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Sunday, 19 February 2012


An Island country in the Caribbean, Barbados is about 300 miles north of Venezuela

Barbados was originally inhabited by Arawak Indians, who were wiped out soon after the arrival of the first Europeans, the Portuguese, in the early 17th century.

When first settled in 1625, Barbados was found to be almost totally covered in dense jungle, with a very large population of wild pigs.

Barbados became a British colony in 1627 and remained so until independence on November 30, 1966.

The island's first and second Governors, Captain William Deane, and John Powell, respectively, were each arrested during their terms as Governor, and returned to England in irons.
Barbados has experienced 12 Hurricanes and 15 Gales of sufficient force to cause extensive damage, recorded from Settlement in 1625 until now.
The first settlement in Barbados, Holetown, acquired its name due to the off loading and cleaning of ships in the very small channel located within the immediate vicinity of the town. These tasks left the area in an untidy and smelly condition....thus the Jamestown area became referred to as "the Hole", which evolved into "Holetown", as it known today. (This channel is no longer in use for such purposes).

The Capital city, Bridgetown, was originally named "Indian Bridge" for the rude bridge which had been constructed over the river (now known as the Careenage) by the Indians. It was later called the "town of St. Michael" in official documents, before finally being named Bridgetown when a new bridge was built in place of the Indian Bridge, sometime after 1654.
The House of Assembly, in 1666, by special Act, ordered that all buildings under construction of wood be halted, and that all buildings in Bridgetown, including homes, must be built of stone, due to the fire which totally destroyed Bridgetown in that year. The Capital has since been devastated by fire several times.
The first slaves in Barbados were white (called Indentured Servants); people who, for various reasons, had been deemed enemies of the Crown. This practice was so prevalent during the period 1640 to 1650, that a phrase for punishment was coined "to be Barbadoed".

In 1688 fearing that slaves would use them to organize revolts, colonial officials in Barbados ban slave dances and the use of drums and horns

In 1736 Barbados boasted 22 Forts and 26 Batteries, mounting a total of 463 Cannon, along it's 21 miles of Western shoreline.

George Washington caught smallpox during a trip to Barbados in 1760. As a result he was permanently scarred.

The Lord Nelson Statue, erected on Bridgetown's Trafalgar Square on March 22, 1813, is older than the statue and square of the same name and fame in London.

Lord Nelson's statue in Barbados, West Indies, November 2000 

Trafalgar Square was renamed National Heroes Square in April 1999, in honor of the national heroes of Barbados.

On April 13, 1816: Bussa led a rebellion from British-ruled slavery, becoming the first national hero of Barbados.

During the period 1841 - 1845, Barbados was considered the healthiest place in the world to live, having one death per 66 people, compared to world averages of approximately one death per 35 people.
People, in times past, traveled from all over the world to Barbados for it's Healing Qualities. These were to be immersed totally, with the exception of the head, in the sands of the beaches of Cattlewash in St. Andrew. This treatment was believed to cure many ills and lasted for some years before waning.
Barbados had on record, in 1846, 491 active Sugar Plantations, with 506 windmills.

The national flag of Barbados was officially adopted on November 30, 1966, the island's first Independence Day,  when it was raised for the first time by Lieutenant Hartley Dottin of the Barbados Regiment.

South Carolina, in the USA, was originally settled by Barbadians, and it's first Governor was a Barbadian.

Barbados' highest point is Mount Hillaby, which isn't much of a Mount as such, "rising" to 1,120ft (340m) roughly at the heart of the country.

Sources, Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2012. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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