of rebellion and rebellious proceedings."
June 4. Sir Joshua Rowe, knight, on whom the appointment was bestowed by the British government, took his seat this day at the grand court as chief-justice of Jamaica.
June 11. The earl of Belmore embarked for England, on board his majesty's ship Blanche, commodore Farquhar.
June 13. The hon. George Cuthbert sworn into office as president of this island.
June 19. Sir Molyneaux Hyde Nepean, baronet, the patentee of the office of the clerk of the crown and of courts, arrived to do the duties of his office in person.
July 26. His excellency the earl of Mulgrave, the countess of Mulgrave, and lord Seaford, arrived in his majesty's ship Conway.
Oct. 30. The house of assembly met by his excellency the earl of Mulgrave.
Dec. 8. John Augustus Sullivan, esq., provost-marshall-general and usher of the black rod, arrived to do the duties of his office in person.
Dec. 14. The house of assembly dissolved by the governor. The cause of dissolution originated in a difference of opinion between the council and assembly, respecting the originating a bill by the former "authorizing the custodes and vestries to take probates of deeds, and to perform other acts on payment of certain fees."
May 1. Major-general Sir Willoughby Cotton, K. C. B., commander of the forces, sailed for England. -- His valuable services to this island, particularly during the late rebellion, will hold a conspicuous place in the annals of Jamaica.
June 29. Proclamation of the governor to the slave population to guard against erroneous impressions.
Aug. 19. The delegates from this island (hon. Richard Barrett and hon. Abraham Hodgson), with the island agent (William Burge, esq.) protested against the abolition bill, which protest was addressed to the right hon. earl Grey, prime minister.
Sept. 1. The abolition bill received by the Plover packet.
Oct. 8. The house of assembly met this day, when the question of emancipation was pressed upon the legislature by the governor (earl of Mulgrave) in his opening speech.
Nov. 8. A smart shock of an earthquake felt at ten minutes past seven o'clock. a. m.
Nov. 23. Proclamation of the king in council issued this day, on the subject of the intended change in the condition of the slave population.
Dec. 12. The governor's assent given to the slavery abolition bill.
Jan. 6. Board of assistant commissioners of compensation formed.
Jan. 14. Major-general sir Amos Norcott succeeded sir Willoughby Cotton as commander of the forces.
March 14. His excellency the earl of Mulgrave embarked for England.
March 15. Mr. president Cuthbert sworn in to administer the government.
March 31. Major-general sir Amos Norcott, K. C. B. sworn in as lieutenant-governor.
April 4. His excellency the marquis of Sligo and family arrived in his majesty's ship Blonde, commander Mason.
May 21. First proclamation from the marquis of Sligo to the negro population.
July 14. Proclamation of his excellency the governor to all runaway slaves, offering pardon if they return to their owners before the first of August.
Aug. 1. The long anticipated and memorable day on which slavery was abolished throughout the British colonies.
Aug.15. Proclamation of the marquis of Sligo to the newly made apprentices.
Sept. 7. A severe shock of earthquake was felt throughout the island.
April 10. The Surrey township resolved by the commissioners to be named "Altamont".
The negroes of the Caymanas declared by the governor's proclamation to be unconditionally free, on account of their not having been registered according to the registry act.
May 24. Hon. George Cuthbert, president of the council, and lately administering the government of the island, died at his residence in St. Thomas in the East.
Aug. 1 Anniversary of the enfranchisement of the peasantry; on which day sermons were preached suitable to the occasion in all of the parish churches and dissenting places of worship.
Aug. 4. The house of assembly met this day.
A message from the governor, announcing the disallowance of the act to amend and explain the abolition act.
Aug. 10. The house of assembly dissolved by the governor, on account of the reply of the house to his excellency's speech.
Aug. 22. The intercolonial apportionment of the compensation grant of twenty millions announced in the island papers.
Nov. 10. The assembly met.
Dec. 19. The house of assembly was adjourned until Tuesday the 20th January.
Aug. 26. Sir Lionel Smith, K. C. B. and family, arrived in the Belvidera ship of war.
Sept. 1. The marquis of Sligo and family embarked on board the Belvidera, and on the following morning sailed for England.
Sept. 2. Sir Lionel Smith sworn in as lieutenant-governor.
Sept. 4. Bank of Jamaica established.
Dec. An act passed the legislature "establishing and incorporating a joint stock company, under the name of the Bank of Jamaica."
Dec. 30. Sir Lionel Smith sworn in as captain general and governor in chief of this island.
By an act of the legislature, the mountain district of Port-Royal was separated from the town.
May 15. The Colonial Bank established and commenced business.
Aug. 9. The steamer City of Kingston arrived, bringing official intelligence of the death of his most gracious majesty William the Fourth, which event took place on the 20th of June, and of the proclamation of the Princess Alexandrina Victoria as queen on the 21st.
Aug. 11. The ceremony of proclaiming her most gracious majesty queen Victoria took place in Spanish-Town.
Aug. 29. The house of assembly was dissolved this day I consequence of the demise of the king, and a new house commenced on the 24th Oct.
An act passed the imperial parliament to amend the act for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies.
June 5. An assembly convened to take into consideration the state of the island, under the apprenticeship laws. A bill for terminating the apprenticeship of the praedial labourers on the 1st of August introduced, passed through its various stages, and received the governor's assent on the 16th of the same month.
July 1. Stoney-Hill turnpike opened.
Aug. 1. The apprenticeship system abolished, and the blessings of unrestricted freedom conferred on the slave population of the island. The day was observed with all the solemnity of a fast, and sermons, suitable to the great change, preached in every place of divine worship.
Aug. 2 & 3. These days were enjoyed throughout the island by the new made freemen as holidays. -- The city of Kingston was partially illuminated; two beeves were roasted on the race-course, and a transparency, descriptive of the great change in the social system of the country, erected on the same place. These festivities terminated peaceably, and with every demonstration of gratitude by the late apprentices for the inestimable boon conceded to them, and without the occurrence of the slightest accident.
Oct. 30. An assembly met, agreeably to the governor's proclamation. His excellency's speech on opening the sessions referred to a committee of the whole house to take into consideration the state of the island. The house resolved itself into such committee on the 31st, and four resolutions, regarding the violation of their constitutional rights and privileges by passing of the prisons bill by the British parliament, agreed to, after a division: ayes, 21, noes, 5.--- [Vide Almanach for 1840.]
Nov. 2. The house having embodied the substance of the above resolutions in their address in answer to his excellency's speech, they were prorogued to the following day.
The assembly met, and having expressed in their address to the governor, that so long as their legislative rights continue to be invaded, they feel themselves compelled to adhere to their resolutions of the last session, his excellency summoned the house to the council chamber; and, after expressing how little he could reconcile their determination with the true interests of the colony, and that he had reluctantly resoled to take the sentiments of the constituency, dissolved the assembly.
Nov. 5. Writs issued for calling a new assembly returnable on the 17th December.
Nov. 28. Rules and regulations of the gaols, houses of correction, etc. in the island established by the governor in council, under an act of the imperial parliament "for the better government of prisons in the West Indies."
Dec. 18. The assembly met agreeably to the governor's proclamation. His excellency, in his opening speech, expressed his regret in having been compelled to convene them at such an unusual season, but a sense of the difficulties likely to ensue from the want of important laws about to expire, would not permit him to forego the earliest opportunity for their renewal, and he looked to the result of their deliberations with every confidence in their solicitude to uphold the public welfare. His excellency's speech was referred to a committee of the whole house to take into consideration the state of the island.
Dec. 19. The assembly came to a resolution to adhere to their resolution of the 31st October.
Dec. 21. The address of the assembly being unsatisfactory to the governor, the house was prorogued to the 5th February, 1839.
Dec. 31. The police act expiring this day, the force was disbanded by a government notice.
April 22. A thunder-storm passed over Kingston shortly after three o'clock, followed by a heavy shower of rain and a fall of hail-stones. A thermometer exposed to the weather immediately sunk from 97 to 67.
July 1. The Planters' Bank established and commenced business.
July 29. Severe shocks of earthquake felt about six o'clock in the morning.
Sept. 22. Sir Charles Metcalfe, baronet, arrived as captain-general and governor.\
Sept. 26. Sir Charles Metcalfe assumed the government.
Sept. 27. Issued a proclamation calling the house of assembly to meet on the 22nd of October.
Oct. 1. Sir Lionel Smith, the late governor, sailed for England.
Oct. The house of assembly met, and a committee waited on his excellency, acquainting him therewith, and of the death of their late speaker, and requesting leave to choose another, whereupon the hon. Edward Panton was chosen, and being presented to his excellency, was approved of. They sat until the 21st of December, when they adjourned until the 17th of March, having passed forty-six laws.
Nov. 2. Mammee-Bridge turnpike opened.
Nov. 5. Severe shock of earthquake.
Nov. 12. Great flood in Montego-Bay, which carried away several houses; some persons lost their lives by it.
Nov. 23. Dreadful fire in Savanna-la-Mar, which consumed the Baptist chapel and several stores and dwelling-houses.
Court of common pleas for St. Catherine established by 3 Vic c. 21.
An act (3 Vic. C. 46) to regulate Banks, passed the legislature.
March 17. The assembly met according to adjournment, and having passed twenty-one laws, were prorogued on the 11th April.
Oct. 27. the assembly met, and sat till the 22nd December, on which day they were prorogued, having passed fifty-six laws.
Establishment of a silk company in St. Ann's.
Meetings in Kingston, for the relief of the Jews in Rhodes and Damascus, subscriptions amounting to £2,244 11s 3d.
In consequence of the labourers being paid money wages, silver bore the last and present years a premium from 6 to 10 per cent.
Severe drought this year.
Jan. 1. The act (3 Vic, chap 39) for the assimilation of the currency of the island with the currency of the united kingdom came into operation.
May 25. Arrival of two vessels from Sierra Leone, with 267 emigrants from Africa, among whom were 65 maroons, the descendants of those who were transported in 1796. Other maroons subsequently arrived.
May 31. Much rain, which continued with slight intervals, till Saturday 5th June. The rivers were much swollen, and some lives were lost in crossing them.
Severe flood at Port-Maria, several lives lost.
Dec. 27. Serious riot in Kingston, in consequence of an order of the mayor to the police to suppress all noisy drummings about the streets during the holidays. The police, on attempting to secure some drums, were assaulted by the mob with stones, brickbats, and broken bottles; the riot act was read and the military called out, and on the mob refusing to disperse the order was given to fire; two men were shot, and several other persons wounded, one a woman. The militia were ordered out, and put on duty in several parts of the city. The military force (militia and regulars) were placed under the command of major-general Sir Wm. M. Gomm, the commander of her majesty's forces, by whose promptitude and skilful dispositions tranquillity was ultimately restored to the city.
The scarlet fever prevailed the greater part of the year throughout the island with deadly violence. It was also prevalent in the Windward Islands.
An act passed the legislature, erecting a portion of the western part of St. George and the eastern part of St. Mary into a distinct parish, to be called "Metcalfe".
An act passed by the legislature removing all disabilities from the maroons.
April 2. The foundation stone of the light-house on Morant-Point, laid by the Hon. Thomas M'Cornock.
May 7. At a quarter past 3 p.m. a shock of an earthquake was felt throughout the island, but fortunately without producing any injury. -- About the same time a dreadful shock laid in ruins the town of Cape Haytien in St. Domingo, when 3000 of its inhabitants (out of a population of 9000) lost their lives, and property to a considerable amount destroyed; other towns also suffered severely; it was likewise felt in the island of Cuba, and did much damage to the walls of the dwelling houses.
May 16. His excellency the earl of Elgin and Kincardine, captain-general and governor in chief, with his countess, arrived. His excellency had taken his passage from England in the steam packet Medina, which struck on a coral reef off Turk's Island on the 10th; the steamer Tweed being in sight, his excellency and family were received on board of that vessel, and proceeded in her to this island.
May 19. His excellency the earl of Elgin and Kincardine sworn in as captain-general and governor in chief.
May 21. His excellency sir Chas Theophilus Metcalfe (late governor), sailed for England. The honourable house of assembly subsequently voted a grant for the erection of a suitable memorial, to perpetuate the memory of Sir Charles for his able, mild, and impartial administration of the government.
May 30. The hon. Edward Panton took his seat this day in the court of chancery as vice-chancellor.
June 29. An order of her majesty in council promulgated, specially confirming, ratifying, and finally enacting the "act for forming the western part of St. George and the eastern part of St. Mary into a distinct parish, to be called Metcalfe." It constitutes part of the County of Surrey. The town of Annotto-Bay was illuminated on the occasion.
Aug. 6. St. Andrew's kirk at Falmouth struck by lightning, and sustained considerable injury.
Aug. 25. Several shocks of an earthquake between 5 and 6 o'clock, p.m.
Sept. Much rain this month.
Oct. The hon. Samuel Jackson Dallas, member for Port-Royal, elected speaker of the hon. house of assembly, on the demise of Richard Barrett, esq. late speaker, and a member for St. James.
Nov. Morant-Point light house lighted for the first time.
March 3. A great comet appeared in the south-west. It continued visible about three weeks.
March 6. Severe shock of an earthquake at 3 a.m.
_____ 6. Proclamation of his excellency the governor issued, appointing Friday the 17th as a day of general humiliation and thanksgiving to Almighty God for his great mercy vouchsafed to us in preserving the island from the ruin with which it had pleased his Divine Will to visit the neighbouring colonies. The day was kept in the most devout and solemn manner.
March 11. Three smart shocks of earthquake at half past 10 p.m.
March 13. A shock of earthquake between 4 and 5 a. m.
March 20. A very severe shock of earthquake about 10 p.m. causing much alarm. The inhabitants rushed from their houses to the different places of worship, which were speedily thrown open, and became thronged.
April 1. The new tariff came in operation.
April 4. Christopher, lord bishop of Jamaica, died at his residence in St. Andrew's. His Lordship was the first bishop of Jamaica. He was ordained in 1824, and arrived in this island in February, 1825, and held his first ordination in April of the same year.
April 27. A very large and brilliant meteor passed over the city of Kingston about half past 8 p.m. in the direction of S. W. to N. E.
June. The lightning rod at Morant-Point light-house struck by lightning.
June 7. The countess of Elgin died at his excellency's county residence in St. Andrew's. Her ladyship had, shortly before the melancholy event, given birth to a still born female child. Her remains, with those of her infant, were interred in the cathedral church of Spanish-Town, in the same vault with those of the earl and countess of Effingham. The honourable house of assembly voted 300 guineas for a monument to be erected to the memory of the Countess.
July 2. Severe shock of earthquake between 8 and 9 p.m.
July 15. Another smart shock of earthquake at 2 p.m.
Aug. 10. The first iron steam-boat (Anglesey), the property of Messrs. Thomas Lundie & Co. of Kingston, commenced plying between Kingston, Port-Royal and Port-Henderson. -- It was put together at, and launched from, the foundry-yard of Messrs. Wm. James & Co.
Aug. 18. The Hope river brought to North street in a guttering ploughed by oxen, and flowed down the street, an experiment to show the ease and facility with which the water could be conveyed to the city.
Aug. 23. Order in council issued, establishing trade between the republic of Hayti and the British possessions abroad.
Aug. 26. An awful fire broke out from the foundry establishment of Messrs. Wm. James & Co. at the east end of Harbour-street, shortly before 1 o'clock this day. There being a very strong south-easterly wind blowing at the time, and the weather for several months previous having been excessively dry, by which the shingles were easily ignited, the flames spread rapidly with fearful velocity in a diagonal line, until they reached the old Catholic chapel, (which was entirely consumed), the corner of Duke-street and Mark-lane, destroying a great number of houses with much valuable effects in their progress. The flames were not finally extinguished till early the following morning, the 27th.
Nov. 4. The right reverend Aubry G. Spencer, bishop of Jamaica and the Bahamas, and the settlement of Honduras, and their respective dependencies, arrived.
Feb. 20. At a meeting of the general agricultural society, his excellency the earl of Elgin announced that her majesty was most graciously pleased to become the patroness of the society. A law was in consequence passed the legislature, incorporating the society, under the designation of "The Royal Agricultural Society of Jamaica."
Feb. 23. A smart shock of an earthquake about 12 p.m.
April. A number of Haytien refugees arrived in Kingston, a civil war having broken out between the coloured and black inhabitants.
May 21. Two smart shocks of earthquake at half past 8 p.m.
June. Meetings of the labourers in St. Mary's and Trelawny, to memorialize her majesty, and petition parliament, against the reduction of the duties on foreign sugar and coffee.
Aug. 19. Trinity chapel, in Spanish-town, struck by lightning, and sustained some damage.
Aug. 24. Severe squall, with a heavy shower of rain; vessels were driven from their moorings in Kingston harbour, but without sustaining much damage.
Aug. 26. Dissolution of the assembly by proclamation. Writs issued for calling a new general assembly, returnable 8th October.
Sept. 15. Severe thunder-storm passed over Kingston and its vicinity.
Oct. 1 to 8. Heavy rains, with slight intermissions.
Oct. 5. Severe weather at Montego-Bay and Falmouth; the sea rose uncommonly high, causing the loss of several vessels. [This storm was more severely experienced at the Havanna, by which a great number of vessels were lost, also several lives, and property to a considerable amount destroyed.]
Oct. 9. A thunder-storm passed over Spanish-Town. The Portuguese Jews' Synagogue was struck by the electric fluid. The Grand Court was sitting at the time, but from the violence of the storm was compelled to adjourn.
Oct. 15. New house of assembly met.
Oct. 29. Severe shock of earthquake felt at Montego-Bay and Falmouth, at 6 o'clock in the morning.
Nov. 1. Trinity Chapel, in Spanish-Town, consecrated by the Lord Bishop.
SEARCH THIS SITE
Plan of this website
Help - Frequently Asked Questions
Jamaica Almanacs Slave-owners, Civil & Military officers, Magistrates etc.
Items in the Samples Directory
Items in the Members Directory
Transcriptions from Registers and Wills (Church of England, Dissenters, Civil Registration)
Jamaican Roman Catholic Church Registers - transcriptions
Jamaican Methodist Baptisms - transcriptions
Jewish births marriages deaths - transcriptions
Slaves and slavery in Jamaica
Photographs, maps, prints, etc.