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"I think he and his crew were captured more times than he actually set sail."
"Oh, I'm not making it up, am I? Your biggest haul was a boatload of bananas on its way from Jamaica!
Laura Smith and Torrents[src]

Jamaica was an island of the Greater Antilles, situated in the Caribbean Sea. It was approximately 620 kilometres (385 mi) northeast of the Central American mainland. It contained the colony of Port Royal.


Spanish colony[]

Jamaica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494. The first Spanish settlers arrived on the island in 1510. The Spaniards grew sugar and bananas on Jamaica but it remained mainly a re-supplying stop between Central America and Spain. Meanwhile the native people, Arawaks, were decimated by European diseases. They were also enslaved. Eventually the native population was almost wiped out. From 1517 the Spaniards imported African slaves to work in Jamaica.

British colony[]

Port Royal in the 1720s.

In 1655, the island was captured by the English expedition led by Admirals Penn and Venables. A few years after capturing the island, the British imported African slaves on large scale for sugar plantations. Jamaica brought prosperity to the English plantation owners and many English cities. Plantation dominated economic, political and religious life on the Island.

In 1657 Jamaica became a base of operations for English buccaneers, pirates and privateers, including Captain Henry Morgan. Port Royal was an infamous pirate locale, though this was countered through the efforts of individuals such as Governor Weatherby Swann and Commodore James Norrington of the British Royal Navy. Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company set himself up in Jamaica, and from there spearheaded a war against piracy across the Seven Seas.

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