Cultural

Step well, George Town, Grand Cayman

Step well, George Town, Grand Cayman

Cayman history, architecture, step-wells, house-shaped gravestones (grave markers) in Grand Cayman cemeteries, Cayman traditional arts and crafts. Catboats – local woods used catboat construction, Silver Thatch plaiting, gigs, calavans, paintings, Miss Lassie’s house, Wattle and Daub houses and the woods that were used in their construction.

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House-shaped Gravestones in the Cayman Islands

P. Ann van B. Stafford    Grand Cayman

Click here for photos of Cayman House-shaped gravestones

Click here for pdf    HOUSE-SHAPED gravestones – Cayman v.3 May30-13

View from Prospect Point Mar. 25, 2012

View from Prospect Point
Mar. 25, 2012

Prospect was an important area of settlement. According to the 1802 census, Thompson and Watler families lived here. There are a total of 28 house-shaped gravestones remaining in two cemeteries on Prospect Point’s sandy ridge, overlooking the sea.

From whom, what or where did the influence of the design of the house-shaped gravestones in the Cayman Islands come? Perhaps there was no outside influence.

House-shaped gravestones at the Watler Cemetery, Grand Cayman, Jan.14, 2013

House-shaped gravestones at the Watler Cemetery, Prospect Point, Grand Cayman, Jan.14, 2013

Watler Cemetery

Houses in Miniature

1845 The burial-place took my attention as peculiarly neat and simple. The graves were marked, not by mounds of earth and headstones, or great massive tombs, but by houses in miniature, just large enough each to cover one person; mostly about six feet long, two feet broad, and one and a half high, with a sloping roof and full gable end, in which was inserted a smallslab containing containing the name of the occupant, his age, and the day on which he entered his narrow home, “the house appointed for all living.” They were well built, white, and clean, and, of course, of all sizes. Sometimes a row of them close to one another indicated a family place of sepulture. The want of sufficient depth of earth for an ordinary grave, perhaps, led to the adoption of this literal necropolis.

 Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell, Scottish Missionary Society missionary,sailed from Jamaica Sat. Jan 11, 1845 and was shipwrecked on the East End reef in February 1845. His book:

Twenty-Nine Years in the West Indies and Central Africa: A Review of Missionary Work and Adventure, 1829-1858   was published in 1865.

 

House-shaped gravestones at the Eden Cemetery, Prospect Point, Grand Cayman, June 17, 2013

House-shaped gravestones at the Eden Cemetery, Prospect Point, Grand Cayman, June 17, 2013

East End Port of Entry Nov14-04

East End as a Port of Entry from the late 1800’s to 1935, when the vehicular road from Bodden Town to East End was constructed.

Thatch rope, Mahogany and turtle products were exported to Jamaica.

Mahogany - Swietenia mahagoni in East End, Grand Cayman. Jan.4, 2004.

Mahogany – Swietenia mahagoni, East End,  Jan.4, 2004.

Mahogany – now an Endangered tree in the Cayman Islands, was exported from Grand Cayman.

There was no road between Bodden Town and East End until 1935.

East End road

East End road

House-shaped gravestones in Grand Cayman

They were found in all Districts; those that still exist are:

 

North West Point Cemetery, West Bay (2)

Elmslie Memorial Church yard – George Town (8, including 3 very small ones)

Watler Cemetery, Prospect Point Road, Old Prospect (15)

Eden – Prospect Cemetery, Prospect Point Road, Old Prospect (13)

Spotts Cemetery, Spotts (10)

Pedro St James Cemetery, Savannah (1)

Bodden Town, Webster United Church Cemetery (several)

Old Man Bay Cemetery, North Side (3)

North Side Cemetery (2)

East End Cemetery  (?)

Gun Bay Cemetery (1 small)

From whom, what or where did the influence of the design of the house-shaped gravestones in the Cayman Islands come? Perhaps there was no outside influence.

The coffin was buried in the sand. Sand was mounded over the grave. A structure was made over the grave, which would support itself. A slab alone could not be cast, because maybe the mortar was not sufficiently good.

Coral rocks (and sometimes bricks from ships’ ballast) were piled on top of the sand, the length and breadth of where the coffin was buried. (See Elmslie Church, Watler Cemetery and Spotts Cemetery gravestones where part of the ‘roof’ is missing.) The structure needed a WATER-SHED so that the rain water would run off. It was faced with DAUB. The resulting structure was house-shaped. Length + breadth + sloping roof = house-shaped gravestone.

Maybe there was sentimentality in the design – a house for the repose of the departed.

 

PACT – acronym for what or where the influence of the design came:

T  Terrain                                  sandy beach ridge, not cliff rock or valuable arable soil

C  Climate                                 heat, rainfall, hurricanes, burial within 24 hours

A  Availability of materials          coral rocks and limestone daub (made from burned coral rocks).         

                                                Sometimes bricks from ships’ ballast were also used.

P  Practicality of design               approx. 6ft x 2ft slab over the coffin (which was buried in the sand), and weighted with coral rocks with sloping top (‘roof’) for watershed, so that water could not settle on it and destroy the daub.

 The resulting structure looked house-shaped.

Lime Kiln

DAUB was a plaster made of lime, sand and water. Lime for this purpose was obtained by building a lime kiln. Reaching several feet high, a kiln consisted of alternating layers of partly dried wood and coral. Wood for the kiln came from Sea-grape (Coccoloba uvifera) and Indian Almond (Terminalia catappa) trees and the coral came from panshoals which lie just below the level of the reef. Coral rocks taken directly from the sea were ideal because, being water-logged, they powdered easily in the heat of the kiln. Kindling, usually Candlewood (Amyris elemifera), was placed in a hole left in the centre of the circular kiln. As the kindling burnt away the heated coral would fall into the heart of the fire where the intense heat reduced it to a fine lime powder.

The Lime Kiln – Cayman Islands National Museum

Candlewood – Amyris elemifera RUTACEAE

Candlewood - Amyris elemifera, RUTACEAE flowers Sept.9, 2012

Candlewood – Amyris elemifera, RUTACEAE
flowers Sept.9, 2012

Who lies there?

Most of the hardwood plaques with the names and dates have either disappeared or the inscription on them is no longer legible. The living buried the dead, so who was living at the time?

 

Family graveyards rather than church graveyards

Families had to bury their dead before there were churches in the Cayman Islands.

To try to find out ‘Who lies there?’ I have been making a Family Tree in my Family Tree Maker Program, starting with the early settlers and their descendants, to the best of my researched knowledge.

The first ordained clergyman to lay the foundations of pastoral work in the Cayman Islands was Rev. Thomas Sharpe, Church of England, who arrived on Dec. 23, 1831. See p.8

WATLER Cemetery (National Trust Property) at Prospect Point:

There are no discernible names or dates on the 15 house-shaped gravestones. www.nationaltrust.org.ky/index.php/info-sheets/watler-cemetary

Settlers first came to the Cayman Islands almost 300 years ago. It became the custom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for people to set aside a portion of their land for the family graveyard. There are a number of such plots around the islands, and many are still used today.

The wooden coffin lies buried in the ground underneath the stone slab supporting the monument. This would have been sufficiently heavy to prevent all but the fiercest of storms from disturbing them. The name of the deceased was inscribed on a mahogany panel set into the wall of the “house”. It is likely that wood was chosen in preference to stone because the local people were skilled carpenters, not stonemasons. Sadly, many of the markers have disappeared and others have become illegible over the years.

Watler Cemetery is a property of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. Prospect Point, Grand Cayman, June 17, 2013.

Watler Cemetery is a property of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. Prospect Point, Grand Cayman, June 17, 2013.

 

EDEN Family Cemetery at Prospect Point:

There are names and dates on 3 of the 13 house-shaped gravestones:

Thomas Knowles EDEN 1782-1843 and his wife

Elizabeth Charlotte EDEN (née COE) 1783-1839

Charlotte Matilda EDEN 1843-1853 (their 10 year old granddaughter)

 

William Eden* 1807-1879 (Custos), (son of Thomas K. and Elizabeth Eden) and his wife Rachel Jane (nee ?) 1811-1901 are also buried in the EDEN Family Cemetery at Prospect Point, but not with house-shaped gravestones.  Charlotte Matilda EDEN was their 10 year old daughter.

GUN BAY cemetery (1):

New born child’s grave, 1874

 

OLD MAN BAY cemetery:

www.nationaltrust.org.ky/index.php/info-sheets/traditional-sand-cemetaries

(They) are believed to be those of three Whittaker sisters, descendants of five Whittaker brothers who came and settled in Old Man Bay around 1840.

 

NORTH SIDE Cemetery (2):

William Grant Tatum b. March 17, 1824, died Mar.10, 1910, married on Sept.10, 1847 to

Mary L. Tatum née McLaughlin, b. Mar.17, 1825, died   Mar.11, 1919

(William was not related to the original North Side Tatum family.)

 

ELMSLIE Memorial Church, George Town

Memorial stone laid by Rev. R. C. Young, July 1, 1920. 90th. Anniversary of the church – 1922-2012.

House-shaped gravestone of Mary Catherine Page-Merren, died Sept.23, 1875, paternal grandmother of Veta

Merrren-Bodden. This was destroyed, along with others, to make way for a parking lot, some time after 1973.

Traditional Sand Cemeteries  – extract from National Trust for the Cayman Islands Information sheet

www.nationaltrust.org.ky/index.php/info-sheets/traditional-sand-cemetaries

In days gone by, there were no community graveyards in the Cayman Islands. It was the practice for each family to be responsible for the safe burial of their dead. During the eighteenth century people started to set aside a small portion of their land to serve as the family graveyard.

 

As good soil was scarce and needed to grow crops, it could not be spared for such a purpose. Much of the remaining land was made up of very hard coral limestone rock, which was extremely difficult to excavate with the simple tools available. Fortunately, the answer lay on the shoreline, where the deep, infertile, sandy soil had less value and was relatively easy to dig. It must be remembered that it is only in the twentieth century that beaches have been seen as an asset. The early settlers preferred to live away from the threat of flooding which they represented.

 

FOUNDED UPON THE SEAS – A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People by Michael Craton and the New History Committee 2003

Page 236 has a drawing captioned ‘Graves in Grand Cayman dating from the early 1800’s’

 

A Study of Church and State in the Cayman Islands: THE DEPENDENCY QUESTION by Nicholas J. G. Sykes

 

Chapter 5 THE CAYMANAS CHURCH UP TO 1839   p.53 – extract:

A Study of Church and State in the Cayman Islands: The Dependency Question by Nicholas J. G. Sykes1996

A Study of Church and State in the Cayman Islands: The Dependency Question by Nicholas J. G. Sykes1996

1820’s ‘ In the beginning’, the Caymanas Church was a congregation of worshippers presided over by a ‘respectable Inhabitant’ and it is notable that Caymanas Governor’ William Bodden had a ‘house of Public’ worship built for them. There is no question that the inhabitants took it for granted that the Faith they practised was the Faith of the Mother country, and they would have been within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. Later, the See of Jamaica was erected and the Rt. Rev. Christopher Lipscomb was installed as the Church of England’s first Bishop of Jamaica.

 

1836 June 9 to 1837 June 9                   p.67

Report of the Rev. David Wilson Church of England Stipendiary Curate of the Island of Grand Caymanas

His George Town Congregation               280

His Prospect Congregation                       200

Number of Baptisms                                38

Number of Marriages                              11

Number of Burials                                     9

 

Page 84 has two photographs of old tombs at the Watler Cemetery, Prospect Point, and George Town church yard. ‘It is possible, though unlikely, that one or other goes back to Church of England times.’

TIMELINE

Christopher Colombus sighted Little Cayman and Cayman Brac on May 10, 1503 on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. He named the islands Las Tortugas (The Turtles) because so many turtles were seen.

Christopher Colombus sighted Little Cayman and Cayman Brac on May 10, 1503
on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.
He named the islands Las Tortugas (The Turtles)
because so many turtles were seen.

1503 May 10 Columbus sighted Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on his 4th. voyage and named them Las Tortugas. Over the next 100 years, the name Caymanas or Cayman became common.

16th. Century Spanish and Portuguese Trade Routes

16th. Century Spanish and Portuguese Trade Routes

16th. Century Spanish and Portuguese Trade Routes

Spanish galleon routes (white): West Indies or trans-atlantic route begun in 1492,

Manila galleon or trans-pacific route begun in 1565.

(Blue): Portuguese routes, operational from 1498 to 1640.

Spanish Treasure Fleet

1586 Sir Francis Drake (1540-1595) Drake’s fleet of 23 ships stopped for two days at uninhabited Grand Cayman.  Crocodiles, alligators, iguanas and numerous turtles were recorded.

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596)
National Portrait Gallery, London

1649 King Charles I executed

King Charles I

King Charles I

1653-1658 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, virtual dictator

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) by Samuel Cooper

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)
by Samuel Cooper

1655 Cromwell’s grand Western Design, English joint army-navy force, captured Jamaica from the Spanish

1655 The Maroons were the slaves of the Spanish, who escaped into the forests and mountains of Jamaica, before  and after the English arrived.                  

1656 Cromwell issued a proclamation in other colonies, inviting settlers for the new colony of Jamaica. William BOWDEN, an early settler from Nevis, arrived in December with Major Luke Stokes, Governor of Nevis, in the Morant Bay area, St. Thomas. (Within three months, by March 1657, two-thirds of the 1600 settlers had died of fevers in the low-lying coastal area.) Bowden is an area in St. Thomas which takes its name from a former owner.  

Jamaica – The Settlers from Nevis

by S. A. G. Taylor, page 14

Caribbean Basin map

Caribbean Basin map

1661-71 The first recorded settlements were located on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, during the tenure of Sir Thomas Modyford as Governor of Jamaica. Muddy Foots, Little Cayman is named after him. Because of the depredations of Spanish privateers, Modyford’s successor called the settlers back to Jamaica, though by this time Spain had recognized British possession of the Islands in the 1670 Treaty of Madrid.

1670 Under the Treaty of Madrid, Spain recognized England’s sovereignty over Jamaica and various other Caribbean islands, including Cayman.

1685  Sir Hans Sloane

Jamaican Voyage 1687-1689

In 1685 Sloane was made a Fellow of the young but prestigious Royal Society, and in 1687 a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. It was at this time that he was offered the chance to travel to Jamaica as physician to the new Governor, the 2nd Duke of Albermarle

The Governor died at age 35.

Sloane spent 15 months in Jamaica.

Sir Hans Sloane’s Voyage to Jamaica, 1687-1689, by Tony Rice

Sir Hans Sloane, Bt by Stephen Slaughter

Sir Hans Sloane, Bt
by Stephen Slaughter

Sir Hans Sloane, Bt  by Stephen Slaughter, oil on canvas, 1736. NPG 569

© National Portrait Gallery, London.

The Sir Hans Sloane Herbarium

The Sloane Herbarium contains volumes 1-7 of plant specimens collected on Sloane’s voyage to Jamaica (1687-1689).

During his voyage to Jamaica, Sir Hans Sloane collected the first plant specimens to be brought back to England from the region. The specimens were mounted in seven bound volumes, which have been preserved intact. They remain an invaluable resource for both scientific and historical research.

Fustic (Maclura tinctoria), an export from Grand Cayman, (see Timeline 1765) was one of the plant specimens taken back to England by Sloane.

1692 Port Royal, Jamaica,earthquake, June 7

Port Royal, Jamaica earthquake, 1692  Jamaican Gleaner

Underwater City of Port Royal, Jamaica – UNESCO

1732 Herman Molls map of the Caribbean

1732 Herman Molls map of the Caribbean

1732 Herman Molls map of the Caribbean

The Spanish treasure fleet entered the Caribbean between Grenada and Trinidad and sailed westwards with the favourable winds and currents.

It exited the Caribbean through the Yucatan Channel between western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

1732 Caribbean map – Herman Molls

Grand Cayman towns and early settlements from 1734. John Doak, 1988 Grand Cayman towns and early settlements from 1734.
John Doak, 1988

1734 First royal grant of land in Grand Cayman was made by the Governor of Jamaica. It covered 3,000 acres in the area between Prospect and North Sound. A total of five land grants were made between 1734-42. Mahogany and logwood were exported to Jamaica.

Population perhaps 100-150.

1735 Isaac BAWDEN of Grand Cayman married Sarah Lamar, widow, in Port Royal, Jamaica.

1741   Murray CRYMBLE had a land grant of 1000 acres in Cayman. He was an absentee land patentee, a prominent Jamaican merchant, Receiver-General in Jamaica and extremely wealthy. He seems to have had mercantile dealings with Central America, including Roatán.

Ref. Founded Upon the Seas A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People, 2003   Michael Craton & the New History Committee

1741  Samuel SPOFFORTH, a wealthy absentee merchant, had a land grant of 1000 acres in West Bay. He was a prominent Bermudian shipowner. Eighty-one pieces of West Indian Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) were shipped in his 25-ton Bermuda sloop, called the Experiment, from Cayman to Kingston, Jamaica.

Map of 18th. to early 19th. Century Grand Cayman John Doak, 1988

Map of 18th. to early 19th. Century Grand Cayman
John Doak, 1988

1765      Royal Navy officers Remark Books provide information about Cayman. HMS Active anchored off Grand Cayman. Captain Robert Carkett noted that there were about 20 families, most of whom cut Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) and Fustic (Maclura tinctoria) which were exported to Jamaica.

Fustic - Maclura tinctoria, Family: MORACEAE. Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Jan.31, 2013

Fustic – Maclura tinctoria, Family: MORACEAE.
Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Jan.31, 2013

Fustic – Maclura tinctoria, Family: MORACEAE , is native to the West Indies and continental tropical America. It was exported for its yellowish dye, known as fustic or khaki, which was extracted from the wood.

1765 William EDEN from Wiltshire, England (b.1737- d.1801), arrived in Grand Cayman from Jamaica

1773 Gauld survey map and notes, early settlers: population 450: “in all 39 families, consisting of at least 200 white people and above [the] same number of Negroes and Mulattoes.

21 families at Bodden Town (South Side), 13 at West End commonly called Hogsties (present day George Town), 3 at East End and 2 at Spot’s Bay.

Gauld map 1773   George Gauld 1773 map of Grand Cayman – Heritage Charts  (zoom in to see where houses are marked)

1773 Gauld map on 1989 Cayman stamp1773 Gauld map on 1989 Cayman stamp

map SW GC 1979 with 1773 placesMap of Grand Cayman – south and west, 1979, with names (in blue) that were marked on 1773 Gauld map: Landing Place (George Town Barcadere), Hinds, by Pull-and-be-damned Point at the western entrance to South West Sound, and Eden’s – Spotts.

Boston Tea Party Dec.16, 1773 Lithograph by Nathaniel Currier, 1846

Boston Tea Party Dec.16, 1773
Lithograph by Nathaniel Currier, 1846

1773 Thomas THOMPSON, native of Penicuik, Scotland arrived in Cayman sometime after 1773. He founded and settled PROSPECT. Prospect is not marked on the Gauld map, nor are any houses marked in that location. Shortly afterwards, he commenced cultivating cotton extensively, which he shipped to England.

1775-1783 American Revolutionary War

Paul Revere's ridePaul Revere’s Midnight Ride, April 18, 1775

American Revolution

1776 some time after this date – Fort at Prospect built

Prospect Ft 1776-1823 monument Apr29-12‘Prospect Fort was built, armed and manned by Caymanians
for the defense against pirates during the administration of
Governor William Bodden, Governor from 1776 to 1823.
The monument was erected by the Cayman Islands Historical Association in 1954’. (Wording on the plaque.)

Note:

William Bodden (Governor Bodden  I   1776-1789)

William Bodden (Governor Bodden I I   1789-1823)

The fort at Prospect was “intended to oppose the progress of an enemy landing at Sandy Bay”. It had 4 small guns and was slightly strongly that the George Town Fort.

1780 William Eden from Devizes, Wiltshire, England  built Pedro Castle   Pedro St. James

Pedro St. James: in 1780 William Eden from Devizes, Wiltshire, England, built a stone house at Pedro, Grand Cayman.

Pedro St. James: in 1780 William Eden from Devizes, Wiltshire, England, built a stone house at Pedro, Grand Cayman.

1787 Miskito Coast / Mosquito Shore of Nicaragua and Honduras evacuation by the British, to Grand Cayman via Belize, of 300 or so settlers including 250 slaves. The population was substantially increased and new cotton plantations were established.

Caribbean Mosquito Coast (or Miskito Coast)

1787 February: The schooner Nancy left from Black River (Honduras) with migrants to Grand Cayman.

March:     The schooner Phoenix sailed from Cape Gracias a Dios (Honduras/Nicaragua border).

May:        Joseph Wood’s vessel left from Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields (Nicargua)

Slavery in the marginal colonies of the British West Indies by Roy Murray, 2001

Cotton - Gossypium hirsutum, Grand Cayman

Cotton – Gossypium hirsutum, Grand Cayman

Seeds of Trade    Cotton – Gossypium hirsutum L. (Malvaceae)

1780’s Cotton, turtle, sarsaparilla and wood exported to Jamaica.

Ackee - Blighia sapida, Family: SAPINDACEAE

Ackee – Blighia sapida, Family: SAPINDACEAE

1780’s  Ackee – Blighia sapida, was introduced to Jamaica from WEST AFRICA and was planted in the West Indies. The genus was named after Capt. William Bligh who successfully took Breadfruit and other plants from Tahiti to St. Vincent and Jamaica in 1793. Bligh took Ackee to England.

1789 Mutiny on the BountyCapt. William Bligh attempted to take breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies

Mutiny on the Bounty

Mutiny on the Bounty

1789 French Revolution

Storming of the BastilleStorming of the Bastille, July 14, 1789 French Revoltion

1790 James Goodchild COE Snr (1769-1839) from Ipswich, England, who went to Jamaica when he was 12 years old (1781). He married Rachael Ann, (daughter of William Eden) on Dec.25, 1790. He was captain of the Militia at Prospect.

1790 Fort George in George Town constructed at approximately this date

1793 Capt. William Bligh successfully took breadfruit, and many other plants, to the West Indies

Bligh's 2nd Breadfruit voyage 1793 Cayman Islands stamps, May 25 1989

Bligh’s 2nd Breadfruit voyage 1793
Cayman Islands stamps, May 25 1989

Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis

Breadfruit – Artocarpus altilis, George Town

Capt. Bligh went to Tahiti again, on HMS Providence. On Jan. 23, 1793 he delivered Breadfruit and other plants from the South Seas to St. Vincent Botanic Gardens the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.

In February 1793 he sailed on to Port Royal, Jamaica, with his floating forest and then to Port Morant, the harbour for Bath Botanical Gardens  the second oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Breadfruit, Otaheite Apple and Barringtonia asiatica trees were planted here.

Jamaica’s Botanical Gardens

HMS Convert, Wreck of the Ten Sail Feb.8, 1794

HMS Convert, Wreck of the Ten Sail
Feb.8, 1794

1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail: ten ships, including HMS Convert, the navy ship leading a convoy of 58 merchantmen, wrecked on the East End reef.

Wreck of the Ten Sail, Feb.8, 1794 East End reef, Grand Cayman

Wreck of the Ten Sail, Feb.8, 1794
East End reef, Grand Cayman

1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail, Maritime Heritage Trail, East End, Grand Cayman

1794 Wreck of the Ten Sail, Maritime Heritage Trail, East End, Grand Cayman

1794-1804 Haitian Revolution

1795–1801 Earl of Balcarres – Governor of Jamaica

1800 William Eden (Snr.) left Cayman for Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua. His son, William (Jnr.), by his first wife, Dorothy, née Bodden, inherited Pedro St. James. He sold it to his brother-in-law, James Coe, Public Recorder and Chief Magistrate. James Coe left Cayman at some time and resold it to William Eden (Jnr)

1801 William Eden (Snr.) builder Pedro Castle, died in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua.

1801-1805 Sir George Nugent Governor of Jamaica

The British West Indian Philatelist pdf   1802 Corbet report BWIP

1802 Cayman Islands Lt. Governor Nugent Letters on the Cayman Islands p.8

1802 Corbet Report        p.8

Inhabitats (Census)       p.10   population 933, including 551 slaves

Officers of the Militia    p.12

Green Turtle Spotts Cameron Aug.2016

Green Turtle. Photo: Cameron Stafford, Grand Cayman, Aug. 2016.

Green Turtle were exported from Cayman, via Jamaica.

1802 Cotton – 30 tons per year exported from Cayman. Cotton had peaked in Cayman by 1810.

Wild Cotton, Short-staple Cotton - Gossypium hirsutum

Wild Cotton, Short-staple Cotton – Gossypium hirsutum

Children working in English cotton mill

Children working in English cotton mill

The 1819 Cotton Mills and Factories Act in Great Britain stated that no children under 9 were to be employed and that children aged 9–16 years were limited to 12 hours’ work per day.

Before these acts, children were often forced to work entire days and nights on the factory floor, from ages as young as 5 or 6, and would often not have any education. (see 1819)

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank – National Trust

1805 Aug. 28 Letter from William Bodden to Governor Nugent of Jamaica. In the beginning, a respectable inhabitant presided over the Caymanas church, a congregation of worshippers. ‘Governor’ William Bodden had a house of public worship built in Bodden Town. The faith they practised was the faith of the Mother Country.

1805 Battle of Trafalgar

Battle of Trafalgar 1805, HMS Victory Cayman Islands 15c stamp to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 2005

Battle of Trafalgar 1805, HMS Victory
Cayman Islands 15c stamp to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 2005

HMS Victory, Cayman Islands 15c stamp 2005, Battle of Trafalgar 1805

Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson 1805 Cayman Islands $1 stamp to commemorate the 200th. anniversary in 2005

Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson 1805
Cayman Islands $1 stamp to commemorate the 200th. anniversary in 2005

1806  British COTTON industry employs 90,000 factory workers

1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire

1810 The growing of cotton in Cayman declined after 1810

1815  Battle of Waterloo

Les Misérables

Les Misérables

1815  Digne, France – Les Misérables: Jean Valjean is a fictional character in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel. After 19 years on the chain gang, he finds that the ticket-of-leave he must display condemns him to be an outcast. He served a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his sister’s children and for attempting to escape.

Les Misérables - 2012 movie

Les Misérables – 2012 movie

1817 Registration of slaves were made by parish offices in Jamaica

1819 Cotton Mills and Factory Act

Les Misérables: 1823 Montreuil-sur-Mer, France. Eight years later, Valjean, having broken his parole and changed his name to Monsieur Madeleine, has become a factory owner and Mayor. Cossette is the daughter of one of his employees.

Les Misérables - Cosette original 1862 drawing by Émile Bayard (1837–1891)

Les Misérables – Cosette
original 1862 drawing by Émile Bayard (1837–1891)

1824 July 24 Diocese (or See) of Jamaica established. Rt. Rev. Christopher Lipscomb was installed as the Church of England’s first Bishop of Jamaica

1825 The new Bishop communicated with the ‘Governor of the Caymans’

1826 Bishop of Jamaica stopped off in Grand Cayman on his way from Jamaica to Belize

1826 James Shearer Jackson imprisoned in Pedro St. James

1830 – June 20, 1837 King William IV       (born 1765)

1831 Dec.10  Election at Pedro St James for the first Legislative Assembly

1831 Dec.23  Church of England Rev. Thomas Sharpe arrives in Grand Cayman. A church, a thatched wattle and daub cabin, was built in George Town (on the site of the present Elmslie United Memorial Church).

Cayman Wattle and Daub cabin John Doak drawing 1988

Cayman Wattle and Daub cabin
John Doak drawing 1988

Cayman Wattle and Daub cabin under construction. A Lime Kiln to reduce coral rocks from the sea to powder, to be mixed with sand and water to make the daub, can be seen on the left.

1831 Dec.10 & 31 Meeting of Representatives and Magistrates of Grand Cayman to form a legislature at Pedro St. James.      The first Custos or Chief Magistrate was appointed

Paris Uprising of 1832

Les Misérables - the barricades, Paris 1832

Les Misérables – the barricades, Paris 1832

Les Misérables, Paris, 1832: After the death of popular leader General Lamarque, students whip up support for revolution and build barricades.

1830-1835 Mission House in Bodden Town built, the exact date of construction is unknown

Mission House, Bodden Town May 5, 2007

Mission House, Bodden Town
May 5, 2007

1833 Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Empire

1834 Bishop of Jamaica, Christopher Lipscomb, visited Cayman and consecrated the George Town church. Later a second church was built at Prospect, both were wattle and daub cabins.

1834-1836 The Marquess of Sligo, Governor of Jamaica

1834 Aug.1 Emancipation of British slaves. They became ‘Apprentices’

1835 May 2 Caymanas Apprentices set free, having been unlawfully apprenticed. They were not registered in 1817.

1836 Battle of the Alamo, Texas, 1836

Battle of the Alamo, Texas 1836

Battle of the Alamo, Texas 1836

1836-1839 Sir Lionel Smith, Governor of Jamaica

1836 Sept. 5. Memorial to His Majesty King William IV from the Inhabitants in the Caymanas, (Custos, Magistrates and other Inhabitants……………….      …. occupied by descendants of British born subjects and professed of the Christian religion…      

petition to Parliament via Governor of Jamaica, Sir Lionel Smith

1837 Jan.23. Reply from Lord Glenelg

1837 May first exploratory visit by Rev. James Atkins, Wesleyan Missionary Society

1837 June 20 King William IV died and his niece Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom

1837 Sept. 28-29  Hurricane – Racer’s Storm, one of the worst hurricanes of the 19th. century – Sept.28 to Oct.9

1837 Racer’s Storm

1837 Oct. 25  Hurricane

1838 March 29  Petition to 18 year old Queen Victoria: ‘The island is inhabited by us, your Majesty’s attached subjects’ about compensation after emancipation in 1834 and release of the Apprentices in 1835 and the devastation caused by the two hurricanes in 1837, that destroyed the George Town church, severely injured the Prospect church, reduced upwards of one hundred dwellings to the ground, wrecked vessels, destroyed fields and brought them to a state of starvation.

Queen Victoria, age 19, in her coronation robes, (June 28, 1838), painted by English painter George Hayter (1792-1871). Victoria (b. May 24, 1819, d. Jan. 22, 1901) became the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death.

Queen Victoria, age 19, in her coronation robes, (June 28, 1838), painted by English painter George Hayter (1792-1871). Victoria (b. May 24, 1819, d. Jan. 22, 1901) became the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death.

1838 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens published

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, 1838

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, 1838

1839 July Wesleyan Rev. Mark Bird, seconded from Jamaica, arrived in Grand Cayman.

Over the next 5 years he was succeeded by 6 other Wesleyan missionaries.

1839 July  Church of England Rev. David Wilson leaves Grand Cayman

1839 Elizabeth Charlotte EDEN (née COE) 1783-1839 – house-shaped gravestone, Prospect Point Eden family cemetery

1842 Wesleyan Rev. John Mearns – 9 month tenure in Grand Cayman. He preached and administered communion in 5 places, riding 50 miles a week on horseback. The first Wesleyan Chapel was built in West Bay and another was started at PROSPECT.

1843 Thomas Knowles EDEN 1782-1843 – house-shaped gravestone, Prospect Point Eden family cemetery

1844 The last Wesleyan missionary Rev. John Green left Grand Cayman after a few months – ‘the soil of the country is so impoverished, it won’t yield sufficient quantities of provisions’.

1845 Jan. Presbyterian Rev. Hope Masteron Waddell on his way from Jamaica to Scotland via New Orleans was shipwrecked on the East End reef. He had to spend ten days in Grand Cayman before he could continue on his voyage. He described the house-shaped gravestones in George Town – houses in miniature.

Wrecks on the reef at East End, Grand Cayman, Feb. 15, 2002. The channel through the reef can be seen.

Wrecks on the reef at East End, Grand Cayman.
The channel through the reef can be seen.

1846 July  Rev. James Elmslie, pastor of Green Island, Hanover, Jamaica (born in 1786 in Aberdeen, Scotland) offered to go to Cayman at the age of 50. He established the Presbyterian church in Grand Cayman.

Rev. James Elmslie was born in Scotland in 1786.

Rev. James Elmslie was born in Scotland in 1786.

1846 – 1863  Presbyterian Rev. James Elmslie ministered throughout Grand Cayman

1853 Charlotte Matilda EDEN 1843-1853– house-shaped gravestone, Prospect Point Eden family cemetery, (10 year old granddaughter of Thomas K. and Elizabeth Eden).

1861-1865 American Civil War

Chatsworth

Chatsworth, Derbyshire

Chatsworth & Turtle Soup

Chatsworth – home of the Dukes of Devonshire. Nineteenth Century: Sixty guests stayed in the house with one hundred more coming at night.  Turtle soup became a symbol of opulence.  One hundred people required one hundred turtles, costing 20 pounds each.  The scullery maids prepared the food; scullery maids made 20 pounds a year.

Green Turtles from the Caribbean were favoured.

Secrets of Chatsworth

Green Turtle_Andy Bruckner NOAA

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Credit: Andy Bruckner, NOAA

Mock Turtle soup is an English soup that was created in the mid-18th century as a cheaper imitation of Green Turtle soup. It often uses brains and organ meats such as calf’s head or a calf’s foot to duplicate the texture and flavour of the original’s turtle meat.

What is Mock Turtle Soup?

During the mid 1700’s, turtle soup became very popular in England. This wasn’t just any turtle soup, but soup made with green sea turtles (Cleonia mydas) from the Caribbean, which weighed up to 100 pounds. Green Turtle soup was served in London taverns, but it was very expensive.

1865

Mock Turtle_tenniel

The Mock Turtle is a fictional character devised by Lewis Carroll from his popular book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (written in 1865). Its name is taken from a dish that was popular in the Victorian period, mock turtle soup. Illustration of the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle with Alice by Sir John Tenniel (English illustrator, graphic humourist, and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th. century).


1656   1656 Jamaica, Settlers from Nevis

By S. A. G. Taylor p.14-16

Extracts:

When Cromwell heard of the capture of Jamaica he endeavoured to attract settlers to his newly won domain. He advised the people of New England, whom he declared had been driven from the land of their birth to a desert and barren wilderness, to remove themselves to a land of plenty!

 

He wrote to the Governors of the various West Indian Colonies and advocated a similar policy, but as these Islands had been brought to the brink of ruin by the loss of four thousand able-bodied men who had enlisted in Venables’ Army, they did not look on this suggestion with much enthusiasm and did little to further it, all save the Governor of Nevis, Luke Stokes.

………………………..

The names of some of the estates in the. district such as Bowden, Wards River, Stanton, Stokes Hall, Stokesfield, Phillipsfield, Wheelersfield and Rolandsfield are probably those of the first owners and there is another name here about which it is interesting to speculate. Near Stokesfield there is a little stream known as the River Styx. Perhaps it is connected in some way with the burial place of the first settlers, if so, let us hope that the shades of the men and women from Nevis rest in peace in the world beyond its banks.

 

1773 Gauld survey map and notes: population 450

George Gauld spent ten days on and around the island while making his hydrographic survey. He commented about the inhabitants way of life. The settlers were very desirous of having a Clergyman and a Surgeon to reside among them. A great quantity of cotton was grown for export along with turtles.

East End                                    3 families

Bodden Town (South Side)           21 families

Spotts (Spot’s Bay)                      2 families

Hogsties (the West End)              13 families

Total                                         39 families,  total population about 450 (whites, Negroes and Mulattoes)

Founded Upon the Seas pages 53 and 112

1773 Gauld map www.heritagecharts.com/mapchart.php/305/5/the_island_of_grand_cayman_by_george_gauld  

 

1802 Corbet census  population 933, including 551 slaves.  Edward Corbet was instructed by Sir George Nugent, Governor of Jamaica (1801-1805), to go to the Cayman Islands and write a full report of the population, cultivation, soil, etc

Lt. Governor Nugent Letters On The Cayman Islands

Corbet Report June 3, 1802  Page 8-13 (p.11 of pdf)

1802 Corbet Cayman Census

The names of the families are included in Corbet’s report

East End           

North Side

Bodden Town

Frank Sound

Little Pedro      Wm Watler and Thos. Knowles Eden (unmarried)

Spotts               Wm. Eden, James Coe Snr. And Wm Bodden (the Younger)

Prospect          Waide Watler Junior and Thomas Thomson

S.W. Sound

George Town     J. Drayton, Abraham Bodden, Sterling Rivers, Sarah Nixon, Wm. Jennett, Geo Bodden, WS Prescott, Benj. Bodden, Eliza Conoir, Mary Savery, John  Bodden, John Ed. Rivers,

James Thomson, Cornelia Scott, Mary Wilson, John S. Jackson.

C. Parsons, James Parsons, Wm Parsons. Lind Rivers, Geo  Barrow.

Wm Trusty, Catherine Mitchell.

West Bay

Boatswain Bay

 

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac were uninhabited.

 1802 – Edward Corbet’s report to His Excellency, Major General Nugent of Jamaica explains “ At Bodden Town there is a small place of worship and in which they have divine service. The person who officiates is not an ordained Clergyman, but a respectable inhabitant.  Page 112 of “Founded upon the Seas”.

When they wish to enter into engagement of marriage they repair to some port in this Island chiefly I understand to Montego Bay.” See page 7 of “Our Islands Past” Volume I.

Cayman Islands House-shaped gravestones – PHOTOS

North West Point Cemetery, West Bay

Elmslie Memorial Church, George Town (8, including 3 very small ones)

Prospect (Old) – Eden cemetery, Prospect Point Road:

Thomas Knowles Eden (d.Oct.30, 1843) and his wife Elizabeth Eden (d.1839)

Prospect (Old) – Eden cemetery, Prospect Point Road:

William Eden 1807-1879 (Custos 1855-1879) (son of Thomas K. & Elizabeth Eden) – and his wife Rachel Jane 1811-1901not house-shaped gravestone

Watler Cemetery, Prospect Point Road: Property of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands – house-shaped gravestones

Spotts Cemetery, Shamrock Road:  house-shaped gravestones, beside the graves of Jane Merren (Mar.7, 1808 – Aug.7, 1887) and George Merren (Sept.13, 1813 – Dec.21, 1895)

Pedro / Eden Cemetery, Pedro Castle Road:  house-shaped gravestone opposite Pedro St. James

Bodden Town cemetery opposite Webster Memorial Church:  house-shaped gravestones
Old Man Bay cemetery: house-shaped gravestones (3)

 Cayman Cultural photos

 National Trust for the Cayman Islands – Information Sheets

Traditional Sand Cemeteries, National Trust for the Cayman Islands

(They) are believed to be those of three Whittaker sisters, descendants of five Whittaker brothers who came and settled in Old Man Bay around 1840.

 North Side Cemetery (2)

William Grant Tatum b. March 17, 1824, died Mar.10, 1910, married on Sept.10, 1847 to

Mary L. Tatum née McLaughlin, b. Mar.17, 1825, died   Mar.11, 1919

It is believed that William, of English or Irish decent, arrived in Cayman with his brother, Moet, in the 1840’s. Both married local girls, and William and Mary eventually settled in North Side. They were not related to the original North Side Tatum family, who were among the very first settlers, listed as “Free people of colour” in the 1802 census.

 Bodden Town United Church Cemetery

contains several unmarked traditional gravestones

 Gun Bay cemetery

lies behind the church. It has clearly been in use for many years, as the house-shaped gravemarkers under a Firecracker bush testify to its long use. 

Child's house-shaped gravestone (d.1874), Gun Bay Cemetery, Grand Cayman.

Child’s house-shaped gravestone (d.1874),
Gun Bay Cemetery, Grand Cayman.


A History of Elections in the Cayman Islands

According to our records the first formal type of elected Government was first introduced in December 1831.  However, prior to this the Islands were administered by a number of Magistrates and Senior Magistrates, and some times even by a Custos,  appointed by the Governor of Jamaica. This system of Government worked well while the population remained relatively small but as the population increased a number of problems were experienced because of weaknesses in the system. [See “Founded upon the Seas” Chap. 5 “The Beginnings of Self-Government” By M.Craton] The first Magistrates ruled with some references to Jamaican Law. In 1802, as Edward Corbet had noted  in his Report,”The Magistrates are understood to have the same power as those in this island [Jamaica], but when any new measure is to be adopted it is generally submitted by them to the consideration  of the population at large.” This seemed to have been a very democratic manner of dealing with affairs of state, but not everyone was pleased as this led to some confusion and conflict.

 

By at least 1823, the Chief Magistrate, James Coe Sr., and the other “Magistrates and principal inhabitants” of Grand Cayman apparently felt they needed a more formal system of lawmaking and set of laws. Accordingly, they asked for and got commissions for several more Magistrates from Governor Lord Manchester.

Then on 13 December 1823, the Magistrates and “principal inhabitants” held a meeting at William Eden’s residence at Pedro St. James. Their first decision was to lease the Pedro property from William Eden for £5. 6s. 8d a year. It would be used as an animal pound, court-house, and jail, with a daily payment of 2s. 11d authorized whenever there was a prisoner.

Other laws were passed at this time, which dealt with roaming livestock, duties on dry goods, provisions, liquor, or any kind of merchandize sold by any non-inhabitant. Another law, which prohibited the sale of liquors, wines, by any slave, was also passed at this time.

Pedro St. James continued to be the seat of Government, with regular meeting held at this location. On 5th December 1831 a meeting was held at Pedro St. James to form a proper legislative assembly with representatives and Magistrates from each district appointed.-  forming as it were two houses in imitation of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica.

On 10th December 1831, 2 representatives of each were “elected” for the districts of West Bay, George Town, South West Sound, Prospect, and Bodden Town the method of election is not known. These ten representatives later referred to as the “Vestry” assembled for the first time on 31st December 1831 in George Town, and met again on 2nd January 1832. The eight Magistrates met at the same time but in a different room carefully preserving the classic British form of a bicameral legislature. No law was “deemed valid” until it had received the assent of both houses. 

 

1832 January The names of the Magistrates & Representatives at the 1832 meeting were:

Magistrates

John Drayton

Robert Stephen Watler

Waide W. Bodden

John S. Jackson

James Coe Jr.

Abraham O Feurtado

Elin J. Parsons

Nathaniel Glover

 

Vestrymen

George W. Wood

James Wood

James Coe Snr.

W.  Eden Jr.

John Goodhew

James Parsons Snr.

William James Bodden

Howard Lindsay Thompson

Samuel Parsons

William Bodden

 

1839 The following is a summary of subsequent elections results.

 

George Town

Wm. James Bodden

Thomas S Thompson

Wm. A. Thompson

James E. Parsons

 

Bodden Town

Richard Carter

Thomas Greenwood

George McCoy

John B. Wood

J. D. Watler

Joseph Bodden Jr.

P. McLaughlin

 

Spotts & Prospect

James S. Jackson

William R. Bodden

Tabulon Farrell

 

South Sound

Shin Parsons

John Goodhew

 

West Bay

William Brown

D. J. S. Bodden

A Study of Church and State in the Cayman Islands: The Dependency Question

by Nicholas J. G. Sykes

Chapter 5 (extract) www.churchofenglandcayman.com/DQA1CH5B.html
THE CAYMANAS CHURCH UP TO 1839

 

“In the beginning” the Caymanas Church was a congregation of worshippers presided over by a “respectable Inhabitant” and it is notable that the Caymanas “Governor” William Bodden had a “house of Public worship” built for them. There is no question that the inhabitants took it for granted that the Faith they practised was the Faith of the Mother country, and they would have been within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. Later, the See of Jamaica was erected and the Rt. Rev. Christopher Lipscomb was installed as the Church of England’s first Bishop of Jamaica. It should not be forgotten that the Church of England had already existed in Jamaica before that time for over [one] and a half centuries, but apparently had formed no ministerial connection with the Caymanas Church from the time that it began independently.

The purpose of the Letters Patent issued in 1824 for the new Bishopric of Jamaica was to “erect found ordain make and constitute the Island of Jamaica the Bahama Islands and the Settlements in the Bay of Honduras, and their respective dependencies, to be a Bishop’s See”.5.3 In 1825 the new Bishop communicated with the “Governor of the Caymans” letting him know of his intent to establish the Church in “that part of his diocese”. At the same time Mr. James Coe Junior in the Caymanas wrote a letter to the Rev’d Isaac Mann in Jamaica in which the feasibility of a clergyman being sent to the Caymanas from Jamaica was discussed. In December 1831 a Church of England clergyman arrived in the Caymanas from the Bishop of Jamaica, and until 1839 the Church in Caymanas manifested in practical terms its willingness to receive the Bishop of Jamaica’s pastoral oversight. All this came to a decisive end by the summer of 1839, when once again the Caymanas Church became ministerially disconnected from the Church in Jamaica, and documentary sources from 1845 to 1970 all without exception show that the Cayman Islands were not included in the Diocese of Jamaica (see Ch. 6 sections 3 and 4 below).

——————————-

Cayman Chief Magistrates or Custodes

   * 1750 William Cartwright

   * 1776 William Bodden             William Bodden (Governor Bodden I)   1776 – 1789  

                                              William Bodden (Governor Bodden II)  1789 – 1823

* 1823 James Coe the Elder
* 1829 John Drayton
* 1842 James Coe the Younger
* 1855 William Eden
* 1879 William Bodden Webster
* 1888 Edmund Parsons

Commissioners

* 1898 Frederick Shedden Sanguinnetti, ISO

* 1907 George Stephenson Shirt Hirst

1912 Arthur C. Robinson

1919 Hugh Houston Hutchings

1931 Ernest Arthur Weston

1934 Allen Wolsey Cardinall

1941 John Penry Jones

1946 Ivor Otterbein Smith

1952 Andrew Morris Gerrard

1956 Alan Hilliard Donald

1960 Jack Rose

In the Days of Hirst

by John Redman, published in the Weekender section of the Caymanian Compass, June 30, 1995.

George S. S. Hirst was Commissioner of the Cayman Islands from 1907 to 1912, the year in which he died at the age of 40.

Hirst Road is named after him

Note: Custos rotulorum (plural: Custodes rotulorum) Latin for Keeper of the Rolls, a civic post that is recognized in England, Jamaica and Cayman.

 

1845 Houses In Miniature

Twenty-Nine Years in the West Indies and Central Africa: A Review of Missionary Work and Adventure, 1829-1858   by Hope Masterton Waddell, book published 1865, Scottish Missionary Society missionary (b.1804, went to Jamaica in 1829). Chapter X  1845. Missionary Work and Adventure. Sailed for New Orleans, Cayman: pages 212-217, p.216

http://books.google.com/books?id=bt71nHmVezMC&pg=PA206&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

The Grand Cayman is but a few feet above the level of the sea) with a thin coating of soil on solid rock. There is pasturage for cattle, but no farms. Even the bush, which can grow where man cannot labour, is stunted. . Yams, cocoas, and plantains are unknown. “Sweet potatoes will grow in some parts,” said a good woman, “and we all go a fishing, especially for turtle, to supply the English ships. But, to tell the truth, sir, our main dependence is on the wrecks, and we all thank God when a ship comes ashore.” The Grand Cayman is a trap for ships, and catches more, perhaps, than any other spot of equal extent in the world. It is on the high road of all West India vessels, homeward bound, and of all outward bound for New Orleans, Havannah, and other ports in the Gulf of Mexico while the never-ceasing current varies, sometimes, with the trade wind, both in force and direction, sweeping one time north and another time south of the island. Seamen, who don’t want to call there for turtle, give it a wide berth but sometimes, as in our case, when they had reckoned themselves thirty miles off it, find their ships crashing on its reefs. Anchors and chain cables were lying all over the beach. Fragments of ships seemed to form part of most of the common people’s houses.

 

The burial-place took my attention as peculiarly neat and simple. The graves were marked, not by mounds of earth and headstones, or great massive tombs, but by houses in miniature, just large enough each to cover one person; mostly about six feet long, two feet broad, and one and a half high, with a sloping roof and full gable end, in which was inserted a smallslab containing containing the name of the occupant, his age, and the day on which he entered his narrow home, “the house appointed for all living.” They were well built, white, and clean, and, of course, of all sizes. Sometimes a row of them close to one another indicated a family place of sepulture. The want of sufficient depth of earth for an ordinary grave, perhaps, led to the adoption of this literal necropolis.

 

Rev. Hope Masterton Waddellsailed from Montego Bay, Jamaica on Sat. Jan 11, 1845 in a large, new schooner, the Weymouth, on his way back to Scotland with his family and was shipwrecked on the East End reef at midnight on Sunday.

 

A few days after their rescue, there was a public sale of the wreck of the Weymouth, which attracted parties from other places, including ‘the owner of a small schooner from George’s Bay, at the west end of the island’. They went first to ‘George’s Town’ and that is where he described the burial place, the ‘houses in miniature’. There was a church and a schoolhouse, but neither minister nor teacher, none on the island. On the 22nd. they continued on their journey to New Orleans.

 

The following year, in July 1846, Rev. James Elmslie, pastor of Green Island, Hanover, Jamaica (born in 1786 in

Aberdeen, Scotland) offered to go to Cayman at the age of 50. He established the Presbyterian Church in Grand Cayman, where he ministered throughout the island from 1846 – 1863.

 

Elmslie Memorial United Church      www.elmsliechurch.org.ky/aboutus.php  

 

 

Dr Isobel Rigol   2009 report (extract)  

2.2 Watler Cemetery

 

Watler Cemetery is part of a larger complex of coastal cemeteries developed in the Cayman Islands. This peculiar site is a family graveyard dating back to the early 19th. century or perhaps before, responding to the 18th. and 19th. century local custom of dedicating a portion of their land to burials. The justification for these cemeteries’ particular location was the islands’ rocky and difficult to excavate inland and the need to preserve the soils for agriculture.

 

Most of the tombs are house-shaped, made out of red bricks and faced with a layer of burned coral and limestone daub. The names of the deceased were originally inscribed on mahogany markers set on the walls of the graves. The graveyard is enclosed within a coral stone wall.

 

The beautiful, peaceful and apparently undisturbed coastal setting, withsea grapes, almond trees and eventually the sound of the waves, provides a peculiarly poetic experience. The Watler Cemetery is – without doubts – an exceptional  exponent of the Caymanian and Caribbean cultural heritage. It is very important to point out that the Watler Cemetery and the other coastal graveyards (Spott’s, Coe’s, etc) in Grand Cayman – are, if not unique, at least rare in the Caribbean sub region.

Though it has been stated that: “Similar grave markers have been found in England and Wales dating from mediaeval times, while others (dating from the early 1600’s) are to be found elsewhere in the British West Indies:, the consultant has not found any description or graphic evidence.  She knows several cemeteries – both Christian and Jewish – in the Caribbean and thinks there are not any tombs like the ones seen in Grand Cayman. While recently doing a preliminary exploration on this topic she found out some strange coincidences: similar tombs at the Jewish Cemetery in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, others with a similar shape in the Jewish Cemeteries of Fez, Morocco and Vilnius, Lithuania. There are also some cemeteries on the Cuban Northeast coast at the Holguín province that might have some similarities with those in Cayman. As far as the consultant understands, a comprehensive and comparative research about the origins of Cayman’s cemeteries has not yet been until this date carried out.

 

Further research on Cayman Islands coastal cemeteries is needed in order to reveal their uniqueness or exceptionalty at least at a Regional level.

Considering the exceptional values of this Cemetery (also the others in Grand Cayman and the other islands), the  threats it faces and the challenge of its proper maintenance, it would be good to propose it to be included in the World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Monuments. This annual list – widely published worldwide – can allow obtaining funds and the promotion of local and international awareness.

 Watler’s Cemetery could be included in the World Monument Fund’s Watch List for 2014.

CaymanianCompass, April 1, 2013  Preserving Watler’s Cemetery

 Prospect

Watler Cemetery Property of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands www.nationaltrust.org.ky/?p=706

The wooden coffin lies buried in the ground underneath the stone slab supporting the monument. This would have been sufficiently heavy to prevent all but the fiercest of storms from disturbing them. The name of the deceased was inscribed on a mahogany panel set into the wall of the “house”. It is likely that wood was chosen in preference to stone because the local people were skilled carpenters, not stonemasons. Sadly, many of the markers have disappeared and others have become illegible over the years.

The whole area of Prospect is one of the most fertile on the island, and was among the first on Grand Cayman to have contained a settlement of any size. One of two forts built to protect Grand Cayman from attack by Spanish marauders from Cuba was built in Prospect. Although the fort was demolished many years ago, the site of it is marked with a monument which can been seen further along the Old Prospect Road on the way into George Town.

 

 

Focus on Spotts and Prospect

Watler Cemetery, Prospect Point Road – 15 house-shaped gravestones

Eden Family Cemetery, Prospect Point Road –  13 house-shaped gravestones

Spotts Cemetery, Shamrock Road – 10 house-shaped gravestones

 

William EDEN from Devizes, Wiltshire, England, who arrived in Cayman in 1765, was married first to Dorothy (née Bodden) in Savannah-la-Mar, Jamaica, on December 25, 1765. They had one son, William Eden II, and 3 daughters. They lived at Spotts, marked Edens on the 1773 Gauld map.

www.heritagecharts.com/mapchart.php/305/5/the_island_of_grand_cayman_by_george_gauld

 

After Dorothy died in 1773, William married Elizabeth ‘Bessy’ Clark, who was born in Falmouth, Jamaica. She was the daughter of Thomas Knowles Clark and Mary (née Savory). William and Bessy Eden had 5 daughters and one son – Thomas Knowles Eden.

 

In 1780 William built stone house at Pedro – Pedro St James.

Cookroom at Pedro St. James

Cookroom at Pedro St. James

His son William Eden II (Jr), (by his first wife Dorothy), as William the Executor and Heir at law, came into its possession and sold it to James Coe in 1800. James Coe left the island some years later and resold it to William Eden, who occupied it for some years. At his death he bequeathed it to 2 coloured boys named Joseph and Samuel, who assumed the surname Eden and thus started a new family of that name.

There were a lot of his descendants called William Eden from both branches of this family.

After William Eden died in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua in 1801, where he was buried, Elizabeth ‘Bessy’ married Thomas THOMPSON of Penicuik, Scotland, who settled in PROSPECT.

Thomas THOMPSON native of Penicuik, Scotland arrived in Cayman probably after 1773, because Prospect is not marked on the 1773 Gauld map, nor are any houses shown, (see link above).

Prospect Point beach and reef

Prospect Point beach and reef

He founded and settled PROSPECT. He married Elizabeth, widow of William EDEN and appears to have had but one child, Thomas Knowles Thompson. Shortly after settling down at Prospect, he commenced cultivating COTTON extensively, which he shipped to England. With one cargo he returned home himself and brought back with him a cousin William Thompson who settled down at Whitehall and founded the family we now always call the ‘Georgetown Thompsons’. Ref. Hirst p.93.

Thomas Thompson probably named PROSPECT. Hirst p.95.

Thomas, together with one James Watler are said to have built the Fort at Prospect. Hirst p.94.

1802 census Thomas THOMSON family of 13, owned 56 slaves.

 Note: Thomson/Thompson – sometimes it might be spelt one way or the other.

 Note: William Bodden – there were a lot of people with the name William Bodden.

 ————————————-

REFERENCES

Booker Kohlman,  Aarona,  Under Tin Roofs  p.48/49

Cayman Islands Government – History

Cayman Islands Government – Location and Geography                                       

Cayman Islands National Archive

Oral History interviews 

Cayman Islands National Museum

Corbet Census report 1802 Lt. Governor Nugent’s Letters on the Cayman Islands page 8 1802 Corbet Report – Cayman Islands Census

Craton,  Michael & the New History Committee   Founded Upon the Seas 2003

DaCosta, Patricia L., The History of Pedro St. James ‘Castle’  2003

Ebanks, S.O. “Bertie”, Cayman Emerges 1983

Fierst Shai and Petuchowski, Sam,   March 2009 Jamaica: Jewish Cemeteries at Hunt’s Bay and Orange St.

Find A Grave – Cayman Islands Cemeteries

Frankel, Rachel,  Houses of Life: The Jewish Cemeteries of Jamaica

Gauld map 1773   George Gauld 1773 map of Grand Cayman – Heritage Charts  (zoom in to see where houses are marked)

Hirst, George S.S.,   Notes on the History of the Cayman Islands 1910

Kieran, Brian L., The Lawless Caymanas  A Story of Slavery, Freedom and the West India Regiment 1992, p.173,4

  Chapter 10 Compensation Claims at Rest

  Petition Memorial to Queen Victoria 1837 CO 137/226, FF.121-124

  Petition Memorial to the Queen in Council, from the Custos, Magistrates and Inhabitants of Grand Caymanas

Murray, Roy, Slavery in the marginal colonies of the British West Indies  2001

National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Traditional Sand Cemeteries and Watler Cemetery, Denise Bodden

www.nationaltrust.org.ky/index.php/get-involved/information-sheets  

Pedley,  Arthurlyn,  Old Prospect – Eden Cemetery house-shaped gravestones (personal communication)

Pedro St. James  www.pedrostjames.ky/html/great_house.html   www.pedrostjames.ky/html/research.html

Racer’s Storm, 1837 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1837_Racer%27s_Storm

Rigol, Dr. Isobel,   2.2 Watler Cemetery

Senior, Olive, A-Z of Jamaican Heritage http://books.google.com/books?id=n5FqAAAAMAAJ&q=Stokes+Hall+#search_anchor

Sykes, Nicholas J.G., The Dependency Question 1996

www.churchofenglandcayman.com/Dep%20Ques%20-%20Contents.html

Waddell,  Hope Masterton, publ. 1863 Twenty-Nine Years in the West Indies and Central Africa: A Review of Missionary Work and Adventure 1829-1858

Jamaica to Grand Cayman: Chapter X, pages 212-217

Watler Cemetery,  National Trust for the Cayman Islands

Williams, Christopher A.   Caymanianness, History, Culture, Tradition, and Globalisation: Assessing the Dynamic Interplay Between Modern and Traditional(ist) Thought in the Cayman Islands

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/38543/1/WRAP_THESIS_Williams_2010.pdf

Williams,  Neville, A History of the Cayman Islands 1970

 

1837 Racer’s Storm, the 10th known Tropical Storm of the 1837 Atlantic Hurricane season, was one of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes in the 19th century, causing heavy damage to many cities on its 2,000+ mile path. It was named after the British sloop-of-war HMS Racer, and was first observed in the Western Caribbean near Jamaica on September 28.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1837_Racer%27s_Storm

 

1837 Queen Victoria June 20 Coronation June 28, 1838)

On 20 June 1837, King William IV died and his niece, Princess Victoria, became Queen at the age of 18. Her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey a year later on 28 June 1838. The coronation was a huge occasion and four hundred thousand visitors went to London to see the new Queen being crowned.

www.royal.gov.uk/The%20Royal%20Collection%20and%20other%20collections/TheRoyalARchives/QueenVictoriaeducationproject/QueenVictoriasCoronation1838.aspx

Governors of Jamaica

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_Jamaica

English Commanders of Jamaica (1655-1661)

In 1655, an English force led by Admiral Sir William Penn, and General Robert Venables seized the island, and successfully held it against Spanish attempts to retake it over the next few years.

Admiral Sir William Penn 11 May 1655 – 1655

General Robert Venables, 1655

Edward D’Oyley, 1655–1656, first time

William Brayne, 1656–1657

Edward D’Oyley, 1657–1661, second time

 

English Governors of Jamaica (1661-1662)

In 1661, England began colonisation of the island.

Edward D’Oyley, 1661–August 1662, continued

Thomas, Lord Windsor, August 1662–November 1662

Deputy Governors of Jamaica (1662-1671)

Charles Lyttleton, 1662–1663, acting

Thomas Lynch, 1663–1664, acting, first time

Edward Morgan, 1664

Sir Thomas Modyford, 1664–August 1671 Muddy Foots, Little Cayman is named after him. www.itsyourstoexplore.com/tl_files/documents/LittleCaymanNTBrochure.pdf

Jamaican Consulate www.jaconsulatecayman.org/m8c.html

The first recorded settlements were located on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, during the 1661-71 tenure of Sir Thomas Modyford as Governor of Jamaica. Because of the depredations of Spanish privateers, Modyford’s successor called the settlers back to Jamaica, though by this time Spain had recognised British possession of the Islands in the 1670 Treaty of Madrid. Often in breach of the treaty, British privateers roamed the area taking their prizes, probably using the Cayman Islands for replenishing stocks of food and water and careening their vessels. During the 18th century, the Islands were certainly well known to such pirates as Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Neal Walker, George Lowther and Thomas Antis, even after the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, was supposed to have ended privateering.

Lieutenant Governors of Jamaica (1671-1690)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_Jamaica

In 1670, the Treaty of Madrid legitimised English claim to the island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Madrid_%281670%29

 

Sir Thomas Lynch, August 1671–November 1674, second time

Sir Henry Morgan, 1674–1675, acting, first time

John Vaughan, 1675–1678

Sir Henry Morgan, 1678, acting, second time

The Earl of Carlisle, 1678–1680

Sir Henry Morgan, 1680–1682, acting, third time

Sir Thomas Lynch, 1682–1684, third time

Hender Molesworth, 1684–December 1687, acting

Christopher Monck The Duke of Albermarle, 1687–1688 (2nd and last Duke of Albemarle). He died in Jamaica in 1688.  Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) accompanied him as physician. During his 15 months in Jamaica, he compiled a list of animal and plant specimens required by friends and assembled for himself a fine collection of plants, insects, shells, fish and other specimens.  It was to be the founding core of the British Museum, and later the Natural History Museum, in London.

1687-1689  Sir Hans Sloane’s Voyage to Jamaica

The SLOANE connection

Sloane Herbarium

Hender Molesworth, 1688–1689, acting

Francis Watson, 1689–1690, acting

 

 

 

Governors of Jamaica (1691-1856)

The Earl of Inchiquin, 1690–1691

John White, 1691–1692, acting

John Burden, 1692–1693, acting

Sir William Beeston, March 1693–January 1702, acting to 1699

William Selwyn, 1702

Peter Beckford, 1702, acting

Thomas Handasyde, 1702–1711, acting to 1704

Lord Archibald Hamilton, 1711–1716

Peter Heywood, 1716–1718

Sir Nicholas Lawes, 1718–1722

The Duke of Portland, 1722–4 July 1726  after whom the parish of Portland was named). Henry Bentinck died in  office in 1726 atSpanish Townand his body was returned to England for burial.

John Ayscough, 1726–1728, acting, first time

Robert Hunter, 1728–March 1734

John Ayscough, 1734–1735, acting, second time

The first royal grant of land in Grand Cayman was made by the Governor of Jamaica in 1734. It covered 3,000 acres in the area between Prospect and North Sound. Others followed, up to 1742, developing an existing settlement, which included the use of slaves. Cayman Travel Guide www.thecaymanislands.ky/about-cayman/history

John Gregory, 1735, acting, first time

Henry Cunningham, 1735–1736

John Gregory, 1736–1738, acting, second time

Edward Trelawny, 1738–1752

Charles Knowles, 1752–January 1756   Knowles Family in the Caribbean www.knowlesclan.org/carrib.htm

Sir Henry Moore, February 1756–April 1756, acting, first time

George Haldane, April 1756–November 1759

Sir Henry Moore, November 1759 – 1762, acting, second time

Sir William Lyttleton, 1762–1766

Roger Hope Elletson, 1766–1767

Sir William Trelawny, 1767–December 1772

John Dalling, December 1772 – 1774, acting, first time

Sir Basil Keith, 1774–1777

John Dalling, 1777–1781, second time

Archibald Campbell, 1781–1784, acting to 1783

Alured Clarke, 1784–1790

The Earl of Effingham, 1790–19 November 1791

Sir Adam Williamson, 1791–1795, acting

The Earl of Balcarres, 1795–1801

Sir George Nugent, 1801–1805

Sir Eyre Coote, 1806–1808

The Duke of Manchester, 1808–1821

Sir John Keane, 1827–1829, acting

The Earl Belmore, 1829–1832

George Cuthbert, 1832, acting, first time

The Earl of Mulgrave, 1832–1834

Sir Amos Norcott, 1834, acting

George Cuthbert, 1834, acting, second time

The Marquess of Sligo, 1834–1836

Sir Lionel Smith, 1836–1839

Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 1839–1842

The Earl of Elgin, 1842–1846

George Henry Frederick Berkeley, 1846–1847, acting

Sir Charles Edward Grey, 1847–1853

Sir Henry Barkly, 1853–1856

 

1856-1962 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_Jamaica

In 1962, Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom. Since independence, the viceroy in Jamaica has been the Governor-General of Jamaica.

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