Saturday, 10 January 2015

Did You Know?

Did you know that Jamaica at one time had twenty (22) parishes? 
Jamaica now has 14 parishes; but at one point we had as many as 22 parishes. In 1664, nine years after the English formally took control of Jamaica, there were 7 parishes: Clarendon, Port Royal, St Andrew, St David, St John, St Catherine and St Thomas. This increased to:
  • 12 in 1670 with the addition of five parishes: St Ann, St Elizabeth, St George, St James and St Mary;
  • 13 in 1673 with the addition of Vere;
  • 15 in 1675 with the addition of St Dorothy and St Thomas-in-the-Vale;
  • 16 in 1693 with the addition of Kingston;
  • 17 in 1703 with the addition of Westmoreland;
  • 19 in 1723 with the addition of Hanover and Portland;
  • 20 in 1770 with the addition of Trelawny;
  • 21 in 1814 with the addition of Manchester; and
  • 22 in 1844 with the final addition: Metcalfe.
On April 23, 1867, “as part of the reformation scheme of Sir John Peter Grant” the law was passed for the reduction of the number of parishes from 22 to 14: Kingston was increased by absorbing a part of the parishes of St. Andrew and Port Royal, and the whole town of Port Royal. St. Andrew took the remaining part of the parish of Port Royal. St. David was merged into St. Thomas-in-the-East. St. George merged with Portland. Metcalfe was merged into St. Mary. St Thomas-in-the-Vale, St. John and St. Dorothy were all merged into St. Catherine. Vere merged with Clarendon.
In 1872 Kingston became the capital of Jamaica. It acquired this position due to its function as a major centre for commerce and communication.