A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica

A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica  (1825) 
by James Hakewill










&c. &c. &c.









West Indies;



(From many of whom the Author received so much kindness);



















Arcedeckne, C. Esq.—Mill Yard and Works, Golden Grove, St. Thomas in the East.—Batchelor’s Hall, Penn, Ditto,

Admiral’s, Penn.—View looking to Port Royal,

Blagrove, John, Esq.—Approach to Cardiff-Hall, St. Ann’s,—Cardiff-Hall.—Ditto.—Overseer’s House,—Orange Valley, St. Ann’s, Works from the Overseer’s House.—Ditto from the West—Orange-Bay Estate, Hanover.—Maggotty Estate.—Five Views from various points.

Beckford, William,—Esq. Three Views of Drax Hall, St. Ann’s.

Beckford, Horace,—Esq. Works on Shrewsbury Estate, Westmoreland.

Beckford, Heirs of.—Head of Roaring River; Roaring River Estate, Westmorland.

Brisset, Esq.—Content Estate, Hanover.

Baillie, J. Esq.—Roehampton Estate, St. James’s.

Bog Walk.—

Barrett, S. M. Esq.—Works on Cinnamon Hill, St. James’s

Bryan, W., Esq—Buildings on the Bog Estate, Portland.—View from the Great House, looking to Port Antonio.—Two Views from Shotover Penn; the one looking westward along the sea-shore, the other inland to the Blue Mountains.

Bath.—View in the principal street.

Bayly, C, N., Esq.—Rosslyn Estate, St. Mary’s.—Trinity Estate, ditto.—Brimmer-Hall Estate, ditto.—Tryall Estate, ditto.

Campbell, P., Esq.—Fish-River Estate, Hanover.

Cunningham, J. Esq.—Bellfield, St. James’s.—Biddeford, Trelawney; two views.

Clarke, Sir S. H., Bart.—Retirement, St. James’s,—Cacoon Castle Penn, Hanover; two views.—Long Pond, Trelawney,—Hampshire, ditto.—Mahogany Hall Penn, ditto; two views,—Warwick Castle, St. Mary’s.

Coore, H., Esq.—Pembroke Estate, Trelawney; two views.

Crossly, B., Esq.—Lennox Estate; two views.

Cussans, T., Esq.—Amity Hall, Great House, St. Thomas in the East.—Ditto, Works from the Great House.

Cargill, M. E., Esq.—Haiming from the Top House, Hector’s River, St. Thomas in the East.

Cope, I. F., Esq.—Belvidere Estate, St. Thomas in the East; two views.

Dickinson and Harman.—View of the Overseer’s House, Pepper Penn.

Dudley and Ward, Viscount.—Whitney Estate, Clarendon.

Dehany, Mrs.—View from the Point Estate, Hanover, over Lucca, of the Works looking over Paradise Estate to Montego Bay.

Dawkins, H., Esq.—Treadways, St. Thomas in the Vale; two views,

Donaldson, Heirs of.—Stoakes Hall, St. Thomas in the East.

Ellis. C. R. Esq. M.P.—New Works, Montpelier, St. James’s; two views.—Old Works, ditto. —General View.—Shetllewood Penn, Hanover: three views,

Edwards, Bryan, Esq.—Estate of—Dove Hall, St. Thomas in the Vale.

Fairclough, W., Esq.—Dumfries Estate; two views.

Falmouth, Town of.—From Clermont Estate.

Fuller, Peake, Esq.—Thetford Estate, Luida’s Vale,

Franklyn, Mrs.—Weston Favell, Trelawney; three views.

Gordon, George, Esq.—Distant View of Moor Park, St. James’s.

Gordon, J. Esq.—Glasgow, St. James’s; two views.

Gordon, Robert, Esq., M.P.—Paisley, St. James’s; two views.—Windsor Lodge.

Gale, Edward M, Esq.—Gale’s Valley, Trelawney; two views.—York Estate; three views.—Source of the Marthæ Bræ River.

Gardiner, Edward, Esq.—Flint River, Hanover.

Grant, Meek and Green.—Bryan Castle, Trelawney; three views.

Grant, Sir Alexander.—Charlemont Penn, St. Thomas in the Vale; two views.

Grossett, J. R., Esq, M.P.—Spring Garden Estate; two views.

Green Island.—View from Haughton Court (vide Haughton, James, Esq.)

Holland, Lord.—Friendship Estate, Westmoreland.—Sweet River Penn, ditto.

Harewood, Earl of—Nightingale Grove, St. Dorothy’s; two views.—Williamsfield, St. Thomas in the Vale; two views.

Hawthorn,——, Esq.—Amity Hall, St. Ann’s; two views.

Hyatt,——, Esq., Estate of.—Mount Plenty, St. Ann’s.

Hyde,——, Esq.—Hyde Estate, Trelawney.

Hamilton, G. W., Esq.—Providence Estate, St. Thomas in the East; two views.—Windsor Castle Estate.

Hall, Jasper, Esq.—Hector’s River Estate.

Harvey and Kemys.—Plaintain Garden River; two views.

Hibbert, Thomas, Esq.—Hibbert’s House, Kingston.—Agualta Vale, Penn; three views.

Hibbert, Robert, Esq., Sen.— Great Valley, Hanover; three views.—Albion Estate, St. David’s.

Hibbert, Robert, Esq., Jun.—Georgia Estate, Hanover; three views.

Higson, Thomas, Esq.—Windsor Farm; two views.

Haughton, James, Esq.—Haughton Hall and Green Island; two views.

Innis, Capt. James.—Somerton Estate, St. James’s.

Johnson, G. R., Esq.—Springfield, looking westward.

Kingston, City of—From Windsor Farm.—From Port Henderson—Parade.—King Street; two views.—Harbour Street.—Duke Street (Hibbert’s House).—Cocoa-nut Tree Walk.

Lyton, David, Esq.—Barnstaple, Trelawney.

Lucea.—From the Point Estate (Mrs. Dehany’s), from Minden Hall, from Mr. Malcolm’s.

Luida’s Vale.—With the relative situations of Thetford, Worthy Park, Tydixton Park, and Swansea.

Montego Bay.—From the Long Hill.—Entrance from the East.

Mitchell, W., Esq.—Phoenix Park, St. Ann’s; three views.

Mandeville.—View from the Road.

Murray, Walter, Esq.—Dundee, Hanover; two views.

Murray, W., Esq.—Latium Estate, St. James’s.

Mount Diablo—Looking over St. Thomas’s on the East.

Needham, General.—Mount Olive—St. Thomas’s in the Vale—Natural Bridge, ditto.

Palmer, C. R., Esq.—Rose Hall, St. James’s; two views.

Palmer, C. N., Esq., and M. Dawson, Esq.—Prospect St. Mary’s; two views.

Phillips, N. Esq.—Pleasant Hill Estate; two views.

Port Antonio.—Four views.

Plaintain Garden River Valley.—General View, showing the relative situations of Winchester, Golden Grove, Ducketifield, Wheelerfield, Hordly, Amity Hall, Holland, Stoakes Hall, Suffolk Park Penn, Plaintain Garden River, Batchelor’s Hall Penn, and Port Morant.

Port Maria.—St. Mary’s.

Price, Sir Rose, Bart.—Worthy Park, Luida’s Vale; two views.—General View of Luida’s Vale.

Rio Nuevo Bay.

Rio Nuevo River.

Rickets, G. W., Esq.—New Canaan Estate, St. James’s.

Reid, G., Senior, Esq.—Friendship, Trelawney; two views.

Reid, G. Junior, Esq.—Bunker’s Hill Estate.

Reynolds, C., Esq.—Clermont, looking to Falmouth.

Roaring River Cascade, St. Ann’s.

Rio Bueno.

Ross, John, Esq.—Works from the Great House.

Spanish Town.—View of the King’s Square.—Iron Bridge ditto.—King’s House.—House of Assembly.—Rodney’s Temple.

Shirley, Esq.—Hyde Hall; four views—Etingdon.

Simpson, J., Esq.—Bounty Hall.—Trelawney.—Tileston.

Stirling, A., Esq.—Hampden, St. James’s.—Frontier, St. Mary’s.

Smith, F. G., Esq.—Goshen Penn, St. Elizabeth’s; two views.—Long Hill; two views.

Swaby, J., Esq.—St Elizabeth, from Pleasant Prospect.

Steel, J , Esq.—Spring Bank, looking to Port Antonio.—Ditto to Golden Vale.—Golden Vale.

St. Ann’s Bay.—General View, including from Columbus’ Cave to Seville Point.

St. Andrew’s.—View Mount Zion Coffee Plantation.

St. Elizabeth.—Two Views from Longwood.—View from Mr. Swaby’s, shewing the relative situations of Two-mile Wood, the Bogue, Pepper Penn, Goshen ditto, Lacovia, New River Penn, Lancaster, Elim, Robinson’s Fort, and Nassau Mountains.

Shand, Hon. William.—Hopewell Penn, St. Ann’s.

Shand, John, Esq.—Kellit’s Estate, Clarendon.—Belmont Estate, St. John’s.

Tharp, John, Esq.—Good- Hope Estate.—Pantrepant.—Potosi.—Covy.—Lansquinet.—Top-Hill Penn.—Windsor Penn.

Tharp, J., Esq.—Dean’s Valley Water-works, St. Elizabeth’s.

Taylor, G. W., Esq., M.P.—Lyssons, St. Thomas in the East Holland Estate; three views—Haughton Court, Hanover.—Situation of the same above Lucca.—Llanrumny, St. Mary’s.

Tharp, F., Esq.—Three Hills, St. Mary’s.

Vaughan, Hon. J.—Westmoreland, from Caledonia.

Up Park Camp.

Wedderburn,——, Esq.—Spring Garden Estate; three views.

Wynn, Lascelles, Esq.—Marly Castle, St. James.—Adelphi Works, ditto.

White River.—View of the Bridge near Davis.

Wordy, Miss—Schullembourg, St. Ann’s.

Waterfall.—On the Windward Road.

Westmoreland, from Caledonia.—General View shewing the relative situations of Bath Estate, Amity, Great House, Carawina Estate, Anglesea, and Sweet River Penns, Paradise Estate, Savannah le Mar, Dean’s Valley Dry Works, Fort William Estate, Roaring River Estate, Friendship Estate, Shrewsbury Estate, Mesopotamia, Petersfield, Cornwall, Frome, and Hertford Penn.


The Title of “Picturesque Tour” has been appropriated to any work intended to convey a general idea of the surfaces and external appearances of a country, without undertaking to develope its moral and political institutions. The Tour which is here submitted to the attention of the Public, was professedly and exclusively picturesque, and it is hoped that the conditions of the Prospectus will be found to have been fulfilled in the execution of the work. But a residence of nearly two years in the island of Jamaica must be pleaded as the Author’s apology for offering, also, a few remarks on the moral condition of some parts of its inhabitants; first, the Negroes. As slaves these are, undoubtedly, subject to be sold; but large purchases of Negroes, unless with the estate on which they are settled, and which would be useless without them, are not often made. Except what are called jobbing gangs, which sometimes, though rarely, may amount to from twenty to twenty-five in number, the only transfers which take place are of domestic or tradesman negroes, and no man would venture to buy a slave that had not previously agreed to live with him. If he did, the slave would inevitably run away; for while the purchaser requires a good character with the negro, the latter is equally alive to obtaining a knowledge of the habits and disposition of his future master. One or two facts will illustrate the nature and manner of these transfers. While the author was on the Montpelier estates, the resident carpenter, Mr. Thomas, had ten negroes, of whom, as he intended to leave Jamaica, he was desirous of disposing. He desired them to find themselves a master, proposing only to negociate the sale with a person with whom they could place themselves to their satisfaction. After some time they came to him with information that they were willing to serve Dr. Pierce, of Belle Vue, who was desirous of engaging them, and with him Mr. Thomas afterwards concluded the bargain. The negroes had previously arranged with Dr. Pierce, their provision grounds, clothing, days of rest, and all the particulars of their allowances. And this is not confined to sales by private contract: the author was present at a public sale of negroes at Kingston, where a gentleman, accompanied by a friend, came up to a negro about to be submitted to the hammer, and (in the author’s hearing) after a few preliminary questions, asked him if he would be disposed to live with him, described the nature of his work, the situation of his coffee plantation in Liguanea, and every inducement that occurred to him. His friend calling to the negro’s recollection an old acquaintance, suggested that he must remember him lean and sickly; he was now on the same plantation healthy and fat. The negro consented to live on the plantation, and the gentleman purchased him.

With regard to their comforts it is to be remarked, that nearly the whole of the markets of Jamaica are supplied with every species of vegetable and fruit by the overplus of the negro’s produce, by which traffic they acquire considerable riches. On Holland estate, in St. Thomas in the East, the negroes keep a boat, which trades regularly between that place and Kingston, and these grumble as much at the low price of yams and plantains as an English farmer at the fall of corn.

Riding in that neighbourhood at Christmas, the author met a negro driving a mule heavily laden; the man was head cattle-man on Batchelor’s Hall Penn, belonging to A. Arcedekne, Esq., an appendage to his fine estate of Golden Grove. He had been at Morant Bay for his Christmas stock, and had purchased a cask of wine, a ham, and many other luxuries, which with his poultry of every description, of which he had abundance, and the estate allowance of fresh beef, would enable him to keep open house for three days for all his acquaintance. This man being an expert cattle doctor, had frequently leave of absence; and at his return, after the lapse of a fortnight, would bring home a very considerable sum of money. This is an indulgence granted very generally to expert and well disposed negroes on the principal grazing farms; but even those apparently the least capable may accumulate large sums. While on a visit in the neighbourhood of Arcadia estate, in Trelawny, the author was told that an old woman had brought the attorney a large sum of money, to be sent to the proprietor in England as her free gift. Though he neither doubted the possibility nor the credit of the story, he was, nevertheless, willing to have it from the best authority; and when at Bellfield, the residence of William Miller, Esq. attorney to Arcadia estate, he made inquiries of him. Mr. Miller directed the book of Arcadia estate to be brought, and pointed to the following entry:

"Aug. 2, 1810.—This sum, received of an old Eboe negro woman, named Martia, to be transmitted to England for the benefit of her young master,

"In dollars 72
"In macaronies 40
"In ten pences 20
"In doubloons 16
"Small change 2
£150 ."

Mr. Miller remonstrated with her upon her wish to divert so large a sum from her family; but she only replied, that she had enough left for them and to bury herself; how much more she might have had was never ascertained. The occasion of this donation was a report which had reached her that the estate was to be sold, and imagining that a portion of her savings might be of use to her owner, she thus generously offered them. Now this was an old imported negress, and it proves incontestably two facts: first, that she must have been amply supplied with every comfort of life to have been able to sell so much provision (the only mode she had of acquiring money); and secondly, she must have been well treated or she would not have made so affecting a return of gratitude.

In bringing forward this evidence of the personal comfort of the negro population, the Author is desirous of being understood as by no means advocating slavery on principle; or asserting that the situation of the negro would not still admit of amelioration; they must, indeed, be a favoured race, to whose condition no further enjoyment could be added. But while its inhumanity is made a favourite topic of invective against a system, on the maintenance of which the interests or the safety of the colonies appear to be committed, it may be considered to be sufficient for the purpose of vindicating it from this charge, to shew that its practical operation is not destructive of the negro's comfort; that his circumstances are ordinarily easy, and frequently affluent; and that in the scale of physical enjoyment, the condition of the slave population of our colonies is equal or superior to the generality of the working classes of the free communities of Western Europe. Against this an argument is sometimes drawn, from the advertisements in the public papers for the recovery of runaway negroes, as if the disinclination of a slave to work, were a proof of the cruelty with which he is treated; or that in a population of 300,000 of the lowest class of a community, it is to be expected that, even with kind treatment, all would be more inclined to work than to remain idle—more attentive to their duties than alive to their pleasures. It is, in fact, in contemplation of the condition of these runaway negroes, that the difficulty presents itself of forming from them a working population. The Healthshire Hills, in the parish of St. Catherine, are the favourite haunts of the runaways of that side of the island, who establish themselves there until their numbers attract the attention of the government, which is obliged to call for the aid of the military to dislodge them. Suppose the negro emancipated, what motive would he have for working? Of the surface of Jamaica, containing in all 2,724,265 acres, 1,914,809 acres are, according to Robertson’s survey, uncultivated, consisting chiefly of mountain land, the greater part unclaimed, and open to the occupation of the first settler. In a state of liberty, the negro wants little or no clothing; the work of a few hours will supply him with provisions for as many months; and with what more could labour furnish him? Unlike the peasant of Europe, who if he do not work must starve, he has only to betake himself to the woods, where, if no law gives the power of dislodging him, he will immediately find himself at ease, and look with perfect indifference on all beyond his hut and his plantain ground. In this point, Jamaica differs from some other islands, in which there are no provision grounds, in lieu of which the negroes are regularly paid a sum of money, with which they go to the market of imported provisions. The stoppage of that allowance would lay them under the necessity of working, as it would leave them without resource. To these remarks on the negro population the author has only to add, that during his residence in Jamaica, in the course of which he visited every parish in the island, remaining on many estates only for a single day (a time too short to admit of any change in a system of severity which an overseer might have adopted), on others for two months (a period throughout which deception could hardly be kept up), he confidently avers, that he never witnessed the infliction of a cruel or unmanly punishment.

To one point of the moral condition, also, of the white inhabitants of the island, the author is desirous of inviting attention, because the greatest portion of the prejudice existing with respect to the state of society in the island is drawn from that source: he alludes to the connexion formed between them and the black or coloured females. But in all societies we must take the greatest positive good with the least positive evil; and it can easily be imagined that the system which time has sanctioned, and which, with all its inconvenience, has hitherto admitted of no change, has its foundation in circumstances too strong to be easily controlled. We have only to judge of the case by comparing it with our European habits, and every feeling of justice and propriety will soon be enlisted in the cause of our transatlantic countrymen. Let us not draw a too frightful picture of our system: but we must for a moment dwell on the number of human beings living by the prostitution of charms, which might have been their passport to honest and honourable society, sacrificing their health to the brutality of their more degraded fellow-creatures, and filling the public theatres and streets with the exhibition of lewdness, misery, and shame. And does the horror of the system end here? do the sufferings of so many wretched beings close the catalogue of ills? Would to God it did! But we have seduction in all its forms; we have the dreadful crime of child murder, made more horrible by the punishment which follows its detection. The poor wretch, whose maternal feelings would have prompted her to a far different course, sees in the birth of her infant, only want and beggary, her character blasted, and her means of providing for her child made more than doubtful by its birth—she has recourse to the alternative from which humanity shrinks appalled—if successful in the concealment of her crime, her better feelings are gone for ever; if detected, she pays by the forfeit of her life, a crime on which she was precipitated by the system. Let the experience of every family speak for the other numerous evils of our system, in the loss of health or fortunes, which every one has suffered in some one of its members. Let us now turn to Jamaica, where we shall find none of these horrors; where the eye is not shocked by the sad spectacle of female debasement, nor the soul harrowed by the dismal sound of preparation for the punishment of a crime, equally pitied and condemned. Is then the air of Jamaica so favourable to virtue, or does the warmth of the sun refine the manners? No, the system only is different. On his arrival, a young man looks in vain for the indulgence of his English habits; he finds no opportunity of indiscriminate gratification; and he is soon taught, that the only means of securing to himself the comfort of female attention, is by forming a connexion nearly as binding as matrimony, and to which almost all would incline, could they find a female of education who would, at the same time, share his present humble state, and be equal to his fortunes when the prospects he indulges in of affluence and independence are realized. Could his young feelings so fix he would be happy; but as a substitute he takes what offers, and attaches himself to one female, whom he rarely afterwards deserts. Notoriously good mothers, he soon sees himself surrounded by a family on which his best feelings may be placed; and whenever the moment shall arrive which shall see him so far master of his fortunes as to allow him to form a more honourable connexion, his partner sees no duplicity in his conduct, nor considers it a desertion of principle, expecting only a proper provision for herself and family. Nor are the numbers who submit to this course of life considerable, when compared with the population. Since the provisions of the legislature have removed every restriction from the unlimited possession of property by the free-coloured inhabitants, marriage is almost universal among them, and the natural consequence presents itself in a coloured population, growing in affluence and respectability.

It is for the philanthropist and the statesman to determine between the two evils which are here compared (and evils they are fully admitted to be, although the experience of the most remote antiquity would seem to prove that they are inseparable from a state of society); between regulated concubinage and promiscuous and unlimited indulgence; between an engagement which secures independence to the mother and protection to the child, and a connexion attended with infamy and abandonment to its degraded victim, and involving the unhappy offspring in all the bitter consequences of it’s mother’s guilt; between, in short, an institution favourable to the multiplication of the species and the sobriety of the individual, and a system which dries up the sources of population, that “induces habits of ungovernable lewdness, contracts the understanding, and depraves the heart.” But if a frame of mind, manly, sober, and undissipated—if domestic habits and affections—if the prevention of female misery and a growing population, be advantages, they are the attendants of this calumniated system; a system which impresses on vice—or more properly irregularity—a character of amiability and decency, which makes illicit gratification subservient to the purposes of public expediency and domestic happiness: a system, be it remembered, which originates in circumstances of local privation, and which, in favourable contrast with the licentious European, presents the better disciplined inhabitant of a warmer hemisphere, continent, faithful and domestic—a voluntary husband, and a useful citizen.




Jamaica was discovered by Christopher Columbus, in his second expedition to the New World. In his former voyage he had explored the north-eastern part of Cuba, proceeding from thence to Hispaniola; but he had returned to Europe in doubt whether Cuba was an island only, or part of some great continent, of which he had received obscure accounts from the natives. To satisfy himself in this particular, he determined, soon after his arrival a second time at Hispaniola, on another voyage to Cuba, by a south-westerly course; and, in pursuance of this resolution, on the 24th of April 1494, he sailed from the port of Isabella, with one ship and two shallops. On Tuesday the 29th, he anchored in the harbour of St. Nicholas. From thence he crossed over to Cuba, and coasted along the southern side of that island, surrounded by many thousand canoes, filled with Indians, whom curiosity and admiration had brought together. In this navigation, on Saturday the 3d May, he discovered, for the first time, the high lands of Jamaica on the left, and, probably, learnt its name (the name which it still retains) from some of the Indians that followed him. The early Spanish historians wrote the word Xaymaca. It is said to have signified, in the language of the natives, a country abounding in springs. As this was a new discovery, and many of the seamen were willing to believe that it was the place to which they had formerly been directed by the Indians of the Bahama Islands, as the country most abounding in gold, Columbus was easily persuaded to turn his course towards it. He approached it the next day, and after a slight contest with the natives, which ended, however, in a cordial reconciliation, he took possession of the country with the usual formalities. Jamaica remained under the power of Spain until the protectorate of Cromwell, when, after the unsuccessful attack upon St. Domingo, in 1655, the fleet under Admiral Penn, Vice Admiral Goodson, and Rear Admiral Blagge, and the land forces under General Venables, arrived at Port Caguaya (Port Royal) on the 9th of May. Next evening the troops landed at Passage Fort, which was fortified with nine pieces of cannon, and had a garrison of 500 men. Little resistance having been made, about a week after a capitulation was ratified on the part of the English, by Major-General Fortescue, Vice Admiral Goodson, and Colonels Holdip and D’Oyley. By the letter of Venables to the secretary Thurloe, dated June 13, 1655, we learn that St. Jago de la Vega (Spanish Town) was at that time the capital. Of the other principal settlements, the chief appears to have been Puerto de Caguaya, since named, by the English, Port Royal; to the westward of Caguaya was the Puerto de Esquivella, which was still resorted to by the galleons, and, from its ancient reputation, the English named it the Old Harbour.

From Old Harbour to Punto Negrillo, the western point of the island, the sea-coast was chiefly in savanna, abounding in horned cattle; but there does not appear to have been any settlement in all that great extent of country, except a small hamlet, called Oristan, of which, however, the accounts are obscure and contradictory. Returning eastward, to the north of Port Caguaya, was the Hato of Liguany: presenting to the harbour an extensive plain or savanna, covered with cedar and other excellent timber. This part of the country was also abundantly stored with horned cattle and horses, which run wild in great numbers; and the first employment of the English troops was hunting, and slaughtering the cattle for the sake of the hides and tallow, which soon became an article of export. It was supposed by Sedgewicke, that the soldiers had killed 20,000 in the course of the first four months after their arrival: and as to horses, “they were in such plenty (says Goodson), that we accounted them the vermin of the country.” Eastward of Liguany was the Hato, by some called Ayala, by others Yalos, and now wrote Yallahs; a place, says Venables, “which hath much commodity of planting or erecting of sugar engines of water, by reason of two convenient rivers running through it for that purpose.” Next to Ayala was the Hato called Morante. “This Morante,” continues Venables, “is a large and plentiful hato, being four leagues in length, consisting of many small savannas, and has wild cattle and hogs in very great plenty, and ends at the mine, which is at the cape or point of Morante itself, by which, towards the north, is the Port Antonio.” No mention is made of the north side of the island, which gives room to conclude, as was undoubtedly the fact, that it was one entire desert from east to west, totally uncultivated and uninhabited. Of the inland parts, it appears from Sloane, that Guanaboa was famous for its cacao-trees, and the low lands of Clarendon for plantations of tobacco. The Court of Spain could not see so valuable a gem torn from its diadem without a wish to replace it; and its recapture became, towards the end of 1657, an object of great national concern. Its defenceless state, the dissatisfaction of the English troops, and the exertions making by Cromwell to afford them relief, as well as to augment their numbers, led the Governor of Cuba to believe, that the juncture was then arrived for retrieving the honour of his country, by the restoration of this island to its dominion. Having communicated to the Viceroy of Mexico a scheme built on this idea, and received the sanction and support of that officer, he made preparations for a formidable invasion, and appointed Don Christopher Sosi Arnoldo, who had been governor at the time of its capture, to take the command of the enterprize. On the 8th of May, 1658, thirty companies of Spanish infantry landed at Rio Nuevo, a small harbour on the north side of the island. They were provided with eight months’ provision, ordnance, and ammunition. Twelve days elapsed before D’Oyley, the governor, knew of their landing, and six weeks more intervened before he was able to approach them by sea. During this interval, the Spaniards had established themselves in great force; but D’Oyley at length reaching Rio Nuevo, with seven hundred and fifty of his best soldiers, attacked them in their intrenchments, carried by assault a strong fortress which had been erected on an eminence over the harbour, and compelled the late unfortunate governor to get back as he could to Cuba, after the loss of all his stores, ordnance, ammunition, and colours, and of one-half of the soldiers he had brought with him. After so signal a defeat, the Spaniards made no effort of consequence to reclaim Jamaica. A party of the ancient Spanish inhabitants, however, still lurked in the woods, and Sosi, their governor, had returned to share their fortunes; but a body of their fugitive negroes having surrendered to D’Oyley, informed him where their late masters were sheltered, and joined some troops that were in pursuit of them: thus the Spaniards were entirely routed, and the few that survived, by escaping to Cuba, took their last farewell of a country, their fond attachment to which it is not possible to reflect upon without emotions of pity. The island has remained ever since under the quiet dominion of Great Britain, and must be considered as the most valuable of her Colonies.

The Island of Jamaica is situated about 4,000 miles southwest of England, ninety to the west of St. Domingo, about the same distance to the south of Cuba, and 435 to the north of Carthagena, on the great continent of South America. The centre of Jamaica lies in 18° 12′ north latitude, and in 76° 45′ west longitude from London. It is about 150 miles in length, and on a medium of three measurements, at different parts, about forty miles in breadth; and contains, according to Robertson’s survey, made in 1801, 2,724,262 acres. It is divided into three counties—Middlesex, Surry, and Cornwall.

Middlesex contains nine parishes:—St. Catharine, St. John, St. Dorothy, St. Thomas-in-the-Vale, Clarendon, Vere, Manchester, St. Mary, and St. Ann.

Surry contains seven parishes:—Kingston, Port Royal, St. Andrew, St. David, St. Thomas-in-the-East, Portland, and St. George.

Cornwall contains five parishes:—St. Elizabeth, Westmorland, Hanover, St. James, and Trelawney.

The subjoined statement will furnish the best account of the produce of the island.

GENERAL EXPORTS from Jamaica, between the 29th of September 1820, and the 29th of September 1821.

Tonnage. Sugar. Rum. Molasses. Coffee. Ginger. Pimento.
176,311 Hhds

Cocoa. Cotton. Indigo. Hides. Logwood. Fustic. Nica-wood. Lignum. Mahogany. Cedar. Lance-

To this may be added, as a proof of the immense value of these possessions to the commerce and manufactures of England, the Official Value of Imports and Exports from and to the West-Indies:—

Imports..................... 1819 1820 1821
8,347,235 7,887,688 8,011,335
British and Irish produce and Manufacture 5,516,816 4,197,975 4,038,222
Foreign and Colonial Merchandize 267,736 292,033 308,820
5,784,553 4,490,008 4,437,042

The returns of 1825 made the slave population 317,138. The free-coloured and white inhabitants may each be estimated at about 25,000.

The government of the island is confided to William Duke of Manchester, to which his Grace was originally appointed in 1808.

His Majesty’s Council are—

President, Hon. Geo. Cuthbert.
The Hon. Wm. Rowe, The Hon. Robt. Johnston,
The Hon. Wm. Burge, The Hon. W. J: Hall,
The Hon. W. J. Stevenson, The Hon. R. O. Vassell,
The Hon. Rob. Moulton, The Hon. J. M. Whyte.
The Hon. Sam. Jackson,
Clerk, Wm. Bullock, Esq.
Assist. Do. and Librarian, W. Hewitt, Esq.
Usher of the Black Rod and Messenger, Anthony Davis, Esq.
Chaplain, Rev. Lewis Bowerbank.

House of Assembly.

(A General Election took place in July, 1820.)

Speaker, Hon. David Finlayson.
Aikman, Alex. Esq. Grignon, W. S. Esq. Marshall, Geo. Esq.
Bayley, Alex. Esq. Heath, Wm. Esq. Minto, W. Esq.
Berry, C. P. Esq. Higgin, Isaac, Esq. Macpherson, R. Esq.
Bayly, Wentworth, Esq. Hyston, W. H. Esq. Plummer, H. W. Esq.
Burke, Henry, Esq. Hodgson, Hon. A. Passley, H. J. Esq.
Barnes, Jos. Esq. Hanson, J. Esq. Rennalls, Hon. W. R.
Blyth, John, Esq. Hamilton, G. W. Esq. Robertson, Hon. P.
Brown, Hamilton, Esq. Holmes, J. Esq. Stewart, Hon. James
Clare, Sir M. B. Jackson, Hon. J. R. Shand, W. Esq.
Cox, Hon. Henry James, Hugo, Esq. Stimpson, Hon. W.
Dick, A. Esq. Lunan, J. Esq. Townshend, G. H. Esq.
Farquharson, Hon. C. Lynch, L. Esq. Williams, Hon. J.
Finlayson, Hon. D. Lambie, W. Esq. Wright, J. Esq.
Grant, C. Esq. Mitchell, Hector, Esq. Williams, M. Esq.
Gordon, H. Esq. Mais, J. Esq. Yates, T. L. Esq.
Clerk, J. G. Vidal, Esq.
Serjeant at Arms, J. D. Smith, Esq.
Chaplain, Rev. J. Alves.
Printer, A. Aikman, Esq.
Librarian, W. G. Nunes, Esq.

Island Agent in Great Britain, George Hibbert, Esq.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 02.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by J. Cartwright.
Bridge over the Rio Cobre.
Spanish Town.
Published July 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street, London.


The Iron Bridge, of which we give a view, was erected in the year 1801, at a cost of four thousand pounds, at which sum it was contracted for by Messrs. Campbell and Mclntyre. From the year 1766 we find the House of Assembly constantly engaged on the improvement of the road of communication between Kingston and Spanish Town, and several acts were passed for that purpose. The Bill of 1775 made the Commissioners nominated by the act of 1766 a body politic and corporate, and enabled them to raise a sum of money upon the toll.

In the year 1788 trustees were appointed for the management of this fund, and, in the third and fourth sessions of 1791, bills were passed for further adding to these trustees. In 1796, we again find the House occupied on the same subject, and a bill passed for the erection of a stone bridge; some difficulties, however, arising to the execution of this plan, the cast-iron bridge was at length resolved upon, and erected in 1801.

The banks of the Rio Cobre are naturally steep at this part of the river, but the road was of necessity much raised above the natural level, in order to insure a free watercourse at those times when the rainy season swelled the river to its greatest height, and the vast body of water rolled along with an impetuosity to which nothing could afford an effectual resistance. The suddenness and violence of these risings of the rivers can scarcely be imagined by reference to European streams. When heavy rains take place in the mountains, the first notice to the traveller is the roaring of the river above; and as his attention is directed to the point from whence the sound proceeds, he sees the appalling spectacle of the foaming waves dashing furiously along, and bearing away in its violence immense trees, which it has rooted up in its progress, and not unfrequently the bodies of negroes, who have attempted to pass a well-known ford, but who have been surprised by its unexpected depth, and carried along by the violence of the stream.

This view is taken from the sloping grounds to the left of the Bridge, in approaching Spanish Town from Kingston. Under the arch appears the residence of Angus Kennedy, Esq., Provost Marshal.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 03.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Kingston, & Port Royal.
From Windsor Farm.


The city of Kingston was founded in the year 1693. The plan of it was drawn by Colonel Lilly, an experienced engineer, and in propriety of design it is perhaps not excelled by any town in the world. The plan is a parallelogram, one mile in length by half a mile in breadth, traversed regularly by streets and lanes, alternately crossing each other at right angles, except in the upper part of the town, where a large square is left—but the buildings have now spread much beyond the boundary of the original plans.

The harbour is formed by an inlet of the sea, which after passing Port Royal, divides into two branches: the western, flowing to Passage Fort and the mouth of the Rio Cobre, forms a small bay of shallow water; the eastern branch runs beyond Kingston to Rock Fort, making a course this way of nine miles in length, and in the broadest part, facing which the town is situated, of two miles in breadth. For a considerable way above and below the town, the channel is deep enough to admit ships of the greatest burthen; a thousand sail may anchor here in perfect safety, and the water is so deep at the wharfs, that vessels of 200 tons lie alongside to deliver their cargoes. At the bottom of the town, near the water-side, is the marketplace, which is plentifully supplied with butcher’s meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. The latter are brought from the Liguanea mountains, and are excellent; the beef is chiefly from the pastures of Pedros, in St. Ann; the mutton from the salt-pan lands in St. Catharine. The square before-mentioned, at the upper end of the town, is more generally called the Parade. On the south side, forming the N. W. angle of King Street, is the parish church, a plain convenient brick structure, but without any pretensions to architectural beauty; on the north side are the barracks and theatre: the former accommodates about 400 men; the latter will contain about 700 persons; it belongs to the public, and the performers pay into the public funds ten pounds for every night of performance. But the handsomest building in Kingston is the Scotch Church in Duke Street, which was erected about the year 1814 by a public subscription, from a plan of James Delancy, Esq. It is of an octagon figure, extending eighty-six feet nine inches in the clear, from east to west, and sixty-two feet seven inches from north to south, having four entrances, east, west, north and south, with a portico over each entrance. It is calculated to hold 1,000 persons. The number of houses paying tax in Kingston are about 1,300; of the untaxed it is difficult to obtain the precise number, but they may be stated at between three and four hundred.

In 1802 the royal assent was given to the act for constituting Kingston a corporation, under the name of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City and Parish of Kingston. The election of officers took place on the 15th of November.


Is situated on the point of a peninsular, or narrow neck of land, called the Palisadoe, which projecting from the main land about eight miles and three quarters, forms a barrier to the harbour of Kingston against the sea.

The foundation of it was first laid by General Brayne in 1757. It was then called Cagua, a corruption probably of Ceragua, the Indian name for the Coratoe or great aloe, which overspreads the adjacent Salt-pan hill. In 1672 it contained eight hundred well-built houses, and twenty years after the number was increased to two thousand; it had then attained the height of its splendour. In 1692 it contained upwards of three thousand five hundred inhabitants; the greater number of the houses were of brick several stories in height, founded close to the very brink of the water, on a loose bank of land. The fort, which mounted sixty pieces of cannon, and the rest of the houses, were built on the rocky part of the peninsula. On the 7th of June 1692, between eleven and twelve o’clock at noon, began that terrible earthquake, which in two minutes produced such a scene of devastation. All the principal streets which were next the water sunk at once, with the people in them; a high rolling sea followed, closing immediately over them. Not less than sixteen hundred were thus swallowed up. Some of the streets were laid several fathoms under water, and it stood so high as the upper rooms of those that remained. It is computed that about two thousand whites and negroes perished; the harbour had all the appearance of agitation as in a storm; and the huge waves rolled with such violence, as to snap the cables of the ships, drive some from the anchors, and overset others.

But the great advantage of the situation again attracted inhabitants, and by degrees, as the popular fears subsided, the town increased in buildings and inhabitants (though far short of its former state) till 1703, when it was destroyed a second time, by fire. This ruinous accident caused another desertion to Kingston, which thus began to thrive by the decline of her elder sister. Port Royal was at this period reduced to a very low ebb, yet it was not wholly abandoned; it possessed some little trade, and was the favourite resort of the seamen belonging to the men of war and privateers. But what the earthquake and conflagration had spared was nearly demolished by a violent hurricane, which happened on the 28th August 1722. It began at eight in the morning, and lasted fourteen hours. Port Royal, as a place of defence, is deservedly valued. The ships, in advancing towards the harbour, must necessarily pass between shoals and rocks, through a difficult channel, in some parts extremely narrow; and are inevitably exposed to a severe fire, without the possibility of bringing their guns to bear. Ahead they have a battery of twelve guns, mostly forty-two pounders, called the twelve apostles, built on a point of Salt-pan hill (above the range of an enemy’s shot), which would rake them the whole way, until they tacked to steer up the harbour; they are then exposed to the fire of this battery on one side, to that of the fort on the other, and in front to the battery of Fort Augusta. The harbour is about one mile and three quarters in breadth, but widens further on. The view is taken from Windsor Farm, the residence of Thomas Higson, Esq., and embraces a part of the city of Kingston, the harbour, Port Royal, and the mountains of St. Catherine.

GENERAL EXPORTS from Port of Kingston, between the 29th of September 1820, and the 29th day of September 1821.

Sugar. Rum. Casks
Coffee. Ginger. Pimento.

Cocao. Cotton. Indigo. Hides. Log-
Fustic. Nica-
Lignum. Mahogany. Cedar. Lance-
Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 01.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
King’s Square.
St. Jago de a Vega
Published Feb. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


St. Jago de la Vega, generally known as Spanish Town, is situated about thirteen miles from Kingston, and six from Port Henderson, the nearest shipping places. The road from each is level and excellent. It was fixed upon as the capital of the Island, after the desertion of Sevilla Nueva, a town on the north side, near St. Ann’s Bay, which had been founded by Juan de Esquivel, who was appointed governor by Don Diego, the son of Christopher Columbus. Blome, who compiled a short account of Jamaica, so early as 1672, says, that the town of St. Jago de la Vega consisted of 2,000 houses, two chapels, and an abbey. At present, the number of houses paying taxes are 168; but as no house is assessed unless paying a rent above £50, the number may probably be about 600. It is the seat of government, and has been so ever since the conquest of the island, with the exception of a short period in 1754 and 1755, during the government of Charles Knowles, Esq. when five sessions of the House of Assembly were held in Kingston. The chief ornament of Spanish Town is the King’s Square; on the east side of which is the House of Assembly, on the west the King’s House, on the north Rodney’s Temple, and on the south the public offices.

The annexed view exhibits the first three buildings. The interior of the King’s House or residence of the Governor, is well adapted to the climate; the rooms are spacious and lofty, and the whole is elegantly furnished; the House of Assembly is large and convenient; of Rodney’s Temple, a monument so honourable to the loyal and patriotic feelings of the island, we shall give a more enlarged account. On the 20th February 1783, the House of Assembly directed the Committee of Correspondence to write to Stephen Fuller, Esq. the agent for the island, directing him to apply to the most eminent artist in England, to prepare an elegant marble statue of Lord Rodney, to be erected in the Parade of Spanish Town, in commemoration of the glorious victory obtained by that gallant commander, and the brave officers and seamen serving under him, over the French fleet on the 12th of April 1782. In 1788 the statue was received at Kingston, and its arrival renewing the public feeling towards it, which the long delay had in some slight measure depressed, a violent struggle commenced between Kingston and Spanish Town for the honour of its final possession. A petition was presented to the House of Assembly from the inhabitants of Kingston and Port Royal, in which they stated, “That they had subscribed a large sum of money for the purpose of conveying water from the Hope River to the Parade at Kingston, by means of which they propose to form a spacious basin to surround the statue, and that they had lately subscribed a further considerable sum to assist in erecting it; but that they are penetrated with the deepest concern to find that a report prevails of its being intended to be placed in Spanish Town.” In this petition every argument to support the object of the petitioners was urged, but a motion being made in consequence in the House of Assembly, that the petition be referred to a committee of the whole House, it was determined in the negative, by the casting vote of the Speaker alone, the numbers being for entertaining the petition 19, and 19 for its rejection.

A Committee was then appointed for determining the site in Spanish Town on which it should be erected, who reported in favour of the Parade, and for erecting the colonnade and public offices which form the wings.

The statue, executed by the elder Bacon, was erected on the 13th December 1792, and in the evening splendidly illuminated. The whole expense of this national monument appears to have been £30,918. 8s. 4d, currency of Jamaica.

The Barracks on the south side of the town are large and commodious.

The Church is an ancient brick structure of no exterior beauty, but contains some fine monuments, particularly those to the memory of the Earl and Countess of Effingham and Sir Adam Williamson. The most ancient is an inscription upon a flat stone in the chancel, to the memory of the wife of Sir Charles Lyttleton, dated January 1662.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 04.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Harbour Street, Kingston.
Published Feb. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


(looking eastward).

Harbour Street and King Street, crossing each other at right angles, are the principal streets in Kingston. At the corner to the left is the store of Mr. Netlam Tory, and on the right that of Mr. John Mais, M.A. Further on, on the same side of the way, is Harty’s Tavern, the flag indicating a public entertainment. Beyond is the Custom-House, marked by its high roof. The great tree stands in front of Wood’s Tavern. The street is terminated, at the distance of about half a mile, by the residence of Edward Codd, Esq.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 05.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Waterfall on the Windward Road,
near Kingston.
Published Apr. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & Lloyd, Harley Street.


The Cane River discharges itself into the sea, at about the distance of seven miles from Kingston, on the Windward Road. The road runs for some way on the sea-beach, passing Rock Fort, where there is a fine head of spring-water, from which the shipping is supplied, and from whence it is in contemplation to supply Up-park Camp and Kingston. Rock Fort is in its situation very like the Torre dei Confini, near Terracina, forming the boundary-mark between the dominions of the Pope and the King of Naples; on the right the same brilliant sea, on the left the same almost inaccessible mountains; the Fort guarding the narrow pass. Leaving his carriage at the Fall Tavern, a small well served inn, on the road-side, the traveller proceeds on horseback, through a deep ravine, between mountains of so great a height as scarcely to admit the rays of the sun. At the bottom the Cane River takes its devious way, sometimes stretching in a broad even bed, sometimes urging its impetuous course among rocks of considerable magnitude which impede its progress. The distance from the high road to the Fall is about two miles, and the river is crossed and re-crossed more than twenty times.

The Fall is formed by the junction at its head of the Cane and Lucky Valley rivers, which unite within a hundred yards of the spot, from whence they are precipitated into the gulph beneath, from a height of somewhat more than 200 feet. The road is tolerably good, having been formed with much labour for the traffic of the mules, for the supply and convenience of the estates and coffee mountains, which abound in its neighbourhood.[1] For this purpose the rocks have been in two instances pierced (one of which is seen in the annexed Plate), and give a good miniature resemblance of the celebrated galleries of the Simplon.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 06.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Holland Estate,
St. Thomas in the East. _____ The property of G. W. Taylor, Esqe. M.P.
Published Aug. 1, 1825 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Holland Estate, in St. Thomas in the East, the property of George Watson Taylor, Esq. M.P., occupies a very great portion of the easternmost extremity of the valley of Plantain Garden River. The works are situated on the northern bank of the stream, and give employ to upwards of six hundred negroes, who are now settled on the sea-shore in a village recently erected at a very great expense. Although the situation of the former settlement was known and felt by the negroes themselves to be unhealthy, so great was their attachment to it, that no persuasion could induce them to abandon it. Fortunately the elements came in aid of the efforts of the proprietor. A flood, unusual in extent, even where floods are far from uncommon, cleared the village of its inhabitants, who took up with their new and much more commodious habitations, merely as temporary residences, till the effects of the partial deluge should have passed away. A few weeks, however, reconciled them to their new abode. The greater convenience was every day more apparent, and they remained contentedly in a spot to which probably nothing short of the accidental circumstance above-mentioned could have driven them.

The family of Taylor was originally of Norman extraction, and settled in Scotland early in the fourteenth century, acquiring lands at Burrowfield near Montrose. The first we find on record is Robert Tailzour, of Tailzourtown, who married Mary, daughter of Sir Alexander Strachan, Bart. Approaching our own time, Patrick Tailzour, Esq. settled in Jamaica, and married Martha, daughter of George Taylor, Esq. of Camanas in that Island (upon which marriage he assumed the name of Taylor), by whom he had two sons and four daughters. John, the second son, was created a Baronet on the 25th July 1778. The elder son, Simon, died unmarried; and his estates descended to his nephew, Sir Simon, upon whose death without children the whole centred in George Watson Taylor, Esq., only son of G. Watson, Esq. of Saul’s River, Jamaica, in right of his wife, Anne Susanna, eldest sister of Sir Simon and sole heiress of her uncle. The original family estate is Lyssons, near Port Morant; to which Mr. Simon Taylor added, Holland, Llanrumney in St. Mary’s, with the pens of Montrose and Flint River. The estates of Haughton Court and Haughton Grove were the patrimony of the late Lady Taylor, widow of Sir John, descended from a younger branch of the ancient family of Haughton of Lancashire, Baronets. Mr. Simon Taylor was educated at Eton, and going early in life to visit his patrimonial estates in Jamaica, engaged actively in the public concerns of the Island, aud continued his residence there during the remainder of his life, making only one visit to England, when he was received by Mr. Pitt, the Minister, with marked consideration, and was introduced to His Majesty George III.

The view before us presents the approach to the works from the South. On the left is the Barrack, or residence of the book-keepers and other white people attached to the estate, beyond which is the boiling-house and still-house. On the right is the overseer’s house, and in the distance, upon the hill, is the change-of-air house, for the use of convalescents on the estate.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 07.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Golden Vale, Portland.
Published April 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Spring Bank was, at the time this view was taken, the property and residence of John Steel, Esq. It is situated at an immense elevation, about three miles south-westward of Port Antonio, and commands the most extensive and varied landscape scenery. This view, which is terminated southerly by some of the highest of the Blue Mountains, includes in the valley, along which the Rio Grande has its impetuous course, the Golden Vale and Seaman’s Valley estates, with some small portions of Stanton Harcourt and Hope estates.

Golden Vale, about five miles in the interior from Port Antonio, contains about 250 acres of level cane-field above and below the works, and about as much more bottom land, not so convenient for canes, which is chiefly in pasturage, with a very large extent of hilly and mountainous land to the south-westward, in pasturage, provisions, ruinate and wood. There are on the estates 500 negroes, 50 mules, and 300 head of cattle. Golden Vale was settled by the late George Paplay, Esq. about the year 1750, and became afterwards the property of Greenwich Hospital, from which it was purchased in 1811 by Alexander Kinloch and John Steel, Esqrs. with only 140 negroes, which have been brought up by subsequent purchases to their present number. Its annual crops are about 300 hogsheads of sugar, and about half that number of puncheons of rum.—William Lambie, Esq. attorney.

Seaman’s Valley is said to derive its name from the destruction of a party of our seamen by the Maroons. It is about ten miles from Port Antonio, and contains 1693 acres, of which 187 are in canes, 158 in guinea grass and pastures, the remainder in provision grounds, wood-lands, river courses, &c. The cane-land is loamy and productive, yielding in most instances two hogsheads per acre. Seaman’s Valley was for many years in the possession of Messrs. Daniel and Richard Shaw, from whom it passed in the year 1813 to Messrs. Gray, Whitworth and Gillbee, merchants of London, with 172 negroes; to this strength an addition has since been made, and there are now 291 on the estate.—Maurice Jones, Esq. attorney.

At the head of the Valley is Moor Town, one of the stations of the Maroons. It contains 80 men, 127 women, and 202 children, under the superintendence of George Fuller, Esq. The elevation of the Blue Mountains, according to the observations of Dr. Cowan of Falmouth, is as follows:—Manchester Rest, 5,050; East Peak, 5,670; North Peak, 5,900; West Peak, 5,680 feet above the sea.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 08.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Spring Garden Estate, St. George’s.
The property of I. R. Grosett, Esquire. M.P.
Published Apr. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Spring Garden Estate, frequently called Great Spring Garden, is one of the properties of John Rock Grosett, Esq., M.P., to whom it has descended from his great grandfather, the original settler. The law of entail in Jamaica is much the same as in England: but in the former country entails are barred by deeds of lease and release, and not by fine or recovery. This plantation is contiguous to the sea-shore, and adjoins the left bank of the Spanish river. The mansion-house, or, according to local phraseology, the great house, is placed on a rising ground, and judiciously overlooks the works, which are extensive, and in the most complete repair; the mill is turned by a well-supplied water-wheel, and the boiling-house contains a double and single set of coppers. The overseer’s house and offices, the hospital, and a building for the negro children, are severally large, and well adapted for their purposes. Between these and the great house, at the foot of the knoll on which the latter stands, is seen a portion of the negro village, which embraces, however, in its whole circuit an area of nearly thirty acres. Beyond these the eye rests on the blue expanse of Buff Bay, closed in by Palmetto Point towards the sea, and inland by that portion of a range of the Blue Mountains which run north and south, or nearly at right angles with the principal range, which cross the southward side of this parish.

A regularly bred surgeon resides on the estate, who was sent out by the present proprietor, and whose practice is exclusively directed to the property. This plan has been adopted by other proprietors, and would doubtless be more general, if the planters were not prevented from extending their improvements by the distressing circumstances of the times, and the continual low sale of their produce.

This estate contains nearly three thousand acres of land, of which five hundred and eighty are in cane cultivation of plants and ratoons. On it are six hundred negroes; many of them settled on it from father to son, and who regard their houses and provision grounds (of which they have between three and four hundred acres) as an inheritance, the possession of which they enjoy with uninterrupted security. With their surplus produce, and their pigs and poultry, they supply even to the distance of Anotto Bay, and from this traffic derive a very considerable profit. A good private wharf, with a large store (as seen in the view), is an useful acquisition to this estate, for the conveniency of shipping its produce; which from thence, as well as from the neighbouring plantations, is generally conveyed in small craft, called droggers, to the ships, which lie for anchorage to the eastward, off Port Antonio. Mr. Grosett is also proprietor of Petersfield estate, in St. Thomas’s in the East, and of various premises and lands at Morant Bay, and of the principal public wharf there, at which an iron railway has been laid down for the convenience of transporting goods, &c. He is also proprietor of Chepstow Coffee plantation and pen, and of two or three other minor properties.

On the morning of the 12th of January 1821, when the author was residing at Spring Garden, the mill yard was suddenly filled with sailors. They were the crew of the ship Birch, Captain McIntosh, burthen 454 tons, which was entirely wrecked on the morning of the 9th, abreast of Fair Prospect estate, in Manchioneal, about four miles to the eastward of the N.E. point. Providentially no lives were lost. Immediate assistance and accommodation was afforded by Mr. Gillchrist, the overseer of Fair Prospect. The passengers were afterwards removed to Castle Comfort (no bad name for the place at any time, but particularly at the present moment), where they were hospitably entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Orr. The crew, consisting of twenty-five men, proceeded for their original destination, and halted at Spring Garden for breakfast, which was speedily and largely provided for them. In this way, without expense, and meeting at every halt with the most active sympathy, they reached Montego Bay, a distance of about 150 miles.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 09.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by D. T. Egerton
Monument of the late Thos. Hibbert, Esqr.
at Agualta Vale, St. Mary’s.
Published Apr. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street, London.


The annexed View represents the Monument of the late Thomas Hibbert, Esq., erected on the summit of an eminence, which, besides the pleasure it gave to the proprietor in affording him a commanding view of the penn on which it is situated, and on either hand the works and cane fields of Agualta Vale and Orange Hill Sugar Estates, opened likewise to the south-east the buildings of the penn, and the winding course of the Agualta River immediately beneath his eye; onward, the beautiful sweeping line of Anotto Bay and Town, the buildings of Gibraltar and Gray Inn Estates, and the distant high lands of St. George's. The plate before us embraces these interesting objects. On this spot, as having yielded him many a happy moment, in the reflection of an amiable mind surveying his own creation of wealth and independence for a long inheritance, he desired that his remains should be placed. He died on the 20th of May 1780, aged 71 years.

"This tribute to the dead, no church's care,
Nor solemn sprinkling boasts, nor prelate's prayer,
But rites more sacred sanctify the dust
Where rest revered the reliques of the just:
Prayers from the poor, which sooner reach the sky,
And holier drops which fall from friendship's eye."

Mr. Hibbert arrived in Jamaica in 1734, and soon became one of the principal and most opulent merchants in Kingston, where he erected the very handsome house in Duke Street, late the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, and still known as Hibbert's House.

Agualta Vale, containing about 3000 acres, was purchased from the heir of Mr. Bendish about the year 1760; part of it was in coffee, but by far the larger portion in wood and pasture. The sugar estate, formed out of a part of it, was settled in 1771, and the coffee abandoned, while a large breeding penn was established in place of it.

Orange Hill was a small sugar estate, joining line and line with Agualta Vale, almost in ruins, and had been the property of William Beckford Ellis, Esq. It was sold by a decree of the Court of Chancery, and purchased and in a manner resettled by Mr. Hibbert.

These estates are at present the property of Thomas Hibbert, Esq. nephew to the original settler. Upon them are 896 negroes and 633 head of cattle. The family of Hibbert possess very extensive property in other parts of the island, as Georgia in Hanover, belonging to Robert Hibbert, Esq. of East Hyde, Bedfordshire; the Valleys in Hanover, and Albion in St. Thomas in the East, the property of Robert Hibbert, Esq. of Birtles in Cheshire.

These gentlemen, as well as George Hibbert, Esq., to whom the agency of the island is confided at home, are nephews of the original settler of Agualta Vale Estates.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 10.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Bridge, over the White River.
St. Mary’s.
Published May 1, 1825 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & Lloyd, Harley Street, London.


The White River rises on the North side of the parish of St. Thomas in the Vale, and its course in its greatest length forms the boundary line between the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ann. Passing Whitehall, Spring Garden, Halifax and Goshen estates, it is crossed, near Davies’s, by the bridge in the annexed Plate; it then passes Industry, and falls into the sea at White River Bay, about midway between Rio Novo and Ocho Rios Bay. About twelve miles from its source in the mountains, the river precipitates itself in a fall of nearly three hundred feet obliquely measured. So vast a discharge of water, dashing and foaming from step to step with all the impetuosity and rage peculiar to that element, exhibits an awful and pleasing scene. But the grandeur of it is astonishingly heightened by the supplies it receives in the rainy seasons; then—

“Down it comes
From the rude mountain and the mossy wild,
Tumbling through rocks abrupt and sounding far:
Then o’er the sanded valley floating spreads
Calm: sluggish, silent; till again, constrained
Between two meeting crags, it bursts away,
Where rocks and woods o’erhang the turbid stream;
There, gathering triple force, rapid and deep.
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through.”

Nearly the whole parish of St. Mary is composed of hill, mountain, dale, and valley. The soil is in general a stiff clay in the higher grounds, and a considerable depth of rich, black, vegetable mould in the lower. It is universally fertile, the hills and mountains clothed with noble woods full of the finest and largest timber trees, and every spot is adapted to cultivation, except that the summits of some are thought too bleak and chilly for the sugar cane. The water is of extraordinary purity and wholesomeness, and the air is in general extremely healthful and agreeable to European constitutions.

The annexed View on the River has been selected not more on account of its pleasing sylvan character,—the Bridge being seen through its elegant frame of bamboos, and backed by mountains clothed with the richest forests,—than from its well-known form being so indelibly fixed on the memory of every one who has visited the North side.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 11.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Clarke
Port Maria,
St. Mary’s.
Published Aug. 1, 1825 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Port Maria, the principal town of the parish of St. Mary, on the north side of the island, is famous for having given, as it is supposed, an asylum to Columbus, when his ship was foundering; and somewhere hereabouts authors have placed the town of Melilla, the first which the Spaniards founded. The neighbouring port of Rio Nuevo is likewise remarkable for the decisive victory gained there by General D’Oyley over the Spaniards, which confirmed the English in the possession of the island. The coast differs greatly from that of the south side, being for the most part iron-bound, or protected from the fury of the north winds and the surges of the sea by a wall of rocks. The weather of this parish is extremely wet during great part of the year, and so cold that few if any of the houses are unfurnished with a chimney. The land in general, from its richness, bears a very luxuriant cane, some of which grow to an enormous size: but are unfit for making sugar, and are only grown for the still-house. The greater part of the land on which the town of Port Maria is built is the property of C. N. Bayly, Esq., as was likewise the ground on which the Court-house has lately been erected, but for which an exchange was made by the parish for other lands, which are now attached to Trinity Estate.

The view before us embraces on the left the New Court-house, erected 1821, and Fort Haldane and the Barracks on the point, an eminence which commands the entrance of the harbour. The houses stretch along the seashore, at a short distance from which is Cabarita Island. On the right are the works and negro houses of Frontier Estate, the property of A. Stirling, Esq.

GENERAL EXPORTS from Port Maria, between the 29th of September 1820, and the 29th of September 1821.

Sugar. Rum. Molasses. Coffee. Pimento.

Indigo. Hides. Logwood. Fustic. Nica-wood. Lignum. Mahogany. Lance-wood.
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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Trinity Estate,
St. Mary’s.
Published June 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Trinity, Tryall, Brimmer Hall, and Roslyn are contiguous Estates, occupying between 4 and 5,000 acres of land, in the immediate vicinity of Port-Maria, and from their consequence give the name of Bayly’s Vale to the district in which they are situated. The richness of the land, adapted for the most part to the cultivation of sugar, the easy approach to a shipping-place, the general healthiness of the spot, and the excellent provision grounds for the Negroes, render this one of the most desirable properties in the Island, more especially as the crops are seldom known to fail from that grievous calamity a protracted drought. The returns are annually from 1,000 to 1,100 hogsheads of sugar; in 1815, they reached 1,450. The number of negroes is little short of 1,100. The annexed View embraces the works of the Estate, with its aqueduct for the supply of the Water-mill, at once an object of utility and ornament, erected at a vast expense by the father of the present proprietor, and completed in 1797. In the distance are seen the works of Brimmer Hall, with the Overseer’s House on the eminence. Mr. Bayly’s Estates are in the charge of Henry Cox, Esq., of Industry.

The above-named Estates formed part of the extensive property of the late Zachary Bayly, Esq. (Mr. C. N. Bayly’s uncle), whose character is thus drawn by the elegant pen of his nephew, Bryan Edwards, Esq., in an Inscription in the Parish Church of St. Andrew.

Near this place
Lie the remains of
Custos and Chief Magistrate of the Precinct
Of St. Mary and St. George, and one of his Majesty’s
Honourable Council of this Island,
Who died on the 18th December 1769,
In the Forty-eighth Year of his Age.
He was a Man
To whom the endowments of Nature rendered those
Of Art superfluous.
He was wise without the assistance of recorded Wisdom,
And eloquent beyond the precepts of scholastick
He applied, not to Books, but to Men,
And drank of Knowledge
Not from the Stream, but the Source.
To Genius, which might have been fortunate
Without Industry,
He added Industry, which, without Genius, might
Have commanded Fortune.
He acquired Wealth with Honour,
And seemed to possess it only to be Liberal.
His Public Spirit
Was not less ardent than his Private Benevolence:
He considered Individuals as Brethren,
And his Country as a Parent.
May his Talents be remembered with Respect,
His Virtues with Emulation!

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Cardiff Hall,
St. Ann’s.
Published July 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.

Cardiff Hall, of which we give a view, is situated westward of St. Ann’s Bay, and was the usual residence, when in Jamaica, of John Blagrove, Esq., lately deceased.

This Estate, with others of equal and superior value and extent, was inherited by the late Mr. Blagrove from his Father, his ancestors having been settled in the Island from the time of its conquest by Cromwell.

The late Mr. John Blagrove was born at Cardiff Hall, and sent at an early age to England. He received his education at Eton College; from thence he went to Oxford, and afterwards passed a considerable time in travelling on the Continent; from which course of education he possessed in a high degree the accomplishments of a scholar and a gentleman.

On his return to Jamaica, he occasionally took an active part in the discussions which occurred in the House of Assembly, to which he was returned a member for many years by his native parish. And during the Maroon war, Mr. Blagrove was most actively engaged, and shared in its privations and dangers.

Mr. Blagrove bestowed the greatest attention to the improvement of the breed of cattle on his several Penns: he imported into the Island some of the best bred horses England ever produced, and his liberality and public spirit were rewarded by the high prices which his stock, particularly his horses, always commanded. He was a successful competitor, on many occasions, for the cup given at the races held in the parish of St. Ann’s: in fact, his horses for the most part beat the whole field.

For many years previous to his decease, Mr. Blagrove was resident in England, and about twenty years since he purchased the Aukawyke mansion and estate, with the manor of Wyrardisbury, in Buckinghamshire: this he made his chief residence, and the property has benefited much by his care and improvements, he having always taken much delight in agricultural pursuits, which he understood well.

He was also, a few years since, the purchaser of another estate at Great Abshot, near Titchfield, in Hampshire, and he resided there at the time of his decease, which happened on the 9th April 1824, after only a few days’ illness.

He was buried at Titchfield, and in the church-yard of that parish a neat monument has been erected to his memory; he had attained his 70th year, and is sincerely lamented by his family and numerous friends.

At this period, when the whole system of colonial slavery is so grossly misrepresented, it will only be an act of justice to state, that Mr. Blagrove was always considered by his slaves as a most kind and humane master. They amounted in number to about 1,500, and are a fine people, and unquestionable specimens of the happiness and comfort to which a slave population may attain, however melancholy it may be to contemplate the risks to which the late discussions are daily exposing them. Mr. Blagrove has given a legacy by his will, which marks at once a feeling for his slaves, that few men would bestow on the free labourers of England. We give his bequest in his own words:—

“And lastly, to my loving people, denominated and recognized by law as, and being in fact my slaves in Jamaica, but more estimated and considered by me and my family as tenants for life attached to the soil, I bequeath a dollar for every man, woman, and child, as a small token of my regard for their faithful and affectionate service and willing labours to myself and family, being reciprocally bound in one general tie of master and servant in the prosperity of the land, from which we draw our mutual comforts and subsistence in our several relations (a tie and interest not practised on by the hired labourer of the day in the United Kingdom), the contrary of which doctrine is held only by the visionists of the puritanical order against the common feeling of mankind.”

The annexed view is taken from the great interior road, and represents, seen through the Pimento Grove, the south or entrance front of the house. On the right is the barbecure, or plaister floor, on which the pimento is spread out to dry. The excellence of the house, the delightful variety of the grounds, and the contiguity to the sea, render Cardiff Hall one of the most desirable residences in the Island of Jamaica.

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Fielding
St. Thomas in the Vale,
from Mount Diablo.
Published Apr. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


The road over Mount Diablo, to open a more easy communication between the South and North side of the Island, was formed about fifty years since. The elevation is gradual and easy to its summit, and the toil of mounting it is amply repaid by the varied and extensive prospect which it commands; the whole parish of St. Thomas in the Vale backed by the high grounds of St. David’s, and the more distant blue mountains being spread before the eye. In the wood beneath us are the buildings of the Ivy Sugar Estate, now thrown up, and lately purchased by George Barriffe, Esq.: beyond is Charlemont Penn, the property of Sir Alexander Grant, Bart, and more distant, the works on Treadways, the property of Henry Dawkins, Esq. The immense height and consequent distance renders the markings of other estates too indistinct for the pencil. The greater part of the parish is comprized within the Vale called Sixteen Mile Walk. This Vale is about eleven miles in length, and eight in width. It is neither flat nor swampy, but diversified throughout with gentle risings and slopes: the soil is fertile; for the most part a red coarse earth, mixed with clay, or a dark mould, with a whitish marl. The Vale is almost daily throughout the year overcast with a thick fog, which begins to rise slowly on the approach of evening, grows denser as the night advances, becomes gradually diffused into all the contiguous vales or inlets among the surrounding mountains, is heaviest about the dawn of day, and remains settled until the sun has warmed and agitated the air: then it rises higher, expanding in the atmosphere; and between the hours of eight and nine in the forenoon, it begins to flow away in two principal streams, the one westward among the mountains on that side; and the other southward following the course of the river. The air of this parish is in general reported healthy, and the habitations throughout the Vale, being for the most part built upon rising grounds, are not liable to damps. This tract was among the first settled with sugar plantations, and what it produces now of that commodity is of an excellent quality, but the land is thought to be much worn. The road itself cannot be better described than in the words of Beckford; and not having the English work at hand, we must quote from the French translation, which is fortunately in our possession. “Il est peu de routes que je préfère à celles que l’on voit dans la plus grande partie de l’isle entre de hautes hayes de campêche; elles sont loin d’une régularité monotone; souvent elles forment de magnifiques berceaux du plus beau verd; ici, elles sont découvertes et laissent distinguer vingt arbustes différens; là elles se resserrent, c’est plus un sentier qu’un grand chemin, et des tilleuls en fleurs y répandent leurs parfums dans les airs; tout auprès s’élève le cocotier; ses rameaux forment le dais le plus magnifique, et ses fruits suspendus à la portée du voyageur l’invitent à y chercher une fraîcheur salutaire et des sues parfumés et exquis. Les prairies sont peuplées de troupeaux; le bambou y étale la délicatesse de ses plumes et la richesse de ses ombres; le cédre bâtard y balance ses larges ombelles, et l’arbre du cachou y attire les yeux par la couleur dorée de ses fruits.”

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
The Bog Walk.
Published June 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


The Parish of St. Thomas in the Vale is very generally known as The Walks, which are again subdivided and distinguished as Bog Walk, the Six Mile Walk, the Sixteen Mile Walk, &c. Bog Walk is the high road from Spanish Town, to the parish of St. Thomas in the Vale, St. Ann, St. Mary, and generally to the north side of the Island. The road for the first five or six miles from the former town runs through a fine open country, and then enters the mountains, clothed with the most luxuriant foliage of every variety of form and grandeur, and of every variety of tint; the road passes along at their base, and divides the narrow space, with the Rio Cobre retained in its channel, where necessary, by a stone parapet, as seen in the accompanying view.

The Rio Pedro, Rio d’Oro, Rio Magno, and the Black River, fall into the Rio Cobre, near the Bog Walk. From the Tavern (at the opening of the pass into St. Thomas in the Vale) the latter river, after passing Spanish Town, enters the sea at Hunt’s Bag, near Fort Augusta.

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Williamsfield Estate.
St. Thomas’ in the Vale.
Published July 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street, London.


Williamsfield Estate, in the Parish of St. Thomas in the Vale, according to what can be gathered from the old negroes (there being no early records), was first settled, nearly eighty years ago, by Mr. Needham, who was at that time a large proprietor in the Island; but while in its infancy (within three or four years after it was commenced), it was purchased by a Mr. Harvey, who came from Barbadoes, and was a merchant in Kingston, From Mr. Harvey it became the property of Daniel Lascelles, Esq., brother to the first Baron Harewood, from whom it descended to the present Earl. It contains 2,998 acres of land, including Sandy Gut, a small estate which was purchased and added to it in 1815: something more than 300 acres of this is in canes, about 500 fallow and in pasture; the remainder in excellent negro provision grounds, woodland and ruinate, but a great part of the two latter is incapable of any cultivation, from being extremely rocky and steep: the present crops exceed 300 hogsheads of good sugar, with a pretty good proportion of rum. There are 304 negroes (negroes and people of colour) on the estate. The jobbing, or hired negro labour, is however considerable. The nearest shipping-places to which a waggon can go, are Port Henderson and Passage Fort, both of which are twenty-three or twenty-four miles distant. The principal road across the island, from Spanish Town to St. Mary’s, passes through the estate, on the bank of a pleasant rivulet, between the works and dwelling house: the cane field and pasture land is a continuation of small steep hills with water-courses passing between them; the wood covers the hills towering over these. The soil is in general light and poor, but with a judicious use of manure, which the situation of the cane land renders the application of, a hard task for the stock, gives fair returns.

Nightingale Grove, in St. Dorothy’s, is likewise the property of the Earl of Harewood. At the time of its purchase, by Mr. Daniel Lascelles, it was a penn, but was soon after converted into a sugar estate.—G. W. Hamilton, Esq., Attorney.

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Bryan Castle, Great House, Trelawny.
Published Mar. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Bryan Castle Estate was settled in 1793 by Bryan Edwards, Esq., and afterwards became, by purchase, the property of the late Alexander Donaldson, Esq., and is now in the possession of Alexander Grant, John Meek, and Joseph Green, Esqrs., trustees nominated by his will. The property contains 1402 acres of land, 300 of which are in canes, 600 in pasture and pimento, and the remainder in negro and provision grounds. The crops have averaged, during the last twelve years, 300 hogsheads of sugars, with the usual proportion of rum, and in good seasons 300 bags of pimento. On the estate are 165 negroes, the extra labour being made up by jobbing. This estate is pleasantly situated within three miles of Rio Bueno, the nearest shipping port, to which there is a good road; it is like the generality of sea-side estates, subject to frequent droughts, but in good seasons is very productive. The works are on an extensive scale, and in high preservation; and at the distance of half-a-mile from them is the Great or Mansion House, represented in the annexed view. Above stairs is the Study, where the original founder of the estate compiled his much esteemed work, and his books and furniture are still preserved there.

Bryan Edwards, the very able and accurate historian of the West Indies, was born May 20, 1743, at Westbury, in Wiltshire. His father inherited a small paternal estate in the neighbourhood, and died in 1756, leaving a widow and six children, of whom Bryan was the eldest.

Mrs. Edwards had two opulent brothers in the West Indies, one of them a wise and worthy man, of a liberal mind and princely fortune. This was Zachary Bayly, Esq. of this island, of whom some further account is given in the description of the estates in St. Mary’s, now the property of his nephew Charles Nathaniel Bayly, Esq.

Mr. Bayly took the family under his protection, and directed that no expense should be spared in their education.

In 1759 a younger and only brother of his uncle came to reside in England, where he was successively Member of Parliament for Abingdon and for his native town. This gentleman, at the end of the same year, sent his nephew to Jamaica, where he resided with his uncle, and continued his classical studies under a Mr. Teale, with unabating assiduity.

In 1773 Mr. Edwards was left heir to the great property of a Mr. Hume, of Jamaica, became an opulent merchant, returned to England, and in 1796 took his seat in Parliament for the Borough of Grampound. He represented that place till his death, which happened at his house, Polygon, near Southampton, July 15, 1800. His first publication was a pamphlet entitled, “Thoughts on the Proceedings of Government respecting the Trade of the West India Islands with the United States of America,” 1784. This was followed by “A Speech delivered by him at a Free Conference between the Council and Assembly at Jamaica, held on the 25th November 1789, on the subject of Mr. Wilberforce’s Propositions to the House of Commons concerning the Slave Trade.” But his distinguished performance is his “History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies,” 1793, 2 vols. 4to. a work of very superior merit, and of the highest authority, particularly in the commercial part. To a new edition of this work, published in 1801, 3 vols. 8vo., is prefixed a short Memoir of his early Life, written by himself. In 1796 Mr. Edwards published “The Proceedings of the Governor and Assembly of Jamaica in regard to the Maroon Negroes,” 8vo. In all these works Mr. Edwards’ style is easy and elegant, and many of his remarks highly valuable, as the result of long experience and observation.

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Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Montego Bay,
from Reading Hill.
Published March 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


This view of Montego Bay is taken from Reading Hill, over which the King’s Road to Westmoreland passes. Immediately below the eye are the buildings on Mr. Scott’s wharf, rented by Mr. Home, between which and the town of Montego Bay the sea is dotted with the Islands which form a part of the Bogue estate. They are entirely unproductive, although the largest contains fifty acres, and has a spring of fresh water. Behind is the town, seated on a bay, which for beauty of form may vie with the most remarkable.

The first ship and house built at Montego Bay was about the year 1748; it was made a port of entry and clearance in 1758, and a free port at near the same time; and in 1815 the Courts of Law were removed thither from Savannah le Mar.

In 1759, by an Act of the Legislature, the Close Harbour Company was formed, and made a corporation and body politic. The swell, which arises from the action of the north-west winds on the gulph stream on the coast of America, is thrown back, and occasions the re-action of the sea upon the Bay of Mexico; from thence it is thrown on to the Islands, and of course into this harbour. It often comes after the wind has long ceased, and upon several occasions every vessel riding in Montego Bay has been thrown on shore. To guard, as far as human foresight was able, against the recurrence of similar accidents, a company of gentlemen, actuated by their feelings of humanity and patriotism, first formed a fund of £15,000 by shares of £100 each, for building a breakwater, a sort of mole, behind which the vessels might lay in security; but, beyond this sum, above £45,000 has at various times been expended upon the work, which is built in twenty-four feet water; the base is 120, and the upper part eighty broad.[2]

This was the first company formed in the West Indies for the execution of any public undertaking. The holders get a return of from six to ten per cent. on their original shares, derived from a tax upon shipping granted at the time of their incorporation; but nothing for the sum laid out beyond the original subscription. The Close Harbour is calculated to hold thirty ships, and a vessel of 800 tons has loaded in it.

The number of vessels which come into Montego Bay annually may be stated at about seventy ships and brigs, and the tonnage at 20,000 tons. The exports, from the 29th of Sept. 1820 to the 29th Sept. 1821, were as under:

Tonnage Sugar. Rum. Casks of
Sugar. Pimento. Hides. Logwood. Fustic. Lig. vitæ. Mahonogany. Cedar. Lancewood.
Hds. Trs. Bbls. Puns. Hds. Cks. Bags. Cks. Bags.
Tons. Tons. Tons. Hogs. Logs. Sprs.
To Great Britain 13072 13097 1887 147 6186 458 6 53930 53 4 71 1183 222 701 313 79 549 832 4103
— Ireland 193 210 70 10 8734 40 10
— Brit. Plantations 3431 21 2 6 944 24 93 1563 12 91 188 1
— Spanish Main 3551 996
20247 13328 1959 153 8126 492 99 64227 53 4 83 1314 410 711 314 79 549 832 4103

The town is the county town, and the third in size in the island Its public buildings are two places of worship, a court-house, gaol, fort, marine hospital, and barracks for two companies of infantry. The site of the town is bad, being on the leeward side of a range of hills, and originally it was very marshy; but these hills afford fine lime-stone, and an earth of the nature of puzzolana, which no water acts upon. The streets formed of these materials, are hard, durable, and free from dust.

The portion of a morass at the back of the town, which belonged to the public, has recently, though an Herculean task, been filled up. The bushes and aquatic vegetables growing upon it were cut down and laid on the morass, and small stones and earth from the town quarry laid upon them to the thickness of three inches. When these had sufficiently incorporated, a similar layer, and then again a third were put on, and it is now passable for the heaviest carts. It has already had a sensible effect on the leeward part of the town, where the autumnal fever, so frequent in the fall, is now scarcely known. The land belonging to individuals is forming in like manner, and will in a few years be capable of bearing buildings. The town has been twice in great part burnt down, in 1795 and 1818. While we deplore the loss to individuals, the arrangements for its reconstruction have greatly improved it. The building lots are generally about one-fifth of an acre, and, according to their situation, value from £280 to £1500 a lot, or from 1400 to 7500 currency per acre. The most valuable lots are those nearest the sea.

On the hills to the east and north are a variety of very elegant and substantial residences, which command a charming prospect of the town and shipping, and an extensive line of country.

The Church of this town is the handsomest in the island. There is likewise a Wesleyan Chapel, and in the parish there are no less than fourteen religious establishments for the instruction of the black population, conducted by the Established Church, the Moravians, Baptists, and Wesleyan Methodists. In the town itself are eight Schools: four for the white, including a free school, and four for the brown population.

The Magistracy are divided into four bodies, one being appointed for each quarter, and two meet every day at the Court-house for the decision of inferior cases. The Quarter Sessions are held four times a year, and the Assize Courts three times.

The Court-House is a handsome and commodious building. In it are whole-length portraits of George III. and Queen Charlotte, by the former President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Bail-Room and Court-House are elegantly furnished; the chandeliers are of the most costly description, and the entertainments given there are seldom graced with fewer than 120 ladies.

The water, with which the town is abundantly supplied, rises in a valley at the foot of the hills, and is of remarkable purity. These, with other local advantages, render Montego Bay and its neighbourhood a very desirable place of residence.

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Montpelier Estate, St. James’s
The property of C. R. Ellis, Esq. M.P.
Published Feb. 1, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Montpelier Estates, the property of Charles Ellis, Esq. M.P., are situated in the parish of St. James, at about ten miles from Montego Bay. They are part of a large tract of land, consisting of about 10,000 acres, which stretches across the valley of the great river from the hills on either side, and is divided by that river into two portions, of which about 8,000 acres are in the parish of St. James, and about 2,000 in the parish of Hanover. The latter forms a penn, or grass farm, called Shettlewood.

The Montpeliers were purchased by John Ellis, Esq. father of the present proprietor, when nearly the whole of this beautiful valley, now so thickly settled and so richly cultivated, was covered with native wood. The settlement of the Old Works’ Estate had been commenced, but was completed by Mr. Ellis: the New Works’ Estate was entirely settled by him about the year 1775.

Shettlewood was the residence of a gentleman of that name, but it was established as a penn by Mr. Ellis, and has since been greatly extended by the present proprietor.

The buildings on both the estates (the annexed plate represents the Old Works) are of stone, which is in great abundance in the neighbourhood, and of which the small round hills, which form a remarkable feature in the surrounding country, are chiefly composed. The mill on the Old Works is supplied by a stream which rises in the highland to the east of the works, in the chasm of a rock, where it forms a pool, said to be of unfathomable depth, and from the clearness of the water has acquired the name of the Blue Hole. It is brought on an aqueduct along the side of the hills, till it reaches the works, where it is carried over the flat to the mill in a series of stone arches, some of which are seen in the drawing. The date of the year 1746 appears on several of the buildings.

The New Works Estate has likewise the advantage of a water-mill. The stream by which it is worked has its source in Shettlewood Penn, where it is collected into a large pool by a stone dam raised across the valley in which it rises. It is carried over the great river by a bridge, and thence on an aqueduct of stone arches to the mill.

The cane pieces of the two estates occupy about 1000 acres, that is 600 to the Old Works and 400 to the New: but the field of canes actually kept in cultivation has latterly been considerably diminished. There is also a due proportion of land in guinea grass and common pasture, both for the working stock of the estates (about 550 head) and for the cattle belonging to the negroes, who have 100 head of breeding cows, besides their produce. The remainder is chiefly woodland, but presents the means of forming more than one additional sugar-estate, for which the soil is very well adapted. At present it affords an abundant supply of timber and of wood for staves and fuel, and an extensive provision ground for the negroes.

An establishment called the Farm has also been formed on a part of it, which is cultivated for the supply of the estates with vegetables and ground provision; where a range of cottages has likewise been built for the convalescent negroes or others, whose health may require rest or particular attention.

The produce of the estates is shipped at a wharf, which forms part of the property at the bottom of the Long Hill, at a distance from Montpelier of about seven miles.

Shettlewood Penn contains 850 acres of guinea grass, 450 acres of common pasture, the remaining 700 are in woodland and negroe provision grounds. The stock consists chiefly of horned cattle, in number about 800; of these 200 are breeding cows. In addition to their produce, there is a large stock fattening for the butchery, by which the neighbouring estates are regularly supplied with fresh beef. On the estates and pen are about 900 negroes.

The properties are under the management of William Miller, Esq. of Falmouth.[3]

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Rose Hall,
St. James’.
Published Apr. 2, 1824 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & E. Lloyd, Harley Street.


Rose-Hall, the property and residence of John Rose Palmer, Esq., is situated on the sea-side, at nearly equal distance from Montego Bay and Falmouth. The house of which we give a view is justly considered as the best in Jamaica, and was erected about fifty years since by the uncle of the present proprietor, at the expense of £30,000 sterling. It is placed at a delightful elevation, and commands a very extensive sea view. Its general appearance has much of the character of a handsome Italian villa. A double flight of stone steps leads to an open portico, giving access to the entrance hall; on the left of which is the eating-room, and on the right the drawing-room, behind which are other apartments for domestic uses. The right wing, fitted up with great elegance, and enriched with painting and gilding, was the private apartment of the late Mrs. Palmer, and the left wing is occupied as servants’ apartments and offices. The principal staircase, in the body of the house, is a specimen of joinery in mahogany and other costly woods seldom excelled, and leads to a suite of chambers in the upper story.

This estate, and the adjoining one of Palmyra, descended to the present proprietor from his great uncle. Rose-Hall estate has about 200 acres in canes, about the same quantity in grass, and about 250 in ruinate; the Negro grounds are on Palmyra estate, which is a more seasonable situation.

Palmyra estate contains about 1,250 acres.

The produce is shipped at a wharf at about two miles and a half distance. On the two estates are 252 negroes, and 276 head of cattle.

Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 21.jpg
Drawn by James Hakewill Engraved by Sutherland
Whitney Estate, Clarendon
The property of Viscount Dudley & Ward
Published May 1, 1825 by Hurst Robinson & Co., 90 Cheapside, & Lloyd, Harley Street, London.


Whitney Estate, the property of Viscount Dudley and Ward, is situated on the great interior road which connects St. Elizabeth with St. Dorothy's, at the distance of about thirty-five miles from Spanish Town. It contains 3,243 acres; of which 160 are in canes, 2,902 in provision and wood land, 151 in pasturage, and 22 in corn. The average crops are 250 hogsheads, and the number of negroes 271. The produce is shipped at Milk River, nearly fifteen miles from the estates; but this distance is relieved by Rymesbury Penn, a portion of the same property. The soil of the high lands of Clarendon is in general rather rocky, intermingled with a black shell mould, or a fine vegetable dark mould on a clay. The lower grounds are chiefly clay, intermixed here and there with rich veins of vegetable mould: the latter mostly abounds near the banks of rivers, consisting of the sediment they have deposited, or the finer particles washed down from the hills. Long, in his History of Jamaica, published in 1774, speaking of this estate, says: "The plantation called Carvers (now Whitney) is one of the most celebrated for its fertility. It is a small dale surrounded with rocky hills, and so rich that it produces invariably three hundred hogsheads of sugar per annum, with so little labour upon it, that they (the negroes) multiply sufficiently to keep up their stock, without having recourse to African recruits."—These estates became the property of the present noble family by marriage with an heiress of the Carvers, a descendant of the original settler. The Plate before us gives the general view of the Estate in approaching it from the South. The road is crossed by the aqueduct, which conveys the water to the mill, and its course may be traced along the side of the hill to the works.

  1. The more immediate are Trafalgar Coffee Mountain, the property of the Honourable John Rawleigh Jackson, Custos of the Parish; and Bloxburg, the property of J. P. Kellerman, Esq.
  2. On the whole of the north side of Jamaica are natural breakwaters, formed of coral rocks, having here and there openings through which vessels can pass. At Falmouth, such form the harbour; but at Montego Bay, although there is a similar line of rocks, they were insufficient, and this mole or breakwater was built to assist it.
  3. The family of Ellis have been settled in Jamaica from the time of its conquest, and possess large properties in other parts of the island. Mr. John Ellis, the elder brother of the proprietor of Montpelier, being owner of Green Castle, Newry, and Nutfield Estates, in the parish of St. Mary, and of a penn in the adjoining parish of St. George, called Fort George; and also jointly with Mr. C. Ellis of an estate and penn (called Caymanas and the Crawle), which are situated on the road from Spanish Town to Kingston near the Ferry.

    The guinea grass, a production of the soil next in importance to the sugar cane, was first sown by an ancestor of these gentlemen. The seed had been sent from Guinea as food for some birds, which had been presented to Mr. Ellis, the Chief Justice of the island, and was sown to insure a supply. But the avidity with which the cattle sought it, induced him to cultivate it on a larger scale. To this accident may be ascribed the introduction of this valuable grass, and probably, in consequence, the settlement of nearly all the north side parishes.

    Recurring to the plate, we will briefly describe the destination of the several buildings. The first on the left is the barracks or residence of the book-keepers; the next the overseer’s house and offices; on the knoll is the hospital; below is the cattle-mill, and next the water-mill, between which a portion of the aqueduct is seen. The next and largest building of the group is the boiling-house, and then the still-house. In the distance are the trash-houses; and above, shaded and partly concealed by groves of cocoa-nut trees and plantations, are the cottages of the negroes. The natural productions which appear in this view, as the mango tree at the end of the still-house, the lofty cabbage tree, the bamboo, and the cotton tree, will be found described in another portion of the work.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.