Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library


by Daniel L. Ogilvie


Continued from History of Trelawny 2

[refer to Map of Trelawny ]

Windsor Castle Estate was mulched 42 Slaves for the June quarter in consequence of not having a stand of Firearms on the estate according to Law. That penalty involved the paying of additional tax on 42 slaves.

In January, 1933, it was ordered that the Collecting Constable do pay to the Church Wardens the sum of £50 for the contingencies of the Parish. We have no doubt that £50 constituted the entire cost of the Election as every man worked for the honour and a "free feed".

The First Hill road was completed in 1831. The Interior was previously connected by a bridle track.

In 1832 it was ordered that the Hon. William Miller be requested to order out a Tombstone and monument to the memory of the late Hon. James Stewart with suitable inscription and that the sum of £80 sterling be paid for the purpose. The actual cost was £101. [see photo Stewart monument] The panegyric given to the memory of this gentleman, as is recorded and inscribed on the monument in the Falmouth Parish Church, does not synchronize with the opinion of Lt. General George Nugent, the Governor of Jamaica in 1802-6. This is what Lady Nugent wrote in her journal: George thinks that the Hon. James Stewart, Esq., Custos of Trelawny a stirring man, not deficient in shrewdness and knowledge of characters but imagining himself in possession of more abilities and of being much more consequence than he really is in the community. A Republican in principle but at present inclined to support Government. He would certainly do so and usefully, was his interest concerned as he is ready and fond of speaking in public. He will endeavour to discover the Governor's opinions by paying him frequent visits on various pretences and will then amuse his friends by detailing what he has heard in a jocular manner. The above was sent to the King by Governor Nugent in his confidential reports. At that time Mr. Stewart was about 40 years of age.

In October, 1836, the sum of £50 was granted "The Society for promoting Christian knowledge". There were then no Jews on the Board, or at least they were in the minority.

August 1836, Charles Perry was paid £100 for repairing the arch of the bridge between York estate and Maroon Town. There were in that year 81 roads in the Parish.

In the year 1837, a Committee reported on the Grand Interior Road with reference to the Bridge at Coffee Hall which was for 6 months in each year inundated. It recommended that new road through the Peru and Fontabelle Intervals commencing at Peru works around the head of the Lagoon. A Surveyor was employed for the purpose. In 1838, it was ultimately decided to erect a new bridge at a cost of £400 as the Parish's finances were inadequate to embark on the larger scheme. About the year 1948 the Central Government, on representation of the Hon. and Rev. J. W. Maxwell, began the deviation and in two years carried out the proposal and brought it to a successful issue.

It was resolved in 1838, that persons who were in arrears of Taxes and were being paid by the Vestry, that the amount so owing be garnished and deducted from Vestry Orders.

In 1838, Mr. Lemonias was relieved of Taxes on a new settlement called "Stettin" in the Interior of the Parish in consequence of the pioneering work he had undertaken.

On the motion of Mr. Walcott in 1838, it was agreed to grant £200 of the £500 asked for, to assist in making a Carriage road to Freeman's Hall, a newly settled estate.

Messrs. Reeves, Vermont and Anderson, assisted by the Parish Solicitor, were appointed by a committee to make enquiries respecting sundry lots of land at Martha Brae belonging to the Parish and that they furnish a diagram of the same if necessary. Quite a few of the holdings at Martha Brae, the property of the Vestry, were taken by squatters due to sheer neglect on the part of the Officers responsible. In April 1840, with the object of insuring economy, it was Resolved that the amount of Constables employed be reduced to effect a saving of £606. That the Night Guards be abolished and Policemen's services be made available. As mush as 6 on duty each night thereby effecting a saving of an additional £800. The financial Committee reported that it regretted that Taxes had to be increased for the year 1840. They had budgetted for a Revenue of £28,510, and an Expenditure of £27,500. Detailed sources of Revenue was as follows: 4,100 horsekind at 2/6; 12,000 horned stock at 1/3; 220 Asses at 7 1/2d; 220 Wheels at 40/-; Trade License £490; Rent of houses in Town and Country and value of properties, say £131,000 at 4/6 per £- £29,475.

£100 per annum was allowed the Inspector of Police, Mr. Armstrong, for house rent, upkeep of a horse etc. in Falmouth. That the present constabulary Force be continued until accommodation be provided for the Police in Falmouth.

July, 1840, Resolved that the Road Inspectors be paid up to the 28th June, and the appointment be done away with after that date. The system of Road Wardens made it unnecessary for their services. Roads passing through the properties were well maintained by the proprietors in their own interest.

In October, 1840, it was Resolved that as it is ascertained that the expense of importing a Cast Iron Bridge will be too great and as the Rock bridge now requires immediate repair, the Executors of the late William Frater, Esq. be called upon by the Collecting Constable to refund to the Parish the sum of £1,000, placed in his hands for that purpose some time ago. We presume that this refund was made as no further reference to it was recorded.

In September, 1841, it was agreed to that Mr. King of Freemans Hall Estate be relieved of one half of the tax on the £742 sterling assessed by the assessor in consequence of there being no road to the property. (£50 currency was equal to £30 sterling).

A petition from George B. Lyon, a native Baptist preacher, to rent the Free school as a place of worship until he can provide himself with a proper place, was read and ordered to be placed on the table. Of course, the Anglican Church had an endowed monopoly in all religious matters. We are Anglicans, but we write on facts. Repercussion later.

In April, 1842, it was noted that this year will be the maximum in Taxation and that the Parish would be clear of Debts, and it was hoping that the House of Assemble will grant financial assistance towards the Church establishment of the Parish.

In April, 1842, it was ordered that the Highway Law be enforced whereby Way Wardens must qualify to repair Roads and that the enacted penalties will be inflicted if neglect of roads occur. In 1842, a Capitation Tax was levied to raise funds for Roads and the Collectors for the 4 divisions were paid at the rate of 10 per cent, £600 was the yield for the first year.

In June of that year it was Resolved that as the Capitation Tax was solely for Road purposes and as the produce of Hampden estate was shipped in this Parish this Board considers it obligatory on the adult males residing in that village on the property, to give in their Returns and pay the Tax in this Parish. The line of the Parish of Trelawny and St. James passes through the Factory but the greater portion of the estate lies in St. James. There is however an old understanding that the Land Taxes on the property should be paid in St. James and that for Vehicles and stock to be paid to Trelawny.

In August it was Resolved that the Ministers of Religion of all denominations be relieved of all Taxes with the exception of Taxes on land.

In 1844 it was agreed that only 80 Spirit Licenses Shops should be allowed. The License was £12 per annum.

Mr. Samuel Magnus, a member of the Justices and Vestry, presented an eight-day clock for use in the Court House. He was thanked for his kindness and for the valuable service from time to time rendered by him. . . . This Mr. Magnus is a grandfather of Dr. V. S. Magnus, who is the Medical Officer for Falmouth.

In April, 1844, a petition was presented from the members of the Baptist congregation at Waldensia praying that no grants might be made for religious purposes except what was sanctioned by Law, was read.

In the year 1845, the Duty on Rum was 1/6 per gallon. It is now 19/- I think. In that year the following Estates were in operation: Acton, Arcadia, Barnstable, Belmont, Biddeford, County Hall, Braco, Brampton Bryan, Bunkers Hill, Cambridge, Chester, Claremont Colchis, Covey, Dromilly, Dry Valley, Dundee, Etingdon, Florence Hall, Fontabelle, Forrest, Freemans Hall, Friendship (Fowlers), Friendship (Reids), Gales Valley, Garredu, Gibraltar, Georgies Valley, Golden Grove, Green Park, Good Hope, Hague, Clifton, Hampstead, Retreat, Hampshire, Harmony Hall, Holland, Hopewell Hyde, Hyde Hall, Irving Tower, Jocks Lodge, Kent, Kinloss, Lancaster, Lansquinet, Linton Park, Long Pond, Lottery, Lysworney, Manchester, Maxfield, Merrywood, Nightengale Grove, Orange Grove, Oxford, Orange Valley, Pantrepant, Pembroke, Potosi, Phoenix, Reserve, Roslyn Castle, Schawfield, Spring, Sportsman's Hall, Steelfield, Stewart Castle, Stonehenge, Swanswick, Tilston, Ulster Spring, Unity, Vale Royal, Wales, Water Valley, Weston Favel, Windsor Castle, York.

The Returns made by the Estates in connection with the manufacture of Rum were as follows: Remaining on hand 85,644 gallons. Made during the year 263,478 gals. Exported 268,683 gals. Consumed on Estates 4,904 gals. Sold in Parish 15,777 gals. To be exported 349,122 gals. Total Duty paid £1551. 1/6d. The consumption of liquor on the estates in those days is of some consequence. Today the only way a labourer is able to taste the stuff is to designedly drop his cap, clean or dirty, into the "can pit" and retire and squeeze it in his panikin. The Government's eyes are all around in vigilance. They smell the Rum, however, and accidents happen sometimes. We have seen the hot raw rum being swallowed without water by certain labourers.

On the 7th May, 1845, it was recorded that the Reverend Edward Knibb (brother of William Knibb of Emancipation fame) joined by the Reverend J. E. Henderson and Mr. Alfred Rodgers (all non conformists) entered the following protest: "We protest against all grants for Schoolmasters, Beadles and Organists or for any other Officer that is not provided for by Law. Mr. Rodgers Moved, Seconded by Rev. J. E. Henderson that it be referred to the Solicitor of the Parish to advise whether the Board have any power either inherent or by statute to raise Taxes for the Payment of school Masters, Organists and Beadles' Salaries. Mr. Castello Moved as an Amendment that the Report of the Committee of accounts be received Seconded by Mr. Charles E. Fry. On Division, 12 voted for the Amendment and 4 against.

On August, 1846, a Resolution of condolence was passed directed to the widow of Dr. Anderson on the death of so esteemed a Physician. . . This gentleman was survived by his Widow, one son and a daughter. The son whom we knew and was at school in England when his father died, inherited his father's Sugar estate, "Fontabelle". He was celebrated for his extravagance which brought him to ruin.

It is amazing to compare the standards of public service of half a century ago with that of today. Men vied with each other to render gratuitous service. . . today they jostle for personal gain of sordid lucre. . . men's honor was prized. Politics was then a gentleman's pastime and the reward was in the honour of achieving their country's improvement. All were for State and none for self, or pelf. We have in mind the Parochial Board of Trelawny in the year 1900 with men giving not alone their services free of cost, but albeit contributing their substance for the public weal. Times have changed and also men's character degenerated. The Board was at one time dominated (not in a derogatory sense) by the Planters with men of the calibre of the Hon. Leicester Shirley, H. S. Sewell, T. M. DePass, Rupert Lindo, J. R. Young, A. M. Solomon, John Henry, Herbert Jarrett Kerr, H. R. Milliner, A. E. Muschett, E. P. Messado (who gave land for a Soup Kitchen in Falmouth). We then had the clergy when the Board was called the Reverend Parochial Board. There were at one time Reverend J., C. A. Smith, Revd. Ellis Fray, Revd. W. D. Brown, Rev. A. G. Eccleston, Rev. H. S. Lynch, The Hon. and Rev. W. M. Webb. All these men contributed in their own sphere to enhance the Parish's welfare. We now have a new school of thought with a new franchise and a new Jamaica in a crucible. The following gentlemen were Chairmen of the Parochial Board: Hon L. C. Shirley, 1870-1903; Revd. J. C. A. Smith 1903-1906; Hon. and Rev. William Webb, 1906-1909; Matthew Scott, 1909-1910; George Taylor, 1910-1913; A. L. Delgado, 1913-1928; Hon. Herbert Jarrett Kerr, Commissioner (when the Board was dissolved when it resigned en bloc as a protest against the Government's lethargy in supplying funds for improving the Falmouth Water Supply), March 1919-Nov. 1919; Percy Sewell, John Stockhausen and John Scott acted for short spells. Hon. D. O. Kelly-Lawson, 1928-1930; Hon. and Rev. J. W. Maxwell, 1930-1935; H. L. Arnett, 1935-1944; Victor Gentles, 1944-1945. Board Dissolved in consequence of alleged mal-administration. A probe was instituted by Government nut as the Secretary is under suspension and has resorted to the Law Courts, the matter is sub judice and the result of the probe may not be published which in constitutional Law may be claimed prejudicial to justice either way.

The Clerks of the Parochial Board known to us were Harvey M. Rowe (an Englishman), W. Fitz Ritson, D. L. Ogilvie and M. R. Rodriques (Secretary). We give some comparative recent achievements of the Parochial Board., Water Supplies, Dornock, 1927. Prime mover Joseph Stockhausen. Ulster Spring, 1931 (Prime mover, C. A. Neita); Sawyers Reservoir of 64,000 gallons, 1933 cost £930. Markets: Falmouth, Albert George, 1896, cost £4,000 Jackson Town, Solas, 1898, Wakefield, Duncans and Clarks Town were built in 1937, each costing £500. Falmouth Sea Wall built in 1905, at a cost of £500, to eliminate further destruction to the Street and properties by the sea.

On the 11th August, 1903, as a result of a Cyclone boats were washed to as far as the "Fire-Proof" store to say nothing of the havoc wrought to buildings.

On 15th September, 1939, Sir Arthur Richards, Governor, and Mr. A. W. Grantham, Colonial Secretary, had a conference with the Board, an Act without precedent. In the year 1938, the following Reservoirs were constructed: Granville, 29,000 gallons, Schawfield, 29,000, Bounty Hall, 39,000, Daniel Town 29,000. New Cargon, 29,000 in 1939, Stewart Town, 66,000 gallons.

The following are elevations of the townships of Trelawny; Florence Hall, 110 ft., Lottery Hill, 775, Cambridge Stone Hut, 550, Hyde Hall, 600, Long Pond, 675, Hampshire, 690, Jackson Town, 650, First Hill, 900, Sawyers, 1,150 to 1,450. Comfort Hall, 1,750-1,800, Ulster Spring, 1,550, Dutch Hill, 1900, Albert Town, 2,150, Allsides, 2,975, Lowe River, 3.050, Lorrimers, 3,000. It has been said that there is no other spot in the world more blessed by nature's beauty and nature's charms in climate, sea and mountain than the Parish of Trelawny.

CONTINUED at History of Trelawny 4

Used by kind permission of Donovan Ogilvie and the late Pearl Ogilvie

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