Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Art, literature, music
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00013
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: March 1971
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
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        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Art, literature, music
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
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    Back Cover
        Page 57
        Page 58
Full Text



. ?'
1 .I

/ '"'L

SamaicaJou rnaL
MARCH 971 VOL. 5 NO.
MARCH 1971 VOL. 5 NO. 1

Jamaica Journal is published Quarterly
by the Institute of Jamaica;-. 2-16 East
Street, Kingston. Jamaica, West Indies.

Frank Hil, Chairman
Re" Nettleford, Vice Chairman
C. Bernard Lewis, Diector


HISTORY ......
Ysassi; Last Spanish Governor . .. . Francis J. Osborne, S.J.
Memorial of the Battle at Rio Nuevo .. . . . .......
Edward D'Oyley . .... . . . . David Buisseret
"Jamaica Past & Present" Book-Review . . ... .James Carnegie

The Saffron Finch and the House Sparrow . . ... .D.S.M. Clarke
Proudly in the Breeze (Cane Flower) (Photograph). ... ... Archie Lindo
Biological Control . . . . Willie Dixon and Tom Farr reminisce
Bamboo (Photograph) . . . . .Archie Lindo

Lithographed in Jamaica.
Litho Press limited

Jamaica 50c U.K. & Europe 7/6
U.S. & Canada $1.00
West Indies $1.50 (B.W.I.)
1 year $2.00
3 years- $5.00
5 years $9.00 Post Paid.
(Jamaican Currency)
U.S. & Canada
I year $3.50 plus 50c postage
3 years- $10.00 plus $1.50 postage
5 years- $16.00 plus $2.50 postage
(United States Currency)
West Indies
I year $5.00 plus $1.00 postage
3 years $14.00 plus $3.00 postage
5 years- $18.00 plus 55.00 postage
(B.W.I. Currency)
U.K. & Europe
I year 1. 8.0. plus 5/- postage
3 years- 4. 0.0. plus 15/- postage
5 years- 6.10.0. plus 25/- postage
Africa, Asia and Australia all double
The above arranged through
The Institute of Jamaica

Calypso . . .. . . . . .
The Institute Art Exhibition . . . . .
Four Poems and Two Abstracts .. . ....
Gloria Escoffery talks with Alex Gradussov .. ...
Love Me, Love My Horse . . . . .
The Georgian Age or a Deceit of Motive . . .
Voices Under the Window An Introduction to the Book.

S. Errol Hill

S. Milton Harley

S.Rosemary Evans
. Alex Gradussov
S. Mervyn Morris

Cover Photo:
Columbus Statue, Seville,
St. Ann's by Amador Packer.

Inside Cover:
Spanish Pieces of eight
by Audrey Wiles

Festival '70
Colour Photography
"Festival Queen by Paul Steinbok Incqrrectly credited in
Bronze Medal J.J. Vol. 4 No. 2 Sept. '70

When Penn and Venables invaded
Jamaica on May 10, 1655, they made it
clear to Governor Juan Ramirez Arellano
that it was no mere raiding party but that
they had come to settle and hence de-
manded unconditional surrender by the
Spaniards. Ramirez thought he might
negotiate a peace but instead he found
himself signing the articles of capitulation
which may be summarized as follows:
That within twelve days from their date
every faithful Christian was to present
himself to the General [Venables], or to
his deputies with all the money in gold,
silver and copper he might have, jewels,
silverware, slaves, household effects, ran-
ches, farms, sugar estates, mills, arms,
munitions and merchandise and there
were other clauses so detailed that they
read like an inventory drawn up by heirs
in a disagreement. Artificers, poor and
rich, who might desire to remain in the
island, might do so provided they agreed
to live under the government and laws of
England. No priest nor book might remain
in the island. Each person was to bring his
own victuals for a month and present him-
self at the end of twelve days. His Excel-
lency would furnish ships to convey them
to lower ports, that is, to Honduras and
Campeche, allowing each person two shirts
and one suit of clothes. The military
officers to retain their arms and insignia.
Not every Spaniard agreed with Ram-
irez's surrender. There was Maestre de
Campo, Don Francisco de Proenza, who
violently disapproved of Ramirez's action
and who became Governor when Ramirez
died shortly after signing the articles of
capitulation. But Proenza was a sick man
and after defying the British for eight
months relinquished the office of governor
in favour of Christobal Arnaldo Ysassi.
Ysassi was of the same mind as Proenza
that Ramirez should not have surrendered
to the British and immediately opened a
guerrilla war on the invaders which would
last until 1660.
It was early in 1656 that Ysassi took
command of the Spanish forces at the
camp which had been established by
Proenza in the Porras' country (now the
Town of Porus, Manchester). He chose
three officers and forty-five men to recon-
noitre the British in the vicinity of Guati-
bacoa (May Pen). When the British com-
mander heard of Ysassi's presence in the
district, he withdrew into Santiago de la
Vega (Spanish Town). Ysassi followed the
British then turned south to attack the
British camp at Anaya (near Salt River,
Old Harbour Bay) where he learned from
his scouts that the British commander was
accustomed to send twenty-five men daily
to collect water in barrels from the river.
On March 25th,Ysassi made an attack on
this contingent and killed all but two whom
he took as prisoners. He gained from
these prisoners the further information
that the British were quartered at a ranch

called Los Angeles, two miles from San-
tiago (on the present Bog Walk road, now
called Angels Estate). This was once the
estate of Tomas Estacio. He also learned
that on the following day, March 26th,
two companies of British soldiers quartered
at Guanaboa (eight miles north west of
Spanish Town) would be moved into
Santiago de la Vega. He determined to
attack this contingent so he concealed
some of his men under Captains Diego
Sanchez de Santella and Antonio de Leon
with orders to attack the British as soon as
they were on the march. When the British
came in view,Ysassi's men attacked them
from ambush, killed eleven and carried
away a large supply of tools, peas, rye and





by Francis J. Osborne, S.J.

In the meanwhile, Ysassi with Captain
Diego Medina, Adjutant Gomez de Posada,
Sargeant Mayor Christobal de LeybaYsassi
and fifteen men stole cautiously down to
Port Caguay (Kingston Harbour) in order
to observe British ships and to ascertain if
munitions were stored in that locality.
From a vantage point above Passage Fort
Ysassiobserved that the British had stored
munitions under two large tents across the
harbour at Cayo de Carena (Port Royal
now) and that seven pieces of artillery were
positioned at Passage Fort pointing towards
Santiago de la Vega. Ysassi remained all
night at his hideout and just at dawn the
following morning he saw five horse-drawn
carts, loaded with provisions, depart for
the capital. A convoy of fifty British
soldiers rode behind the carts at a consid-
erable distance little suspecting that the
whole operation was under close surveil-
lance. Ysassi concealed his men in the
thicket and awaited the approach of the
supply wagons. So sudden was his attack
that he killed all five drivers before the con-
voy could reach the spot. He then withdrew
to another ambush and as the soldiers ap-
proached, sallied out to attack, killing
eleven including the Captain, and causing
the rest to flee in terror. He was able to
carry only one supply wagon fearing that,

should he delay,a stronger force of British
might come to the rescue of the ambushed
ones and wipe out his own men.
Ysassi disappeared into the woods and
waited until dark for incursion into the
capital. Under cover of darkness he crept
steathily into the plaza where the British
troops were quartered and observed that
the Abbey Church had been converted into
a fort and that the British General had
made his headquarters in the former resi-
dence of Captain Don Felix de Fuentes
which faced the open country towards the
sea. To frighten the General,Ysassi set fire
to nearby huts belonging to a mulatto, Bar-
tolo, and when the General appeared in his
doorway, he fired his gun into the air hop-
ing to scare away the intruders. Ysassi
then withdrew from Santiago de la Vega,
having been in the environs of the capital
for seven days, thoroughly alarming the
British who knew not where he might
strike next.
Ysassi's next move was to collect cattle
from the estates in the vicinity of the
capital and drive them into his own camp
at Guatibacoa where he already had two
thousand head with their herdsmen. After
seeing the cattle safely within the corral,
Ysassi marched down to Fort Anaya to see
if he might stalk some British soldiers. His
adjutant, Juan de Gomez, and two soldiers
were sent to reconnoitre in the vicinity of
the river and came upon eight British sol-
diers. Judging them to be so few, Gomez
engaged them in a fight not knowing that
other British soldiers were in ambush on an
eminence above the river awaiting such a
move on the part of the Spaniards. Before
Ysassi could come to the rescue the British
had killed Gomez and another soldier.
When Ysassi did arrive he slew all the
British except one man who managed to
escape and sound the alarm at the Anaya
barracks whence one hundred soldiers sal-
lied forth to capture Ysassi who after flee-
ing in one direction, double-tracked back
to Anaya and set the barracks afire while
the British were searching for him. The
British now reinforced by soldiers from
Santiago de la Vega,marched onYsassi's
camp at Guatibacoa, twenty-four miles to
the west of Santiago de la Vega, which
they hoped to destroy completely. But
Ysassi marched through the night, reached
the camp before the British, sounded the
alarm and hurried to a place of safety all
the women and children and as many
cattle as he could, and then fled into
the mountains.
During 1656, the British were experien-
cing growing discontent among their troops
who wanted no part with colonization.
They were military men, had done their
part in capturing Jamaica and under no
circumstances wished to settle down as
planters, so they created every possible
obstacle to their officers' plans by destroy-
ing two thousand head of cattle which
created a meat shortage and this added to
their go-slow in planting brought such a
crisis that a near famine resulted. So serious
was the situation that many BritJh office
offered to desert to Ysassi's camp but he
would not trust them as long as the


Both maps from S.A.G. Taylor's "Western Design"

British had a large body of men who could
fight. He did accept the surrender of five
British who came to him: a captain, an
ensign of German nationality, a sergeant
and two soldiers. These men he sent to
The guerrilla warfare of Ysassi so irritated
the British that they were determined to rid
themselves of him. No Englishman could
settle peacefully on his farm while the
threat of sudden and lethal raid hung
ominously over his head. But every pro-
posal by the British that he surrender was

treated with contempt by Ysassi
It was one thing to defy an external
force like the British, it was another to
reconcile within his own ranks a difference
of opinion concerning the proper military
strategy to use in mountainous Jamaica.
The conjunction of enemy pressure and
internal disagreement resulted ultimate-
ly in the defeat of the guerilla leader.

Dissension within the Spanish ranks
began on July 7, 1657, when five hundred
and eighty-five men fully armed with mus-

Dates given in this article by Fr. Osbourne were taken from Spanish documents and therefore are "new
style" following the Gregorian Calendar. Dates in the succeeding article by Dr. Buisseret relating to
the same incidents were taken from English documents follow the "old style" or Julian Calendar. The
date given on the Rio Nuevo Monument also follow the "old style". The reason for the discrepancies
- a difference of ten days at that time is that Spain adopted the Gregorian system in 1582 whereas
Great Britain and her territories, did not adopt the new style until 1752.

kets and lances, and under the command
of Captain Juan de los Reyes of Puerto
Rico, landed at Las Chorreras (Ocho Rios)
From the day when this contingent was
mustered into service in Cuba until it
landed in Jamaica there was a long delay
of eight months. Behind this procrastina-
tion loomed the ominous figure of the
Governor of Santiago de Cuba, Don Pedro
de Bayona, a jealous, avaricious, self-seek-
ing official who placed personal ambition
before the common good; and in the early
days of the evacuation of refugees from
Jamaica to Cuba had charged ten to twelve
pesos for passage, including infants, and had
sold cassava and vegetables for high prices
to poor refugees in the Jamaican mountains.
In 1657 the Spanish King ordered relief
forces from Santo Domingo and Puerto
Rico to assemble in Cuba and prepare for
an invasion of Jamaica. Instead of appoint-
ing the most competent leader, Captain
Don Francisco de Salinas, as supreme com-
mander of the expedition, Bayona chose
his own favourite Captain Don Francisco
de los Reyes. There was the constant
question on which side of Jamaica should
the expeditions land. Ysassi wanted the
troops to land on the south side so that
they would not have to cross the moun-
tains and would have the advantage of
being closer to the enemy in order to
launch an attack. But Bayona kept landing
the troops on the north side with disas-
trous results.
When Reyes landed at Las Chorreras he
knew that he must march into the moun-
tains of the Manatines where Ysassi had
established his camp. It was a long, tire-
some march and wearied many a soldier
unaccustomed to the tropics. Ysassi's
camp at Los Vermejales was equidistant
from both the north and south coasts of
Jamaica. From this advantageous position
Ysassi made raids on British entrenchments
on the south coast and then withdrew into
his mountain fastness. Here also the freed
slaves of the Spaniards had their three

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ii' B lY. -il
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i: ja

camps and shared in Ysassi's campaign to
rid the island of the British. One narrow
road led into the camp which could easily
be defended by the Spaniards.
Up the rugged mountains Reyes and his
troops struggled, with heavy equipment
carried on the backs of soldiers. After
three days march over the narrow trail, im-
peded by heavy tropical rains, Reyes called
a Council of War. A decision was reached
by the Council to return to Las Chorreras.
In order to forestall mutiny,Ysassi ordered
the disaffected contingent to return to the
coast, but cautioned Reyes to remove the
stores at Las Chorreras and place them in
the port of Baycani where they were to be
concealed and when convenient, to trans-
port them to the south coast whereYsassi
intended to carry on his campaign against
the British. Disobeying orders,Reyes did
not remove the supplies to a place of
safety but built a stockade around the
stores at Las Chorreras and then removed
the powder, which Ysassi had cached in a
safe place, within this stockade. The in.
evitable happened. The British with three
hundred men made an attack on Las Chor-
reras, captured all the supplies and sent
Reyes fleeing for his life with one hundred
and twenty Spaniards dead or wounded on
the shore. The rest, a hapless lot, sought
refuge in the nearby forest. Shortly after
this fiasco, Reyes and two hundred and
forty-four of his men deserted Ysassi for
the safer shores of Cuba.
Stubborn Governor Bayona failed to
profit by Reyes defeat at Las Chorreras
and again landed another contingent of
five hundred and fifty-seven men under
command of Captain Don Alvaro de la
Raspuru at Rio Nuevo on the north coast.
When the Spaniards landed in the after-
noon of May 28, 1658, a large British war-
ship appeared in the port of Rio Nuevo
and sighting the Spaniards, began to fire on
them. The Spaniards returned the fire.
Not until she had spent her ammunition
did the British ship put out to sea only to)
return later accompanied by two other war-
ships. All three sailed into the bay with
their sprit-sails prepared to board the
Spanish vessels, but the troops garrisoned
on these ships put up such a stiff resistance
that many of the attacking British were
killed and their ships forced to retire. The
British ships then positioned themselves in
mid-channel and cannonaded the Spanish
until nightfall. The following day the
British ships kept in sight of Rio Nuevo
but did not attempt a second attack. The
British Captain then dispatched a vessel to
Santiago de la Vega to inform D'Oyley of
the latest Spanish attempt to set up a base
on the north coast. Five British ships now
returned and under cover of their artillery
attempted to land troops but the land
based Spanish guns gave the foremost
British ship two dangerous hits and she
was obliged to cut her cable, leave her
anchor in the water and sail away. The
second British attempt had ended in
When the news of Raspuru's landing
reached D'Oyley in the capital, he called a

Council of War and proposed this question:
whether it would be more advantageous to
allow the Spaniards to remain at Rio Nuevo
with the hope that the ravages of tropical
diseases would decimate their numbers; or
to fall on them without warning. Enthu-
siasm ran high among the officers to attack
at once. D'Oyley then ordered seven hun-
dred and fifty men to sail for an attack on
Fort Concepcion. The Fort was not fully
completed when, on June 25th, D'Oyley
appeared on the horizon with seven war-
ships manned for action.
D'Oyley gave orders to disembark on
the east side of the bay where two com-
panies of Spaniards and their Negro hun-
ters were drawn up to dispute their land-
ing. It was a bloody encounter. Land,
the British did and leave a Spanish captain
and twenty-three of his soldiers dead on
the shore. Within range of Spanish artillery
fire, some six hundred yards distant,
D'Oyley brought ashore the remainder of
his men together with all his supplies, suf-
fering very few casualties. He pitched his
camp on the hill opposite the Spanish fort
and spent most of the day reconnoitring
to determine the most favourable way to
attack the Spaniards. A frontal attack by
sea or river was out of the question for
formidable cliffs topped by a strong stock-
ade made the fort impregnable.
Before the actual assault, D'Oyley sent
his drummer boy in correct seventeenth
century pre-battle protocol, to demand
Ysassi's surrender under honourable terms,
which would be the Spaniards marching
with bag and baggage, arms in their
hands, matches lighted and bullets in their
With equal courtesyYsassi replied:
Lord GeneraL- Don Christopher Arnaldo
Ysassi, Governor for his Majesty, the King
of Spain, lord of the island of Jamaica,
answering your letter, wherein you require
me to deliver the fort of Rio Nuevo, and
what else is therein, I say that his Majesty,
whom God preserve, has appointed me
governor of this island, being his own
property, and has remitted me unto it a
regiment of Spanish infantry, and twenty-
four companies to defend it. The forts and
castles of his Majesty are not yielded with
so much facility. I have received no attack
from your batteries, nor have you made
any advance. I am in no want of powder,
nor muskets ball, nor gallant men that
know how to die before they are overcome.
God keep your honour many years in those
commands that you desire.

When these formalities were completed,
Ysassi presented the drummer boy who had
brought D'Oyley's message, with twenty-
five pieces of eight and sent D'Oyley a jar
of sweetmeats. The stage was now set for
the attack.

At muster, just before dawn, D'Oyley
went from company to company encourag-
ing men and officers to "carry the day",
for England's honour was at stake. Two

British warships were sent sailing west as a
ruse to draw the attention of the Spaniards
that the British intended to make a landing
farther down the coast. The remainder of
the British fleet drew close to the shore
and cannonaded the fort relentlessly while
the infantry marched through tangled
underbrush until they came opposite the
ravine. Here they observed a party of
Spanairds on the hill constructing a breast-
work from which the fording of the Rio
Nuevo could be protected. The working
party tried to stop the British infantry with
a well directed volley but the British came
on, forcing the defenders to retreat within
the fort. Climbing the hill the infantry
rested for a while before the final assault.
The British had taken the correct route;
before them lay the unfinished palisades,
wide open to a frontal attack. Not as high
as the finished section of the fort, it was
simple for the British to scale the low walls
with ladders, hurl hand grenades and make
an open breech for the main body of
troops to enter the fort. When the smoke
cleared Sargeanto Mayor Christobal de
Leyba and three hundred Spaniards lay
dead, and one hundred were taken prisoners.
It was England's greatest Jamaican victory.
Spain's most disastrous defeat. The curtain
was about to be rung down on Spanish
With all supplies burnt, men scattered
and in hiding, Ysassi called a Council of
War. Since the British had five thousand
five hundred armed men and six hundred
horses as well as Negro guides who had sur-
rendered to them, and ships to cruise a-
round the island, the Council decreed that
the sick and woundedtogether with those
officers who Ysassi should appoint, would
embark for the city of Santiago de Cuba.
The straw which broke the spanish
resistance was the defection of Juan de
Bolas and his Negro followers. Juan de
Bolas and two hundred of his followers
had fled into the mountains at the time of
the British invasion in 1655 and had formed
themselves into three camps. They fought
for the Spaniards and supplied them with
provisions and meat from hunted cattle.
Although flattering offers had been made
to these Negroes by the British, they had
remained faithful to the Spaniards until
1660, when Juan de Bolas defected to the
British. All Spanish officers were of the
opinion that to remain in Jamaica would
mean certain death for every one of their
men since these defectors knew every path
in the mountains and could lead the
British to the Spanish camps. On the 3rd
May 1660, Ysassi and his handful of fol-
lowers left Jamaica in home-made canoes
for Cuba and from that date Jamaica
became an undisputed possession of Eng-
land. It only remained for the Treaty of
Madrid, July 8, 1670, to make it formal.

This article is based on the "Seville
Papers" in the West India Reference

The Rio Nuevo Memorial erected
on the site of the Spanish Stock-
ade in 1970 by the Jamaica
National Trust Commission and
the Jamaican Historical Society.
A park is being created here and
the monument is scheduled to be
dedicated in June 1971 on the
anniversary of the action. The
site was presented by Mr. Stanley
Beckford. (The plaque is super-
imposed in appropriate position)
Looking eastward from the site
of the Spanish Stockade. The
English landed on the far side of
the Bay to make their way inland
for the attack on the Spanish
from the south.

-- -- - Tv.

I~`h 7




by David Buisseret

The life of Edward D'Oyleyl is known
to us in some detail. Born in 1617 and
trained as a lawyer, he fought on the
Parliamentary side in the English Civil
War, and then came to Jamaica in 1655
with the expedition led by Penn and
Venables. Many of the other officers
having left or died, D'Oyley became
commander-in-chief almost by accident,
and was responsible not only for repuls-
ing the Spaniards in October 1657 and
June 1658, but ilso for consolidating
English power and eventually establishing
civil government. Suspect to the Restora-
tion government of Charles II, he was
replaced in 1662 by Lord Windsor, re-
turned to England, and lived there quietly
until his death in 1675.
All this is set out in The Dictionary of
National Biography,2 in Cundall's The
Governors of Jamaica in the 17th Cen-
tury (London 1936), and, most recently
and fully, in S.A.G. Taylor's The Western
Design (Kingston 1965). The present short
article evidently cannot hope to offer any
radical revision in the version offered by
these sources. However, they all have a
certain weakness, in that they do not use
D'Oyley's own account of the events
between 1655 and 1662, which is pre-
served at the British Museum as Additional
Manuscript 1243, rather misleadingly
called 'Colonel D'Oyley's Journal'. This
manuscript is not in fact a journal, but
rather a day-to-day list of administrative
acts carried out by D'Oyley as commander-
in-chief. There are thus many mentions
of 'orders issued out' to various persons
for supplies from the stores. There are
also, more interestingly, commissions given
by D'Oyley to officers assigned to mili-
tary missions, and orders received by him
from the central government in England,
at first from Cromwell and then from
Charles II. As we shall see, some of these
documents revise commonly-held opinions
about the events of these years; all have
the advantage for our purpose of closely
concerning D'Oyley.3
The first entry in the 'journal' concerns
a council-meeting of 19 November 16554
over which D'Oyley presided. The pre-
vious October he had become joint com-
missioner with Goodson and Sedgwick,5
and also seems from this time to have been

/46J7- 1676

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ir"- ~-~~75C~g7 b

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An address of 4 January 1655/6 by the Council to their president, D'Oyley.

commander-in-chief of the army (vice-
admiral Goodson being in charge of the
fleet). It was as commander-in-chief that
the council on 4 January presented to him
a petition 'in behalf of the army' which
would have led a less resolute character to
throw his hand in. This petition ran as
Whereas wee are every day importuned
both by the officers and soldiers of
the army, representing the sadness of
their condition, and discouraged by
their great mortality, and continually
sickness hath utterly disabled them
from either performing any publique
service for the commonwealth, or to
plant for their subsistence heere,
That we would commiserate their
condition and use some speedy means
for their removal hence, that soe ye
handful of men yet remaining may be
serviceable to His Highness the Lord
Protector (Cromwell) and ye Common-
wealth of England . (folio 3vo; see
plate 1).
Signed by five senior officers, it accurate-
ly set out the plight of the English forces.
During the first year in Jamaica they lost
about 4,500 of their strength of 7,000,
and it must have seemed to the survivors
in January 1656 that all were going to
perish. In fact, the remaining 2,500, like
D'Oyley himself, had by then gone through
the 'seasoning' process; most had had
fevers and in recovering from them had
built up an immunity to further attacks.
Even though their numbers held steady
at about 2,500, and even though they
received occasional reinforcements, the
position of D'Oyley's forces was grave.
Their food-supplies had run very low, and
as they were not inclined to plant6 they
ran a good chance of starving. To this
danger was added the attacks of a cunning
and persistent enemy. In June 1655,
straight after the invasion, the various
regiments had been sent to their quarters,
some of which were as far away as
Guanaboa Vale. However, the dispersal
of the forces in this way helped the
Spaniards and their allies the Negroes, who
could thus fall upon isolated detachments
and kill them before help could come.
So bad did the situation become for
D'Oyley's men, even in the area round
their main base at Spanish Town, that he
was obliged in March 1656 to issue the
following order:
Whereas the enemie hathe very lately
made an assault uppon several of our
men, and killed them, in the passage
from heere to the seasyde (at Passage
Fort), and whereas it is expected they
may dayly doe more mischiefe if not
tymely prevented,
Resolved by the council that fower
fyles of men, commanded by a com-
mission officer and a sergeant from the
guard at the seasyde, and as many
from the guard in the towne, keepe
moving every daye, those from the
towne to the Half-way tree,7 and
those from the guard at the seasyde
to meet them there ... (folio 9r0).

J .
r n^M al . .0% I s

/rltlr rrI .+ / 4

e .*. .j2 5..,
S'j A A,- d4ip las. I la. a

-.4 44 _
< , ., ,.^ A ,c
^.49M- 000

An order of 7 August 1656 from D'Oyley to lieutenant Groves.
^A^^^ / <^

(F^n2 orf/ /7uut15 rmD'y oletnn rvs

The soldiers, sick as they often were, did
not relish this kind of guard-duty, and
many of them wished to return to England.
So too did their officers, and in April 1656
D'Oyley had to suppress a serious revolt
in Colonel Buller's regiment, as a result of
which three of the ringleaders were exe-
Sedgwick died in May, and D'Oyley
was thereafter left alone in charge of the
land forces. He instituted a system of
frequent patrols into the interior of the
island, and into parts where the enemy
might be found; major Robert Smith
took a party out on 22 June 1656, and
others went with lieutenant-colonel Bar-
rington in July and with lieutenant Hum-
phrey Groves in August.9 D'Oyley's
battle-order to lieutenant Groves ran as
follows (see plate 2):
You are to boate your men att ye
fforte (probably at Passage Fort), and
by ye assistance of ye pilote to take
hold of all advantages of winde and
weather to bring your party to ye
landing-place, and to be very careful at
ye said landing to send a discreet
officer with a forlorne,10 and search
the bushes or any covert places, that
there be no ambuschadoes, and you are
not to march to any savanna nor any
champion ground (open country) till
you have well scoured the woods
If you find yourself clear of ye
enemie (who your first business is to
attempt, with caution to their horse)
you are to apply yourself and party
to kill and jerke biefe, making no
spoile, and to take special care (if you
finde the cattell tame) that you suffer
not your men to affright them
If you finde a sure way home by land,


you are to discharge your shallops
(landing-craft) and expect our horse,
with a hatt.and a handkerchee in it on
ye topp of a pyke, which you are
likewise to doe if you suspect what
horse they are, and if you can to give
intelligence of your condition, and not
stay above 14 daies unless you receive
further order from
your servant Edw D'Oyley
This was, then, to be a patrol with the
object not only of attacking the enemy,
but also of securing much-needed supplies
of food; it is couched in D'Oyley's
normal brisk style, which left the officer
concerned in no doubt as to his duty.
The pressure exerted on the Spaniards
by this aggressive patrolling began to take
effect, as the first article of a council of
held on 11 August 1656 shows. It runs
like this.
Question: whether uppon ye informa-
tion of Jasper de la Rois, a Spaniard
lately come in, given unto this council,
it be thought fitt to send out a party to
apprehend Master de Campo (Don
Francisco de Proenza, eventually cap-
tured at Ocho Rios in October 1657)
and those with him at St. Anne or noe?
Resolved uppon in ye affirmative.
(folio 20rO).
So lieutenant-colonel Archbould led out a
patrol the following day, and this was
followed by patrols in September by
lieutenant-colonel Mercer, and in Decem-
ber by adjutant-general Butler.ll Other
groups of Spaniards were captured or
gave themselves up, for an order of food
dated 22 October 1656 is destined for
'the six Spaniards last brought in' (folio

At the end of 1656 two noteworthy
events occurred; a large party of colonists
from Nevis, under the command of Luke
Stokes, arrived and were sent to the
Morant district, and major-general William
Brayne arrived from England as the new
commander. The first of these events is
reflected by the following entry, of 10
December 1656:
This day Mary Rugg lately come from
Nevis received an order for provision
for present allowance of the army for
three weeks (folio 32vO).
The first order by Brayne preserved in
D'Oyley's 'journal' dates from 14 January
1657 (folio 34ro). However, neither
Stokes nor Brayne long survived the
Jamaican climate, and by 3 September
1657 D'Oyley was once again 'commander-
in-chief of all His Highness' (Cromwell's)
forces in America' (folio 35rO).
From this time onwards D'Oyley seems
to have lived at Point (or sometimes 'Port')
Cagway, which was becoming the centre
at which the buccaneers of Tortuga dis-
posed of their loot and picked up their
supplies. In the earliest days of the
English settlement in Jamaica, attention
had concentrated on Spanish Town and
on Passage Fort, which secured the cap-
ital's communications with the sea. By
the end of 1657, however, Spanish Town
had been well secured by Fort Henry,
built by captain Stanley Stevenson (folio
40ro) and named after the popular fourth
son of Oliver Cromwell, and Passage Fort
had also been strongly fortified by cap-
tain Harrington, in command there (folio
45ro). So D'Oyley could turn his atten-
tion to Point Cagway, where work was
well advanced on Fort Cromwell, better
known in later years as Fort Charles.

Point Cagway, or 'the point', was of
course the base for naval and other vessels,
and D'Oyley relied heavily on the naval
captains to bring him intelligence of the
dispositions of the Spaniards. Vice-
admiral Goodson had left for England
early in 1657, and the small naval force
was thenceforward directed by the
commander-in-chief. It had brought
disquieting reports of Spanish activity
on the north side of the island through-
out the summer of 1657, and in Sep-
tember of that year it was able to con-
firm that the Spaniards had built a fort
and magazine near Ocho Rios. D'Oyley
resolved to act before this centre of
resistance could be reinforced from
Cuba. His 'journal' is tantalizingly sparse
for the period of his assault on the Spanish
stronghold, but this is no doubt because
he was too busy issuing orders to write
them all down. Fortunately his expedition
has been well described in The Western
Design (pages 159-164), which emphasizes
the boldness with which D'Oyley acted
when under pressure. Leading 350 men
against the Spaniards' 300, he took their
stockade by storm, and in spite of a
spirited resistance drove Juan de Los
Reyes and his men into the woods, killing
more than a hundred of them.

Reyes had in fact disobeyed the orders
of his commander, Don Cristobal de
Ysassi, and the latter was furious when he
heard of this exploit by 'Duerte Dali', as
the Spaniards called Edward D'Oyley.12
However, recriminations were of no avail,
and Ysassi prepared to receive fresh re-
inforcements, this time from Mexico.
D'Oyley too prepared to receive the
Spanish reinforcements, keeping up a
standing watch over the north coast with
his naval vessels. On 21 March 1658 he
issued the following order to captain John
Wilgress, commander of the Blackmore: 13
You are forthwith, wind and weather
permitting, to sett saile from this har-
bour for Morant, and having land (ed)
the goods appointed, to sett Mr. Povey
and his wife and their servants at Port
Morant, and then to sett sail from there
towards Port Antonio in this island,
and to ply itt upp and down betwixt
that and Cuba, to prevent as well the
landing of any forces coming from

there as any of the enemie of this
island going off without licence, and
doe your utmost you can to gained
intelligence by prisoners, letters or
otherwise, and in case you gett any to
send them to Port Morant, to be sent
And if you meete any of the enemie
shipps at sea and apprehend yourself
to weak to fight them you shall repair
to Port Morant to captain Mingsl and
desire his assistance. But in case you
cannot timely give him notice you are
to observe where the enemie lands and
give me notice by the first convenience,
or acquaint major Steevensl5 . who
wilbe with the Hector and Grantham
betwixt the Chererasl6 and Montego
Bay. And you are to stay abroad three
months unless some justifiable occasion
call you in or you desire further orders.
(folio 47vo).
This, order, like the one for lieutenant
Groves printed above, brings out D'Oyley's

.e A* 1- .1%. ""s f. 10 -
D'Oyley's order (in his own hand) to captain van Alfen, concerning the seizure of
certain shoes, 21 May 1658. The second order concerns the requisitioning of some

gift for drafting clear and concise instruct-
ions. The policy of patrolling the north
coast soon bore fruit, for early in May
1658 one of the naval craft spotted three
Spanish transport-vessels which had landed
men and stores at Rio Nuevo. Word was
quickly passed to D'Oyley at Point Cagway,
and the English commander, who to judge
by his dispatches had been expecting just
such a landing, began his preparations for
assaulting the Spaniards, -who meanwhile
built a stockade.
Special ammunition was prepared for
the assault, as we see from an order of
May 26th to commissary Bingham:
You are to deliver unto Nicholas Keene
firemaster twenty pound of saltpeter
and ten pounds of brimstone for the
making of granadoes .. (folio 49ro).
One of the great shortages among the
English soldiers was of serviceable shoes,
and this seems to have been overcome by
a commission to captain Van Alfen, in
charge of the troops labouring at Fort
Whereas there is a pressing necessity at
present for the sending a party of men
to assault the Spanyard now landed on
this island, and that the army is wholly
destitute of shoes, and I am informed
that there are good shoes in the shipp
of Mr. Prince in this harbour, you are
therefore hereby required to goe aboard
the said shipp and make search for such
shoes and to recover the number of
(blank) of them for which the state
shall give satisfaction. Dated this 26
May 1658. (folio 49r; see plate 3).
Other equipment was loaded on. the ships;
not only arms, powder and shot, but also
implements like shovels, spades, felling-
axes, hatchets and pick-axes (folio 50vO).
Two prizes in the harbour were pressed
into service to carry the stores and troops,
and some time early in June D'Oyley set
sail for the north coast. He seems to have
had a certain fear that in his absence the
enemy might assault from the south, for
he left very detailed instructions for col-
onel William Moore, in charge of the
forces in and around Spanish Town. The
gist of these orders was that in the event
of a powerful enemy attack Moore was to
withdraw his troops into Spanish Town
and try to hold out there (folio 50v0).
The adventures of the party led by
D'Oyley have, once again, been well des-
cribed in The Western Design (pages 172-
180), and since none of our papers bears
directly on them there is no need to
recount them in detail here. Suffice it to
say that finding the enemy well entrenched
behind the stockade, D'Oyley led his men
into a furious and successful attack, in
which the 'granadoes' proved their worth.
There were about 750 men on each side,
but as Cornelius Burrough, steward gen-
eral, wrote, D'Oyley's 'gallant behaviour
was answered both by officers and soldiers
with a silent cheerful obedience'; they
had confidence both in the courage and in
the preparations of their leader, and this
made them a formidable force, quite un-

like the miserable rabble with which Penn
and Venables had invaded Hispaniola three
years earlier. D'Oyley's care for his men
emerges from many of the journal-entries
for the months following this victory,
when oatmeal, brandy, bread and beef
were frequently issued to 'the sick and
wounded brought from Rio Nova' (folio
Ysassi had been driven in headlong
flight from Rio Nuevo, but he did not
abandon hope. He still had about 200
Negroes faithful to him, and with these
and a handful of Spaniards he continued
to pose a threat, which D'Oyley sought to
counter by frequent naval patrols, to
make sure that Ysassi's forces could not
be reinforced. There were a certain num-
ber of defections from the Spanish side;
an order of 10 May 1659, for instance,
captain Hernando Julian and senor
Henrico, one a mulatto the other a
Spaniard, being very forward to serve
the English interest here (folio 74vo).
However, the remaining guerillas were still
able to inflict losses on English scouting-
parties, to judge by an order of 11 October
1659, requiring lieutenant Fuller
to send upp to towne the twelve men
with their arms and doggs of John
Noyes that came in to him after the
party was routed by the enemy (folio
Noyes and his dogs had arrived the pre-
vious August, but do not seem to have
been very successful. What apparently
broke Ysassi's will for further resistance
was a series of patrols mounted towards
the end of 1659 and in the opening months
of 1660. In November 1659 captain
Thomas Morgan led one of these patrols
and in January 1660 lieutenant Carman
led another.17 No doubt the English
soldiers were getting more skilful at fight-
ing in the bush, for Carman brought back
'two negroes', and this was the beginning
of a large number of captures and defect-
ions during the year 1660. Lieutenant-
colonel Tyson was responsible for the
most important of these when his patrol
of February 1660 discovered Lluidas Vale
and the provision-grounds of the men
under Juan Lubolo.18
This Negro leader, known to the Eng,
lish as Juan de Bolas, first appears in
D'Oyley's journal in May 1660, receiving
'twenty shillings, his M. de campo and
sergt. Maior twenty shillings more for their
weekly maintenance' (folio 112ro). With
Juan de Bolas on their side, the English
were able to find their way into all the
guerillas' hiding-places, and Ysassi's posi-
tion soon became untenable. As early as
7 March 1660 there had been overtures
for an agreement, to judge by this order
to captain Healinge of the Pearl:
You are to sett saile with the shallop
under your command for the north
part of the island, and to land captain
Francisco de la Nova at Rio Nuebo or
where else he will, and to stay for an
answer from Don Christopher four or

five dales att most .. (folio 84ro).
In fact, nothing came of these overtures,
and Ysassi left informally, so to speak,
the following May. The English were still
searching for him in June 1660 (folio
92ro), but by then he was safe in Cuba.
The years 1658, 1659 and 1660 saw a
remarkable growth in the power of Port
Cagway. Many prizes were brought in,
merchants established themselves in in-
creasing numbers, and a town grew up
around the fortification. D'Oyley's role
in all this was chiefly his ceaseless vigilance
over the maritime approaches; his papers
for these years are full of instructions to
naval captains like the one to John Wilgress
printed above. At the same time, he
watched over the growing number of
planters. Tobacco and cotton were ex-
ported as early as 1657, and in March
1660 major Hopel9 was able to sell three
pounds' worth of (Irish) potatoes from his
estate to the Coventry. All this increasing
prosperity led to a certain restlessness at
the continuation of military government,
and in August of 1660 D'Oyley was ob-
liged to suppress an actual rebellion led by
lieutenant-colonel Raymond, who seems
to have hankered after a less repressive
constitutional system.20
It was also in August 1660 that the
frigate Convertine brought news which
must have put D'Oyley in an awkward
position: Charles II had been restored to
power in England. D'Oyley hastened to
regularize his own position and that of his
followers by taking advantage of the
amnesty offered by the Declaration of
Breda (April 1660). As his journal puts it:
'there shalbe an instrument drawne
declaring their obedience and subjec-
tion to his Majesty, to which they may
subscribe their hands att my house att
Point Cagway, which shalbe kept as a
record of their loyalty and obedience
for ever. Dated 18th of August 1660
(folio 95ro).
This 'instrument' began as follows:
Wee, whose names are underwritten,
officers, soldiers and inhabitants of
this island of Jamaica belonging to his
most excellent majesty Charles, by the
grace of God kinge of England, Scot-
land, France and Ireland . (folio
The most ardent royalist could hardly
have desired a more resounding enumera-
tion of Charles II's titles; the only question
was, would Jamaica continue to belong to
him as it had to the Commonwealth?
This was a problem which greatly vexed
D'Oyley, whose position as the dubious
governor of a 'stateless' island was truly
difficult. In an attempt to cover himself,
in March 1661 he tendered 'an oath of
allegiance and supremacy, to counter the
bad influence of the continuing absence
of a royal commission' (folio 103ro and
vO). No doubt many of the inhabitants
swore this oath, but in any case the
following May D'Oyley received a Com-
mission and Instructions from Charles 11.21

His position was now secure, and he could
preside over the transition from a military
to a civil government.
D'Oyley's Commission provided for the
election of eleven councillors, who with
the island secretary would form his Coun-
cil. Early in June, therefore, he sent out
five instructions couched in terms similar
to this:
By the Governor;
Whereas there is a Council of eleaven
persons to be fairly and indifferently
chosen by the officers of the army,
planters or inhabitants, who are ap-
pointed to assist me in the government
and to advise in all matters wherein the
safety and improvement of the island
may be concerned, I doe therefore
desire you to give notice to all the
officers and inhabitants, from the Redd
Hill to Guanaboa and other places
hereto adjacent, that they assemble
together att such place and tyme as
you shall think fitt here, to elect
three persons who are to be of the
said Councill, and return to mee their
names with what convenient speed you
can. Dated this fifth daye of June
1661, in the thirteenth year of His
Majesty's raigne that now is. (folio
106rO vo).
To these three councillors were to be
added three from Liguanea, two from
'Angels',22 two from Yallahs and Port
Morant, and one from Passage Fort,
making the eleven. When the elections
took place, they resulted in the appoint-
ment of many of those officers whose
activities we have been considering; lieu-
tenant-colonel Archbould, for instance,
was returned for Liguanea.
D'Oyley's happiest and most successful
days were now past. He was perhaps
insufficiently tactful to preside over a
civil council, and in any case Charles II

had a candidate of his own for governor.
In August 1661 the King signed the Com-
mission of Lord Windsor, who had served
him well during the civil wars, and the new
Governor set sail for Jamaica the following
April. The final entries in D'Oyley's
journal date from May 1662, and concern,
ironically enough, issues of gunpowder 'to
celebrate the birthday of His Majesty'
(folio 111 rO). When His Majesty's new
representative arrived at Port Royal on 11
August 1662, he was 'barely civil' to
D'Oyley, and is said to have insisted that
he leave the island on the Westergate,
which sailed on September 10th.23 Al-
though Windsor's commission was a good
deal more comprehensive and better
thought out than D'Oyley's had been,24
it did not result in any radical change in
the state of affairs; the chief landowners,
for instance, were confirmed in the pos-
session of their estates.
D'Oyley had a tedious voyage home,
and early in 1663 presented a report to
Clarendon on the state and prospects of
Jamaica. No doubt he was feeling tired
and disillusioned, for he showed no
enthusiasm for the island's agricultural
possibilities, declared it to be very un-
healthy, and complained of the abuses of
the Port Royal (as Port Cagway was now
called) merchants. The royal minister
Clarendon must have listened with interest
to this tale, but the economic and political
development of the island was already
making most of D'Oyley's report appear
worthless. He retired quietly in London,
where he died in 1675.
This rather sad end to D'Oyley's career
should not blind us to his remarkable
qualities. Coming to power without
greatly desiring it, he proved himself
a courageous and humane soldier, as well
as a man of great tenacity, refusing to
yield even when those around him had

despaired. The counterpart to these moral
qualities was his intellectual ability to
organize his subordinates, and to issue
many cogent orders not only to the sol-
diers but also to the sailors under his
command. In the end, we can scarcely
summarize his qualities better than in the
strangely appropriate prose of the eight-
eenth-century historian Edward Long:
By his personal bravery and wise con-
duct in defeating every attempt of the
Spaniards to retake the island, as well
as by the spirit of industry he excited
among the troops and other inhabit-
ants, without relaxing their discipline
too much, he gained more honour than
eitherPenn or Venables by the invasion
of (the island). If to this we add that
he appears not to have sought advan-
tage to himself by the monopoly of
land, which undoubtedly was within
his power, or by practising any extor-
tion or oppression on the subjects
abandoned to his entire command, but
on the contrary manifested a firm and
persevering zeal in maintaining good
order among men disheartened and
averse to settlement, improving and
establishing it by humane, vigorous
and prudent measures, while in its
infancy, and finally delivering it out of
his hands to the nation a well-peopled
and thriving colony, we shall see cause
to applaud him as an excellent officer,
a disinterestedpatriot, a wise governor,
a brave and upright man, and must.
lament that although it is to his good
conduct alone we owe the possession
ofJamaica, he received no other reward
for his many eminent services than the
approbations of his own heart.25
We cannot share all Long's enthusiasm,
and still less all his prejudices. However,,
we have to agree that in this passage he
does Edward D'Oyley no less than justice.

1. This is the way in which he himself spelt his name.
2. see the Supplement to the first printing.
3. Some, indeed, were written by him: see plate 3. References to this
manuscript will be given in the next text, by folio only.
4. Throughout this article, dates are given in the Old Style, which was
ten days ahead of the New Style used by the Spaniards (and indeed
by everybody today.)
5. Cundall, The governors of Jamaica in the 17th century, p. 2.
6. for a variety of reasons, well described in Taylor's The Western
7. not, of course, the present Halfway Tree.
8. Cundall, The governors of Jamaica in the 17th century, p. 2.
9. Additional Manuscript 1243, fo. 115r0 and vo.
10. a forlorn hope, as it was called, or scouting-party.
11. Additional Manuscript 1243, fo. 113vo and 114ro.
12. see Jamaica under the Spaniards by Frank Cundall and Joseph L.
Pietersz (Kingston 1919) p. 57.
13. the term 'H.M.S.' (his, or her, majesty's ship) was not used under the

Commonwealth, when the term 'state's ship' is sometimes found.
However, this does not seem to have been abbrieviated to 'S.S.'
14. Commodore Christopher Myngs: see The Western Design.
15. Major Richard Stephens, in charge of the land party.
16. This was the English name for Ocho Rios.
17. Additional Manuscript 1243, fo. 78vo and 83r.
18. See The Western Design, p. 185-6, and Additional Manuscript 1243,
p. 83v0 and 112r.
19. Major Richard Hope had settled in the north-eastern corner of the
Liguanea plain, where Hope Royal Botanical Gardens now stand.
20. see The Western Design, p. 194-199, and also Additional Manuscript
1243, fo. 93vo and 94ro.
21. see The Western Design, p. 201-202.
22. about four miles north of Spanish Town.
23. see The Western Design, p. 208-9.
24. they are both printed in the appendix to the first volume of the
Journals of the Assembly of Jamaica (Jamaica 1811) p. 2-7.
25. The History of Jamaica (3 vols. London 1774),1, 284-5.

The 19th Century Optimist of the Chapel

The Friendly Witness

ofJames M Phil ppo,

author of



As reviewed by James Carnegie
Illustrations from the original of "Jamaica Its Past and Present State"

Dr. Eric Williams may be having his political troubles these
days but no one, even of his most intensely bitter intellectual
critics, has tried to challenge the thesis which first made him
famous in any detail. It is now an accepted truism or norm
that the anti-slavery movement would not have got very far off
the ground without the powerful support of "Neutrality" of
new financial interest thrown up by the so-called "Industrial
Revolution" and having got off the ground, the movement had
to be sustained by these same forces some of whom were
also among the genuine humanitarians.
One would have thought, in view of all this, that the loss of
interest in the West Indies as a "financial" area would also have
meant a loss of interest in the area as a general entity, but this
was not to be the case, and the post-Emancipation period saw
more publications about the islands than any reasonable obser-
ver might have anticipated Any reasonable observer, but not
any emotional observer, because the latter would want to know
something about the newly freed people. As a result, almost
from the time of the original Emancipation date, and even be-
fore the expiry of the apprenticeship period, a series of
publications and memoirs were forthcoming not in the spirit
of Lady Nugent's celebrated "Journal", or individual or regional
histories like Long's, or Ligon's, or Edward's, but relating cur-
rent events and the controversies of the time. There were also
journals of travel, but among the most significant of these
publications was Sturge and Harvey's "The West Indies of
1837" which helped to bring about the early end of the
apprenticeship system, Sewell's "The Ordeal of Free Labour in
the West Indies" which, in a sense, was a follow-up on Sturge
and Harvey although not published until the 1860's and -
coming earlier, but in between the two, "Jamaica its Past and
Present State" by James M. Phillippo subtitled by the author,
"of Spanish Town, Jamaica, Twenty years a Baptist Missionary
in that Island." Underneath this inscription on the original
fly-leaf of the first publishers John Snow, Paternoster Row, was
the homily "The darkness is past, and the true light now shin-
eth." The present publishers Dawsons of Pall Mall have added
an introduction by Philip Wright, but omitted the sub-title and
homily on their fly-leaf, which is rather a pity because Phillippo
was, from the start, trying to emphasize the labour and the
endurance necessary to ensure the triumph of Christian, not

Planter, attended by Negro Driver
necessarily English nor European culture in Jamaica but we will
return to this point.
Wright's Introduction is as useful as one would expect from
that gentleman, a former teacher at Cornwall College, and staff
member at the Institute of Jamaica, he provides some useful
background comments and makes a few more than useful points:
(1) About Phillippo's non-appreciation of the true nature of
myalism and other Africanisms. (2) About Phillippo's rose-
coloured over-estimation of the acceptance of marriage as an
institution and (3) a point which Wright curiously leaves
hanging undeveloped i.e. that Phillippo presented a copy of
his book to Sir John Peter Grant in 1866 as if the basic nature
of the society had not changed. As far as this is concerned
one cannot really quarrel with Phillippo for being an optimist
- that was his outlook and his business even if he had made a

misjudgement, but the events of 1865 had been virtually pro-
phesied by the famous letter of Underhill, the Secretary of the
Baptist Missionary Society, and had featured the actions of
Paul Bogle a Baptist deacon of sorts. In other words there were
political and social implications that Phillippo, a sympathetic
and intelligent man, had missed for all his scholarship, faith and

James Philippo was the pastor of the Baptist Church at
Spanish Town for almost sixty years from 1823 to his death in
1879 so that "Jamaica its Past and Present State 'only' covers a
little more than the first third of his ministry -"only" because
twenty years was, in any event, a very long time for his type of
activity, not so much because most of his missionary colleagues
might have been behind him in faith or spiritual endurance,
but because of the sheer physical precariousness of life in the
tropics in those days. To men likePhillippo indeed even more
ironical than the current materialism of Caribbean life like
almost everywhere else would be the vending of the area for
tourist and health purposes.
Phillippo actually wrote his long book of almost five hundred
pages while he was on long convalescent leave apparently
doing most of it in England. The length is actually somewhat
deceptive, and not as forbidding as one might think, because
the present publishers have kept the same page size current in
the 19th Century instead of adopting the "taller" standards of
today. Phillippo's essay into authorship at this period of his
life was of a piece with the puritanical approach to "idleness"
that was then general among devout non-conformists, and no
less in the Caribbean than anywhere else. We can think of
John Smith, sick, and in jail, in Demerara under sentence of
death that was to come, though not directly by human agency,
moaning about his "uselessness" and William Knibb, after his
church and personal possessions had been seriously assaulted in
Jamaica, asking for help most reluctantly and restraining him-
self only with great difficulty from launching an open anti-
slavery campaign. So Phillippo probably would not have
thought that this writing might well have prevented his return
to health. There were however, two reasons for his confidence.
(1) He had survived for twenty strenuous years in Jamaica,
which in itself was quite a feat for a non-creole European, and
(2) the book was quite literally a labour of love, or not really
"work" at all.

-- -

Interior of the Baptist Chapel, Spanish Town.
"Jamaica its Past and Present State" was described by the
author as a general description of the colony although in
most places Phillippo significantly used the word "country" -
and an effort to chart "the moral and religious condition of
the black and coloured people and the encouraging results of
missionary efforts among them". It is not until page 350 how-
ever, that Phillippo hit the real truth in all his detail. At that
point he quotes an old black woman on the subject of the
Established clergymen: "Please massa me mean massa
minister in a church preach berry good sermon in de pulpit
but him neber go bout among de people see how dem lib same
as we minister do. Him people seems like dem love God Sun-
day, but dem no seems to care bout God and dem soul all tro
de week; dat make me tell massa say it no use fe give horse
corn and den don't curry him Phillippo's particular rendering
of the dialect might offend some in this delicate age, although

we might do well to remember that it is not yet a quarter
century since Vic Reid mastered it in "New Day", but no
better analysis has really been offered for the strength of the
Baptist Church in Jamaica for that matter or the current
attractiveness of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethio-
pian World Federation, and the Rastafari movement if the
analogy is taken.
There is much of value before page 350, however, even
more than stated by the modest author who apologizes for the
use of dialect and makes "no pretensions to literary excellence"
in his preface whereas there are several very fine descriptive
passages including that of a hurricane between pages 80 and 82
and a really moving, if slightly over-emotional description of

.. ^

Metropolitan School rooms

the departure of Governor Lionel Smith (on page 254 following).
In fact there is much in Phillippo to support the opinion of
local journalist Foggy Burrowes that "if you know enough you
will write well". There is also, as at the end of Chapter 2, the
type of "catalogue history" for which Gordon Rohlehr has
recently severely criticised Dr. Eric Williams. At this point in
his book Phillippo takes up two pages of text in listing the
names of all the English Governors up to his time, instead of
putting the list in his appendix as he did for his very visionary
proposal, more than one hundred years in advance, of a Uni-
versity College to be modelled on the London example -just
what was eventually done.
There is not very much in the first one hundred pages or so-
eight chapters, that is not basically handbook type information.
Indeed in this section Phillippo tends to "throw away" many
of his own points in footnotes or virtual asides. The very feat
of memorising, note-taking and sheer accumulation, would of
course, have been very impressive to the reader of the 1840's
but this probably is not what today's readers want from a
Phillippo. So we are only intellectually and spiritually titil
lated in the early chapters when our worthy author assures us
confidently, without expansion, that "God has made of one
blood all the nations of the earth", and, a little further on,
that Christians had only recently again become "aware of their
duty towards the heathen world". This "Handbook" section
did give Phillippo an opportunity however, to declare quite
early on his favourable prejudices about the beauty ot the
island as compared to the other Caribbean territories which
makes one wonder whether he had seen St. Lucia or particularly
Grenada, calling the Maroons "high-minded" people and saying
that Old Harbour was "considered the best in the world"!
Phillippo goes on to give us more "catalogue" and natural
history telling us about "European esculents" at one point, and
and about chigoess" and filaria at another. Every now and then
too he produces a paragraph that sounds like a current journal-
istic report "As with Jamaica towns in general, many of the
streets are narrow and dirty and all of them being at the same
time unpaved and infested with domestic animals, reflect but
little credit on the city authorities." A little before this he
gives some statistics about the number of towns, villages and
parishes which he immediately contradicts by his own listings.
This statistical discomfort also recures much later in the book
when he deals with the numbers of Church members. Speaking
from personal experience and from the historical record of
tropical "martyrdom" he gives pointers about health and con-

cludes: "Let not these hints be thought irrelevant to our pre-
sent design. The necessity of attending to his health cannot be
too forcibly impressed on a missionary's mind and cannot be
more appropriately given than in a missionary work." Which
would seem to indicate that the goodly, and godly, gentleman
was also thinking of his opus as a brochure with illustrations
and all meant to attract other workers into the vineyard.
Very early on, in his preface in fact, Phillippo makes two
disclaimers neither of which were accurate and both of which
were probably to his credit and certainly did him no harm.
The first was that he had no "improper feelings" towards the
"higher classes", and the second that he did not know enough
in detail about the work of other denominations to say very
much about them. As far as the latter statement was concerned,
Phillippo was in fact most generous tothe work of the other
churches, but for the "Papists" and the Established Church, in
more than one place, as for the former, by page 90 or there-
abouts, he could no longer restrain himself when talking about
the agricultural development of the island which had been for
so long the responsibility of the plantocracy or his "higher
classes". The Reverend gentleman swiftly dismisses these
"progressives": "In these processes the same disregard to
improvement is manifest." Then: "The resources of the coun-
try are not at present more than half developed. (His stress.)
Its variety of soil and climate is adapted to the cultivation of
almost every article that is grown within the tropics and the
milder regions of the temperate zone; whilst its resources of
raw materials for manufactures of almost all kinds, and which
are almost innumerable, may be said to be entirely unemployed,
except for local purposes by the peasantry. The old methods
of cultivation are the rule the improvements the exception.
The hoe, the cutlass and the tray, and others of equal antiquity
still usurp the place of the plough and spade. (my stress) the
muck-fork, the wheel-barrow and the tumbril: whilst the
practical knowledge of the last century is still regarded by
many as superior to the experience and science of the present
Undoubtedly it was this type of outlook which prompted
Phillippo to offer his suggestions for a University College, and,
though he would have been unhappy to know that this idea
had to wait over a hundred years for implementation, he

rV Ty

Testimonial presented
to the Most Noble
S ~ The Marquis ofSligo.
By the Apprentices of Jamaica.

probably would have been much happier in the knowledge that
an Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture would have had to
wait only a mere 50! In his chapters on Government and
Commerce Phillippo revealed more of his advanced visionary
nature, if a little lack of charity, in noting the expenditures on
the salaries of the Bishop and the Chief Justice and the high
proportion of the budget given to the Police and to the Church
1/8th of the whole revenue "imposing a most unjust and op-
pressive burden upon the dissenters, who constitute more than
half the population of the island". Fair enough, but Phillippo
did not bother to stress that a good deal of this money did go

to education, nor did he bother to mention that the Papists
had even more of a grouse somewhere like St. Lucia, where
over 90% of the population was considered technically Roman
Catholic, but the money was still given to the Anglicans.
At this point, though Phillippo is only really warming up,
bringing the heavy historical guns to bear when writing about
the white inhabitants, and implying by tone that many of them
unlike the former slaves, had not really changed. He quotes
Long approvingly: "Many of those who succeeded to the
management of estates had much fewer good qualities than the

Front view of Chapel and Dwelling House at Sligoville
slaves over whom they were set in authority, the better sort of
whom heartily despised them, perceiving little or no difference
from themselves except in skin and blacker depravity". lie then
goes on a little further, right close to home, bringing Dr. Coke
into his witness box: "The persecutions we have experienced in
this place (Jamaica) far, very far, exceed all persecutions we
have experienced in all the other islands unitedly considered".
In other words Jamaica, which had been the leading British
island, in terms of prosperity, for just about a century had led
the way in this regard as well and therefore provided the biggest
Challenge for the missionaries.
Phillippo then goes on to make a fascinating statement about
the past followed by an even more unconsciously fascinating
one about the future. On page 141 he states that "The Bible is,
no longer a proscribed book", and follows up two pages later
with a poetic reference to "The Sons and Daughters of Ethiopia'
The first reference leads one to ask whether in fact pre-nine-
teenth century law and custom had ever in fact officially ban-
ned the Bible from being circulated among the blacks. The
second one must help to explain at least a part of the early his-
tory of the Rastafari movement, in that it must have made it
easier to accept the history and mythology of the movement if
religious working-class Jamaicans had become accustomed to
that sort of exhortative exclamation and'had begun to take the
same literally.
Phillippo was certainly not being patronising, in fact he must
have been extraordinarily bold to write a mere five years after
the end of slavery that: "The hapless victims of this revolting
system were natives of the African continent men of the
same common origin with ourselves of the same form and
delineation of feature, though with a darker skin men
endowed with minds equal in dignity, equal in capacity, and
equal in duration of existence men of the same social dis-
positions and affections, and destined to occupy the same rank
with ourselves in the great family of man This was 1843, in
1971 Governor Lester Maddox of Georgia is still calling black
people "Baboons" over network television in the United States.
Yet Phillippo was not consistently bold since just a few lines on
lie writes: "a veil must be cast over the horrors of the middle
passage", when one would have thought that this was just the
type of thing he would have wanted to emphasize. He does
though remind us of an African Association in England between
the two abolition movements which, somehow, most of the
textbooks omit to mention nowadays. Sometimes too in his
anxiety to get on with this story Phillippo makes a rapid chrono-


4L. QS 1

logical jump with which one can hardly keep pace as for
instance at one point when he moves from 1826 to 1831 with-
out so much as a warning hint.
Phillippo also moves very comfortably from blaming the
whites to praising the blacks. He implies quite categorically for
instance that the post-emancipation labour problems of the
white planters were very largely their own fault because of the
way in which they had mistreated their former slaves. When
dealing with the blacks however, he is not hidebound by
economics but preoccupied with "promotion" of their wit and
their intellectual talents. He quotes one e.g. "Wilberforce dat
good name for true; him good buckra; him want fo make we
free; and if him can't get we free no oder way him will by
force ". He also claims that from his personal experience black
and brown children have always done better in educational
institutions than white ones when compared.
Phillippo would in fact, today certainly have been in the
forefront as an advocate in recent controversies over "Black
Studies" in the United States, because he goes on to cite
Francis Williams and other bright blacks and to mention one or
two studying in Paris and at Cambridge. He then shot in his
own proposal for a local College having given his "evidence".
Perhaps as if in apology for this radical intrusion, Phillippo
gladdens the hearts and souls of his English readers by showing
the optimistic and English-connected names given to the vil-
lages "Victoria, Albert, Clarkson, Brougham, Comfort Castle,
Content" and speaking of black women, despite a comparison
with Britain, seems to be crediting the influence of the Christian
Sabbath with the fact that "Modesty, a sense of shame, to-
gether with a refined and delicate sensibility, are however be-
coming increasingly apparent". Phillippo himself was even
more optimistic saying that: "Jamaica peasants loitering along
the roads lounging about their residences, or spending their
time and money at taverns or places of similar resort, are
seldom to be found". Which leads one to wonder what he
would have thought of today's piazza domino experts. He goes
even further and quotes the "Jamaica Morning Journal"
"Except as to the want of labourers we have no complaints;
and whether regarded socially or politically, the state of
Jamaica at present is as favourable as could be desired by the
most ardent lover of peace and quiet".
Phillippo of course has to give some explanation of this
almost miraculous transformation of a formerly "degraded"

Clarkson Town
society and he does this in his fourteenth and fifteenth chapters
which, despite their thoroughness and their detail, reveal some
weaknesses in his judgement and his thinking a statement I
make with some hesitation since one should be beware of using
hindsight and of blaming people for not employing the tools of
sociological and anthropological analysis before these became
generally available. I make it nonetheless in view particularly
of Underhill's perceptions before the 1865 rebellion and the
fact that Underhill and most of his informants at that time did
not have the type of lengthy experience that Phillippo had even
in 1843. He starts off nicely by giving some tribal history, and
then moving into the cultural descriptions, disappointing al-

most immediately with his talk of "Saturnalia" meaning John
Canoe, or as he called it John Connu he also described the
conduct of the "set" girls as being "disgraceful to humanity".
Following on a little later with: "Their practices at funerals
were unnatural and revolting in a high degree." and a total lack
of appreciation for the significance of the'nine night'. The pro-
blem of course was that Phillippo's undoubted sympathy for
the black people was only so far as they fitted a particular
mould that people like Phillippo himself helped to create -

Visit of a Missionary and wife to a Plantation Village
and he did not hesitate to give credit to the American black
men George Lisle and Moses Baker who launched the Baptist
Church in Jamaica. Phillippo deals with obeah, which he calls
"Obeism",and "Myalism"as well as what he calls "Fetishism"
tending by his own basic positions to miss the sexual and
religious significance. He then comments on the previous lack
of moral honesty, citing a phrase totally illustrative of his lack
of real appreciation of what the slaves had to do to survive
spiritually. Thus Phillippo quotes in outraged terms that "Truth
indeed was designated in negro parlance telling lies to buckra. "
More interestingly he notes that the slaves at one time sought
protection against the Bible in an interesting parallel of a cus-
tom that was also present in European witchcraft and "black"
magic. It is all of a piece then that Phillippo relates then the
triumphant general suppression of Africanisms, and that he
confuses the success of Christianity in Jamaica, with the success
of religion and apparently credits this development with a fall
in the crime rate, citing a period of five days without any
arrests in Kingst6n, and the light rate in St. Thomas in the Vale,
adding a comment about the peasantry of that parish which
was to prove true of their brethren of St. Thomas in the East
which was that they were considered the most "refractory of
any on the island."
Phillippo did recognize of course that there were "false
prophets' among some of the religious people who brought
messages, and he did not hesitate to write about "pernicious
follies" being spread almost the same kind of language in fact
that the "Guiana Chronicle" used in writing about John Smith
in the 1820's. He also interestingly classifies the Coptic Church
Papists, Mohamedans, Polytheists and Atheists among the
groups who used to mislead the negroes and, in his passion over
all this, dismisses the Sunday market as being merely a desecra-
tion with no real' realisation of the role it played In fact when
he claims that it is now "universally abolished" it might have
occurred to him if indeed his claim was really true, and not
as rose-coloured as that of his outlook on marriage that this
would have meant that it was not socially necessary under
emancipation rather than because of religious conversion.
Phillippo goes on to much surer ground when he speaks of
the work that he and his colleagues were doing telling of what
sounds like fabulous attendance figures in this day and age of
over 2,000 people regularly at Spanish Town where his own
Church is fittingly named after him now Falmouth, Montego
Bay. and East Queen St. where people like Knibb and Burchell
still Baptist household names in Jamaica and the less well
known Oughton worked. His claim of over 200,000 souls won
for Christianity or about half of the population, seems
strained though the question of sympathisers is an entirely

different thing, as one can see best evidenced in the widespread
cultural influence of Rastafarianism on so many aspects of
Jamaican life today and on some people, who would not have
been caught dead in a daishiki even five years ago.
Phillippo was not satisfied, however, and envisaged a situa-
tion where "Jamaica might indeed become spiritually, what she
is politically, the key stone to the possession of the New
World a kind of rallying post for the army of the living God,
in its efforts to subjugate the whole continent of South
America to the obedience of faith '" This was at least 75 years
out of date as a historical assessment, when Phillippo wrote,
and was not much on prophecy either, but it did reveal a kind
of spiritual jingoism in which his conscience fought against
certain material realities which could benefit his mission, so at
another point he wrote: "The British arms famous in the
annals of military prowess, are however inequitably, (my stress)
extending their conquests and throwing up the way to multitu-
dinous and inaccessible tribes." Phillippo's overall prophecy
not surprisingly did not work out but he did foresee that
Jamaican missionaries would go to Africa, and perhaps nothing
would have pleased him more than the commemoration of this
link by the Calabar educational institutions.
Phillippo felt that the devotion of the blacks more than
justified such extravagant statements, and he fairly sang about
"numerous instances of happy and triumphant deaths of adults
and Sunday school children "and how they were so fervent that
one of his deacons could say that "white people call (their)
praying preaching. and that exclusions from the Church only
numbered 2% and these largely for reasons as "trivial" as going
to the races. These were the people, 1500 of whom "attended
a 4.30 a.m. meeting for prayer against scarlet fever." These
were the people,some of whom were reputed to have remained
in slavery when given the choice between freedom and the

k i



Mulatto and Black Female of the Upper Classes.
practising of their Christianity and who Phillippo said had to
endure "the same spirit that kindled the fires of Smithfield and
originated the cruelties of the Inquisition." These were the
the people who during slavery would take up collections in
order to buy the freedom of certain "brothers" and "sisters".
The people who could produce deacons who could orate
prayers five pages long (pages 341-346), who as "madams" of
brothels could accept conversion and who could be so influen-
tial by example that Phillippo claimed that he knew of 6
cases where servant girls had influenced the conversion of their
mistresses two of whom were the wives of Anglican clergy-
He claimed that "the work of God is their employment not
their recreation whereas we should bear in mind that the

"entertainment" value of revivalist religion and political meet-
ings should never be underestimated in any assessment of
charisma and crowd response, and Phillippo went on to develop
some aspects of this same point: "In their estimation there is
no character or office so high as that of a minister of the Gospel
and throughout the different sections of the Church in general
each thinks his own minister the best and loves him the most".

1, -

Sligoville, with Mission Premises.
As far as the support of the Ministers was concerned their view
was "Minister no tradesman, no merchant, no lawyer; don't
come here to get a fortune; as him work for we, we must work
for him." Phillippo then follows up this quotation with what
should have been the most fantastic and impressive fact to his
readers of 1843 and still seems so to this reader in 1971 i.e. by
1842, only 4 years after full freedom, and within less than 70
years of the establishment of the Baptist movement in' Jamaica,
the local Baptists despite disasters like the destructive assaults
on them in 1832, after the Xmas rebellion of 1831 could
have become totally self-supporting and could have begun to
send contributions for work in the other islands and in Africa.
Phillippo, however just throws away this point casually, and
treats it as just a religious effort whereas the "community"
aspects of the Church seem clearly to have been very influential.
Phillippo was no economist either and he routinely gives the
standard amount of credit to the humanitarians for securing
emancipation although in his ten years before that date in
Jamaica he must have seen that the decline of the planter class
was not just God's will.
The last chapter of the book is really just a very long sermon
some 28 pages and is fine for those devoted to that sort of
thing; it opens "There is nothing in the whole compass of
human enterprise that can for a moment be compared in mag-
nitude with Christian missions" and continues in this vein,
without really developing the point he had made in the previous
chapter that "the peculiar organisation of the Jamaica Church
was the only way in which the work could have. proceeded,
citing only "lay agents" and situations where congregations
came together before a minister was invited. He did make an
unfortunate point though about the success of Christian mis-
sions in the South Seas.- an unfortunate point now, since it has
been conceded for some time in this century perhaps since
Somerset Maugham wrote his celebrated short story "Rain"
around a half-century or so ago that the effect of Christianity
in that area, both on the transmitters and the receivers, has
probably been more culturally disastrous than anywhere else.
Phillippo was undoubtedly on "safer" ground when talking
about Haiti as the nadir contrasted to the zenith of Jamaica -
in the 1970's Jamaica's most celebrated journalist whose only
resemblance to Phillippo is a physical one, is still, warning us
periodically that if we do not watch out we will become an-
other Haiti a warning which if taken to points of close com-
parison would probably turn out to be a classic case of "pot
calling kettle black. Phillippo had something though which
this gentleman, a Jamaican, does not have, and which makes
his book still extremely valuable today and not just because it
documents for serious students a very important aspect of our
country's History. Despite all his weaknesses, biases and mis-
judgements Phillippo had a passionate belief in the ordinary
Jamaican Today who does?


And The


In Jamaica
by D.S.M. Clark Illustrations by Audrey Wiles

The Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) and the House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus) were both introduced into Jamaica which
poses an interesting question. Why has the former species
flourished to the extent of having spread throughout the whole
Island while the latter exists precariously in a small colony near
Annotto Bay, the vicinity in which it was released? But before
speculating on the possible reasons or the apparent lack of
them we should look at what is known of the introductions,
which could have some bearing on our problem, though
probably more a matter of what is termed "human interest".
The Saffron Finch is a native of South America where its
range extends from Northern Argentina to Venezuela, but if
the generally accepted story is true, it came to Jamaica by a
very roundabout, not to say unlikely, route. Gosse, who
stayed in Jamaica from December 5th. 1844 to July 9th. 1846
and had thus ample time and opportunity to collect inform-
ation writes in his "Birds of Jamaica":-
"These birds are believed in Jamaica to be the descendants
of some pairs of the Common Canary turned out. 'A
gentleman of the colony named Shakspeare' observes Mr.
Hill, 'many years ago touching at Madeira on his voyage to
this island is said to have procured several male and female
Canaries, which he set at large in the fields about the
Rectory at Black River, where they have multiplied and
become wild birds of the country' "
and he further quotes Mr. Hill (Richard Hill, of Spanish Town,
on whose knowledge of Jamaican bird life .Gosse frequently
"Though these imported Canaries have increased so much as
to be preceptibly common, they are confined to a very small
range of country, being observed nowhere but in the neigh-
bourhood of the place where the first colony was established.
A friend writes me, between Bluefields and Black River. "
It will be noted that Mr. Hill was not speaking from personal
knowledge, either about the place and time of the introduction
or of the then range.
Gosse obviously was not satisfied by Mr. Hill's account as
to whence they came any more than we are today, but he felt
obliged to accept it and even managed a plausible rationalisation
in spite of his own expressed opinion that the species was not
the common canary but of South American origin:-

"The evidence of the origin of these birds seems thus very
distinct, and yet the plumage is that never known to be
assumed by the True Canary, while it agrees exactly with
the Brazilian species which, Spix says, 'Inhabits the fields
if Ninas Geraes, and is named Canary.' The plumage of the
wild Canary in its native islands is said to be less vivid than
that of caged specimens. It is possible that the Brazilian
birds may have descended from imported birds; or on the
other hand, that the Madeira parents of ours may have been
imported from Brazil thither; a case the more probable
from the fact of both being Portugese Colonies."
As we know Gosse was right in equating our birds with the
species found in Brazil; it may even be correct that they were
brought here from Madeira and that they originally got there
as Gosse suggests, although, as Robert P. Allen in "Birds of the
Caribbean comments it would be like "carting coals to New-
castle". The serin, which is believed by some to be the pro-
genitor of the cage bird known as "Canary" or at least one of
them for its final evolution as we know it today must have
taken a great deal of in-breeding and possibly cross breeding, is
native to Madeira among other places.
It seems possible and more probable that Mr. Shakspeare's
ship might have touched at a Venezuelan port, for at that time
there was some traffic between Jamaica and South America, or
at Trinidad, in both of which these birds would be likely to be
on sale.
The point of release is not vital to our study but it may be
well to mention that there are two other traditions which place
it "somewhere in Westmoreland" and Goshen property in
Eastern St. Elizabeth. I have no information on the former and
it may have arisen as a result of the birds spreading over the
Parochial border from the Black River Rectory which is no
great distance as the crow, or the Saffron Finch, flies.
The late Charles P. Jackson of Mandeville in a letter to the
"Gleaner" published July 9th. 1956, recalled an occasion in
1890 when, as a boy, he accompanied his father on a drive to
Black River. On reaching Pepper his father warned him that at
the next property, Goshen, he would see hundreds of canaries
and he did see flocks of them feeding on plants which he was
told were English Plantain. He was further told that an
Englishman who had formerly owned Goshen had brought out

M The

House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus)

the birds and also the plantain.seed to feed them, some of which
had been sown on the common. This gentleman was also
reputed to have brought out a pack of fox hounds, presumably
at the same time, which Mr. Jackson placed at about 1845.
After passing Goshen he saw few canaries and.after Santa Cruz
none at all, nor did he see any during a stay of a few days in
Black River.
Most legends are based on some historical happening but as
they pass from person to person the actual facts may become
obscured by additions and deletions. This could be the case
here although Mr. Jackson's version has an authentic ring. The
foxhound portion, while not completely in accordance with the
facts as we know them, has a sound basis. John Augustus
Sullivan of Sligoville in 1844 imported a pack of foxhounds
from England which were sometimes hunted in other parts of
the Island including St. Elizabeth where they used to be kept
at Pepper, the property adjoining Goshen and used to meet at
Goshen gate. (Article on The Highgate Hunt, Lt. Col. P.
Tamlyn, M.B.E. Jamaica Journal March 1969.) There is no
known record of any other pack ever having been brought to
Jamaica and as the Highgate hounds hunted there in 1847 it is
almost certainly the pack referred to.
Another fact is that seeds of the Greater Plantain (Plantago
major) known in Jamaica as English or Wild Plantain are
commonly used to feed cage birds. This plant was known and
used medicinally in Jamaica at least as far back as 1789
(Asprey, G.F. & Phylis Thornton. The Medicinal Plants of
Jamaica. Part 2. The West Indian Medical Journal, vol. 3, no.
1, pp. 17-41. 1954.) This does not necessarily mean that the
legend is inaccurate in this respect for it could be that the
owner of Goshen planted some seed on his common. Perhaps
some of the imported birds were released here as well as at
Black River but it seems more reasonable to suppose that, if
there was an introduction, some birds were caught in the area
where they become "perceptibly common" and brought to
Goshen. It is also possible that the birds may have made their
own way there in the normal process of increasing their range
and that their scarcity or absence between there and Black
River might be accounted for by the absence of adequate food
supplies. We are unlikely ever to know the true answer!
If we could pinpoint the date of the original release it would
tell us how long it took for them to become common, even in a
comparatively small area. Some years ago I asked Mr. Geoffrey
S. Yates if he could offer any suggestions as to the identity of
"Mr. Shakespear" and he came up with two possible candi-

"Arthur (1788-1846) entered the Royal Navy in 1804, was
present at Trafalgar and served on the Jamaica Station in
1810. He is known to have visited the Island then (and may
have done so again possibly) but does not appear ever to
have settled here.
John Mure, (1773-1836) his elder brother, entered the
Madras Army, rising to be a Lieutenant in the Cavalry. He
retired from the Army in 1818, took Holy Orders, and in
1823 came out to Jamaica with his wife to manage the
family property at Rodges in St. Elizabeth, which he had
just inherited. He eventually died in London, but his will
(1834) styles him 'of Bahama Villa, Cheltenham, and of
Hodges, Jamaica.'
The second one seems to me to be a much more likely
candidate, because he settled here and because a clergyman,
who does not seem to have had a living here, would be
"Mr. "rather then a Naval Officer. "

I agree that he is the more likely of the two and this would
place the introduction in 1823 or possibly later, but could the
Saffron Finch have made such progress in twentythree years or
less? We know only that "several" were set at large but with
favourable conditions, which they undoubtedly had, it seems
possible. However, I would prefer to place it at an earlier date,
since we learn from Lady Nugent's "Journal" that there were
earlier Shakespears in this area. Under date of April 17th. 1802
she complains that while staying at the St. Elizabeth "parson-

age" she "spent a most fatiguing morning, talking to a dozen
women" who included a Mrs. and the Misses Shakespear.
The history of the House Sparrow in Jamaica is quite
straightforward and well authenticated. I had the story of the
introduction from two well known planters who had interests
in St. Mary at the time of the introduction.
This member of the Weaver Finch family, usually known in
the New World as the English Sparrow, was released by Mr.
W. Taylor Domville about 1900, possibly in 1898, when, it is
recorded, he released the Starling. He also released, possibly
at the same time a number of other European species, according
to my informants, including the Magpie, English Thrush, Eng-
lish Robin and the Java Sparrow. None of them survived.
Mr. Domville was overseer at Fort George property near
Annotto Bay and the House Sparrows at least were set free in
that vicinity. Apparently they still only occur in or near to
Annotto Bay. Not that anyone in his right mind could possibly
wish to see this troublesome little bird, which has proved a
thorough nuisance wherever it has gained a firm foothold out-
side of its natural range, successfully established in Jamaica.
It tends to replace indigenous birds which are often more
useful in the ecological picture, either by destroying their nests
and young, by taking over their nesting sites by force or just
by being so quarrelsome that less aggressive species seek quieter
surroundings. A flock of House Sparrows can do considerable
damage to a field of ripe or nearly ripe grain and it does not
endear itself to gardeners or fruit farmers by its habit of nipping
flower buds. These are only some of the charges laid against it
but in its favour may be said that it eats the seeds of certain
harmful weeds and destroys some noxious insects, although
these virtues are not generally considered to outweigh the harm
it does and its nuisance value to both man and bird.
The ideal conditions for a successful introduction of any
species would include the availability of an adequate all-year-
round supply of food; an area which provides suitable nesting
facilities; the absence of serious predation; a minimum of
competition from similar established species and a climate
reasonably close to that of its native land. The first two are
absolutely vital. Even well established indigenous face extinc-
tion when their feeding or nesting grounds are destroyed, either
from natural causes or, more frequently, by man made "im-
provements", unless they are able to adapt themselves to a new
way of life.
This brings us to the most important characteristic the bird
itself must possess if it is to survive in strange or altered
surroundings, adaptability. Some species seem to lack it
altogether. Most changes tend to come gradually and are thus
more easily coped with but the introduced bird is expected to
adapt itself overnight and if the environmental difference is too
great it cannot do so. To take an extreme example one would
not expect a frugiverous species to subsist on grain or grass seed.
Even a seed eater if faced by new kinds of seed which it does
not recognize as food could be in difficulties but might con-
ceivably adapt to them.
The next most important characteristic is aggressiveness. If
the newcomer is not able to hold its own with the competition
it is almost sure to encounter, it might as well pack up and go
home. Alertness, not only to avoid known dangers but to
recognize and evade new ones is the third requisite quality.
The instinct of self preservation is to be found in all wild life
but some species seem to be more clever than others in this
The Saffron Finch seems to have found waiting for it a ready
made niche in the Jamaican wild life community which fulfilled
all the requisite conditions.
The open pastures and commons of St. Elizabeth and
Eastern Westmoreland would have provided weed and grass
seeds in abundance while being close enough to woodland where
the bird would find its accustomed nesting facilities. Predation
could have been no problem, the mongoose had not yet been
brought in, nesting in holes in high trees it was safe from cats,
dogs and human predators and also to a large extent from

hawks, which if they were no more prevalent than they are
today, could, in any event, have posed no serious threat. Even
the climate was similar to that of their natural range in South
In addition, the Saffron Finch is, and no doubt was then,
generously endowed with all three qualities I have named. It
has shown great versatility in both its nesting and feeding habits.
With the increase in its population and the gradual destruction
of the larger trees, readymade nesting holes were scarce and it
now nests in any reasonably sheltered nook, for instance, where
a wild pine grows near the trunk of a tree leaving just room for
the nest. Although normally a seed eater it has learned to eat
almost any handout given it by kindhearted people from corn-
meal mash to dry rolled oats to rice, not to mention sharing
laying mash with hens in the fowl run or cattle meal with the
cows. The Saffron Finch is a highly nervous bird, continuously
on the lookout for danger, taking flight at the least movement
or sound even though no actual danger threatens. No doubt
this trait had much to do with its success.
The House Sparrow was not quite so fortunate in the con-
ditions it encountered. No one requirement for survival was
altogether lacking but neither was any completely favourable.
The food situation was probably the most significant factor in
their failure.
The House Sparrow was adaptable and over the centuries had
accustomed itself to a way of life in close association with man
to such an extent that it eventually became almost completely
dependent upon mankind for its housing and food. It nested
in holes and crevices in houses and other man-made structures,
using these nests as its permanent home. In the most literal

sense this bird "followed the horses" both on streets, roads and
in the stable yard, deriving most of its sustenance from the
grain with which the animals were fed. It was commonplace to
see groups of House Sparrows quarreling over horse droppings
in the streets or picking up grains of oats which had fallen from
the horses' nose bags. It also managed to scrounge a few
crumbs at the kitchen door or from the garbage cans, a practice
which stood it in good stead when motor vehicles came into
general use and supplanted the horse and enabled the sparrow
to survive this, the only really serious setback it ever encoun-
tered in its conquest of North America. Its numbers dropped
heavily during this period but it made a successful comeback.
In Jamaica this catastrophe overtook it comparatively soon
after its introduction and the alternative sources of supply were
lacking. There would be few scraps of food thrown out by
thrifty small farmers and labourers on the nearby estates nor
were they likely to welcome permanent nests in their cottage
walls. There were no fields of wheat or oats which could be
invaded so their chances of survival were severely hampered.
Then it presumably had to cope with competition from the
Starling, an experienced and aggressive scrounger very much
larger than the House Sparrow, and although the latter was
aggressive also it could not prevail against such a determined
and strong opposition.
Having become so used to man and domestic animals in
other countries its natural alertness may have become impaired
and thus it could more easily fall a victim to boys with catapults
and marauding, hungry cats. We may sum up the reasons for its
failure by saying that it probably had become -too "civilised
to deal with a hostile environment. "




"Proudly in the breeze"
by Archie Lindo.


Two Entomologists

Willie Dixon & Tom Farr

Reminisce About

Biological Control

in Jamaica

"Bullfrog" Bufo marinus.

"Eddy Wasp Eretmocerus Serius Silv.
Adult Female

Aleurocanthus woglumi
Citrus Black Fly

F. What are some of the instances of biological control
that you know of in Jamaica?
D. One that comes into my mind is our "bullfrog", or
the giant toad, Bufo marinus. It was brought in by
Anthony Davis about 1844. I think it was brought
here from Barbados.
F. That toad has been shipped all over the tropical
world I guess. I know it's out in Hawaii.
D. Oh yes, its been all over the place. It was brought
into Hawaii to help control in cane fields white
grubs by feeding on the adult which we call "May
beetles" or "June beetles".
F. Yes, I've heard about that but those toads will eat
about anything they can swallow even little mice.
D. True, it depends on where they are located. In a
banana field it is quite a good controller of banana
borer. Years ago I had the opportunity to study
their stomach contents. If the toads were taken in a
citrus grove, the stomach would be filled with

"fiddler" beetles which are a serious pest for citrus.
If it's a banana field there would be banana borers.
And I also found in their stomachs things like
various snails, and although some authorities say
that it doesn't eat slugs, I've found slugs in their
F. Slugs?
D. Yes, the bull frog is one of the very few natural
enemies of slugs. Usually when one mentions the
words biological control using one animal to con-
trol another most people here think of the
mongoose. This example is not a fair one.
F. Because, it's one that went wild "backfired" I
D. Yes. It came in 1872, brought in by a Mr. Espeut, I
F. I think it is the Java mongoose or is it the Indian?
D. Indian. Herpestes auropunctatus. It performed a
useful function, however, in fhat it reduced the rat

Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus)


population which at the time caused damage to
sugar cane to the extent of 45,000 per annum. The
mongoose, not being highly specialized in its feeding
habits, turned its attention to ground birds, chicken
and other animals and eventually became a terrible
F. We've talked so far about two vertebrates. Now
amongst the invertebrates, of course there have been
some insects, the "Eddy Wasp" was one of the m ost
famous. Why was that brought in?
D. It was brought in to control the citrus black fly, which
at that time was a very serious pest.

F. It bothered citrus by actually sucking the juices out
of the leaves.
D. Yes.
F. And also the sooty mould.
D. Yes, because the blackfly exudes a so called "honey
dew" on which the mould grows and this interferes
with the function of the leaves.
F. And then the ants came in to cause even more
problems. That wasp was brought in through the
efforts of Mr. W.H. Edwards, the Government
Entomologist at the time. It was the farmers of
Jamaica who first called it the "Eddy Wasp" in
honor of Mr. Edwards. When was the wasp brought
D. That was in 1932.
F. You weren't in the service then?
D. No. I joined the Entomology Division shortly after
in 1934.1 remember Mr. L.L. Carrington bringing in
twigs of citrus infested by the black fly from an
area in which no liberations had been made, that is
no wasps had been set free. These were put aside for
observation. Within a week hundreds of wasps
emerged from this parasitized material.
F. Yes. Yes it was spectacular.
Did you ever have to re-import?
D. No. But in recent times there have been outbreaks
of the pest, so we thought that it would be wise
to bring in something else because the wasp might
not have been doing its job. Therefore another wasp
was brought in from Mexico which was supposed to
be more effective in drier areas. We liberated some
in Irwin, near Montego Bay some in Bodies in St.
Catherine and one or two other places in the drier
areas. Within a year of its introduction it had
spread over to areas which were not considered
dry areas.
F. Now, this parasite, it's a tiny little wasp isn't it?
D. Yes, a very tiny wasp belonging to the same family
as the "Eddy Wasp".
F. What does it attack, the eggs or the immature
D. The young nymphs of the black fly.
F. This black fly belongs to the family of white flies,
the Aleyrodidae. It is not the black fly that bites
humans in the United States and Canada. We have
that kind of black fly here, but apparently it's not
much of a nuisance.
D. That's right.
F. Recently, within the past few years, we seem to have
"imported" into Jamaica that famous scale, the
"cottony cushion" scale and it appears to be spread-
ing; it was involved in one of the first examples of
successful biological control, the "cottony cushion"
scale being held down by the Rodolia beetle, a lady-
bird beetle.

Rodolia Beetle
Rodolia cardinalis

Cottony Cushion Scale

D. Yes, the Rodolia was imported into California from
Australia in the 1860's.
F. I understand that we now have the ladybird beetle
here, too.
D. Yes, and that's why I think that this recent intro-
duction of the "cottony cushion" scale and the
Rodolia must have been a "smuggle".
F. Smuggled in?
D. They probably came in together on some uninspect-
ed plants. This quite likely happened in the early

'60's and by the time we realized that it was here,
the scale had spread all over the place. It may be
found now in Manchioneal, as far west on the north
side as Runaway Bay and the south side to Pedro.
It's in every housing area in and around Kingston and
St. Andrew; every one of the new housing areas has
F. But so far it isn't a real bad pest in Jamaica, is.it?
D. No I wouldn't call it a bad pest but it is something
that we dreaded. Some years ago, a close relative of
this scale turned up in citrus in Manchester. We
made a careful survey and found that this one was
not Iceyria purchasii. Definitely not. We didn't
find the Rodolia ladybird beetle either and we
looked into that very thoroughly because it is the
chief natural enemy of the "cottony cushion" scale.
That's why I think these two insects came in
together and recently or relatively recently because
now the Rodolia is found in Jamaica.
F. I know we have the ladybird beetles of Jamaica
pretty well classified and there are records of those
that have been introduced. Some years ago the
government was urging people to plant maho trees
around their homes. Dr. Arthur Reid, Government
Entomologist and I, went up to Dr. Hearne's home
in the Hermitage area above Kingston. As you know
both of these gentlemen have since passed away.
The trunks of the maho trees on his land were
covered with scale and Dr. Hearne wanted to know
what to do about them. Arthur told him to leave it
alone because he found some ladybird beetles there
and they would clean it up. Months later, I saw Dr.
Hearne and asked him about it and he told me that
they had cleaned up the scale. He didn't need to
spray. Do you know which beetle that was?
D. I don't seem to recall the particular species involved.
F. Anyway, it seems evident from this example that we
probably have some things here that tend to keep
down insect pests. Not all our insect "friends" were
D. Yes. I know quite a few times people have brought
into the Plant Protection Office twigs covered with
what they thought was a pest and they turned out
be pupae or empty pupal cases of ladybird beetles.
The beetles are pretty but their larvae and pupae are
F. What are some of the other biological control insects
that have been brought in?
D. Several other ladybird beetles were brought in to
help control scale insects on coconut, the destructor
scale, Aspidiotus destructor, when we found it get-
ting established here. They seem to have done a
good, job because one of my younger colleagues
some years after we had done this work, found one
species of these beetles on young coconut palms -
offspring of the ones we had brought in some years
before. And these coconut trees had been planted
since the importation.
F. Ever so often Fred Bennett(Commonwealth Institute
of Biological Control)has come up here looking for
parasites or thrips. Do you know what that parasite
D. This parasite we actually obtained from Trinidad
originally. The thrip attacks mango, avocado and is
a serious pest of cocoa trees in Trinidad. We brought
the parasites to combat thrips to Jamaica. I actually
received them and put them in various places and
eventually used some of the places where we had
liberated them as sources of supplies to send to
other parts of Jamaica. So when Dr. Bennett came
here he knew that the parasite was available in
Jamaica and that it had been established. For

instance, there is an almond tree at Hope and almost
anytime when the thrips are present, there we can
find the parasites as well. I used that almond tree
very often. The introduction of the parasite -
Dasyscapus parvipennis, was done in about 1937.
F. About 1960, Fred Bennett found the parasite of a
spittle bug wasp. This parasite was a tiny wasp-like
insect and I think there was a small fly involved also.
It so happened that in Bermuda "willows" were badly
affected by a spittle bug but apparently, there were
no parasites present. So Fred used to come to
Jamaica looking for parasites he found them at
Falmouth. These spittle bugs were heavily infested
with parasites and he would break off branches of
the "willow" with masses of spittle bug froth and
ship them to Bermuda. Finally I got involved in it
and I remember it got into the papers. They called
them "skittle" bugs? Did you read about it?
D. I did see it yes.
F. There were quite a few remarks about that and
eventually I got into exporting them; later a lady,
Miss Ogilvie took over. And it was quite a profitable
little thing we got 10 a shipment, plus expenses.
Since then, I've talked with people from Bermuda
to find out how good a job the parasites did. Well,
the parasite got established but it doesn't seem to be
controlling the spittle bug all that well.
D. That's a pity.
F. Now, they say that one of the best places where
biological control is likely to work is on an island,
isn't that right?
D. Yes.
F. Or in an island-like area within a continent, like
California in the States which is cut off from the
east by the mountains. But sometimes it fails -
even in such situations, so I suppose we do have to
allow a little for the fellows who sell the insecticides.
I don't think we're going to put them out of business
not with biological control alone. For instance,
the "fiddler beetles" have been here for years and
years they were here when Sloane was in Jamaica
because he has a picture of one in his book. And yet
there are not many parasites bothering them.
D. About 3 or four.
F. But they don't seem to cut them down all that much
do they, or is it cyclical?
D. It would appear so because there are 3 or 4 egg
parasites here of the "fiddler beetle". We knew of
their existence around 1936 or 1937 and they must
have been here a long time before and well you
mentioned this it was cyclic because it was in '36
we had a serious outbreak of "fiddler beetle" and we
never had a serious outbreak again until after pro-
longed rainy weather around '52 or '53 and again in
F. In other words, wet weather seems to be hard on the
D. No, it makes it more easy for the "fiddler beetle"
larvae to develop and come out of the earth.
F. Oh I see it's a case of the soil being softened up.
D. Because the soil is softened up, more adults seemed
to come out. Not perishing by being buried in the
hard soil. In drought they won't come out, not as
many anyway.
F. Then you think that this cycle of abundance of
"fiddler beetles" is more connected with weather
than parasites.
D. With the weather.
F. Well what about fungus there's a fungus that gets

on "fiddler beetles" that kills them isn't there?
D. But again fungus won't flourish in dry weather and
there is not enough of it.
F. You'd think it would get them in the wet weather
D. I think so.
F. Are there any other aspects of biological control that
you could comment on?
D. Oh yes during Mr. Edwards' time we brought in a
lot of things. For instance we brought in a parasite
to control a scale on ornamentals. The West Indian
peach scale that's very common on ornamentals
oleander especially and some others. That one
was not successful as you know they aren't all
successful. But then another attempt, which was
successful, was the introduction of the beetle from
Fiji which has been called the Java beetle because
that's where it's been originally found.

Java Beetle

You mean the histerid?
Yes it's the histerid to control the banana borer.
It has been successful.
But I don't get many specimens of it.
Ah but then it will not flourish in banana fields

which are on the plains with plenty of sunlight, but
it will be found in the little pockets and glades along
the rivers or streams. It seems to like cool shady
places. For instance when we first got it in, we
liberated it at Stony Hill on the site of the Industrial
School. Two years afterwards we were able to get it
as far away as Mount James Road and continuing
down we traced it to Castleton. At one time in the
late 40's and in the 50's one of the chief places
where we did our collections to get supplies to send
to other parishes was in the Above Rocks area. Evi-
dently they were the offspring of those which we
had liberated at Stony Hill.
F. Now the Java beetle is it very valuable I mean
on a commercial scale? You say it's confined mostly
along rivers. Does it really help to increase the
production of bananas by controlling the banana
borer? Do you think it does?
D. It does help it does help but then again on the
plains you've got to use chemicals. At that time too
we also got in a couple of other beetles which feed
on the eggs and young larvae of the banana borer -
F. Hydrophylids? Those are mostly water beetles.
Where did you get them from?
D. We got them from Malaya.
F. What do you think is the future in Jamaica for
biological control considering all the I wouldn't
want to say propaganda but there is so much talk
about the dangers of using insecticides? Do you
think that biological control will come more into the
picture in Jamaica?
D. Biological control works but as we know it has
limitations. You can't compel an animal to behave
as you want it to behave.
F. The animal might just do as it pleases.
D. You have to use insecticides when you have severe
and acute cases in certain areas, then you have to
resort to chemical control.
F. You know Willie if you've got some rum about
the place, I'll drink to that.

by Archie Lindo

"We are word-containers. We are the
memory of man. By the power of the
word we give life to the king's actions for
the benefit of the young. History con-
tains no secret for us." So runs a tradi-
tional chant of the griot among the
Mandingo people, once the most powerful
empire in West Africa. Six hundred years
ago griots of this African nation held an
esteemed place among the nobility. They
were the repositories of their country's
history, of its music, dances and poetry.
They were the antecedents of the Trinidad
At one of the numerous traditional
festivals in Nigeria today, the whole
community turns out to judge an annual
song contest between rival masqueraders.
The masked balladeers sing original com-
positions about past and current events as
dancers girate around them and throngs of
supporters echo their choruses. The win-
ner is acknowledged to be songster of the
year. This Ekwechi festival may combine
ancient fertility rite with ancestor worship,
but in externals it is no different from the
annual calypso king competition in Trini-
dad and Tobago.
The African heritage of the calypso is
clearly established. Praise-songs and songs
of derision by professional minstrels and
community choirs abound among West
African peoples, ancestors of New World
black men. The reliance on choral refrain,
the dancing chorus, the call-and-response
structure, all provide striking parallels in
form between the calypso and indigenous
songs of the old Guinea coast. Even the
name, "calypso," (or, more correctly,

"kaiso") has been traced to a West African
Yet African heritage alone cannot
account for the popularity of the calypso,
or for its longevity and prolificacy. Now
accepted as the national song of Trinidad
and Tobago, in years past the calypso had
to fight for survival and later for the
recognition long denied it. Currently the
output of calypsoes is staggering. At a
recent carnival season, that is from Christ-
mas to Ash Wednesday, two hundred and
fifty calypsonians entered the lists to
compete for the calypso king's crown. As
a rule singers do not revive old calypsoes
during the season unless by special request
of the audience. As each calypsonian
composes a minimum of three new com-
positions every year (and many singers
produce over that number), the crop of
new calypsoes annually surpasses seven
Universal acceptance of the calypso
attests to its catholicity of form. Its
melodic and verbal structure incorporates
the major types of traditional songs
functionally associated with the people of
Trinidad and Tobago. Examples of these
are the digging songs chanted by people at
work; belair and calinda songs when they
play; shango and shouter baptist revival
songs when they worship; and insurrect-
ionary songs such as were sung by slaves
in revolt.
Atilla the Hun (Raymond Quevado)
considers that the earliest surviving calypso
was a rebellious song of the slave period
in which the blacks expressed their deter-
mination to worship the god of their

I: r

choice despite the orders of the planters
against pagan ceremonies:
Leader: Ja Ja Romy oh!
Chorus: Ja Ja Romy Shango. (repeat first
two lines)
Leader: Ja Ja Romy oh meti beni
Chorus: Ja Ja Romy Shango.
Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder,
lightening and iron, is a good master and
his worship must be observed. Atilla, the
first calypso historian was a professional
calypsonian. He was also a city councillor,
deputy mayor, and member of the coun-
try's parliament, and he used his political
office to win recognition of the calypso as
a valid art form indigenous to the people
of Trinidad and Tobago.

Musically, the calypso embraces melo-
dic characteristics from the diverse nation-
alities that comprise the mixed population
of the nation. African rhythm predomi-
nates, but calypso melodies have been
strongly influenced by Spanish music
through closelying Venezuela. In the
first decades of this century many calyp-
soes were musically identified by the
term, "paseo," a popular Venezuelan
dance tune. Music of French, Irish and
English origin has been adopted into
calypso repertoire. In more modern
times Oriental flavoured music from Indi-
an and Chinese elements of the population
has filtered in. Thus the calypso appeal
has widened to include ethnic groups
whose indigenous cultures, remaining
fairly intact on transplant to the Caribbean,
have been less susceptible to integration
into the national culture.

To be included in an autumn publication of the author's book "The Trinidad Carnival" by Texas University Press.

0 Mir


Trinidad from the
Gulf ofParia ca. 1850

Oral tradition has it that the first
known Trinidad calypsonian or shantwell
(Fr: chanterelle) was Gros Jean, a pro-
fessional singer attached to the court of
Pierre Begorrat, one of the early French
immigrants to the island who arrived
from Martinique in 1784. Testimony from
old veterans of the nineteenth century
carnival tent, however, affirms that the
"cariso" was both a woman's song and
dance, usually performed in stick-fighting
-yards as an interlude between bouts of the
more manly art of duelling with hardwood
sticks. Both traditions are probably cor-
What is certain is that from an early
date the annual carnival festivities provi-
ded the main stimulus for the composition
and public rendition of these traditional
songs. In 1838, for instance, the year in
which slave apprenticeship ended, the
local press spoke of "disgusting and in-
decent scenes" enacted in the streets at
carnival time, one scene being "the African
custom of carrying a stuffed figure of a
woman on a pole, which was followed by
hundreds of Negroes yelling out a savage
Guinea song." This could actually be the
first road-march calypso chanted by revel-
lers as they paraded the streets in masque-
rade. It was apparently in an African
tongue or at least was thought by the
writer to be of African origin. However,
as the century progressed, the majority
of carnival songs were composed extem-
poraneously in Patois or French Creole
language which was the common medium
of intercourse among the populace.
In 1851 we have another reference to a
characteristic of the carnival songs, name-
ly, personal ribaldry. A correspondent
writing in a Trinidad paper reported that
a certain individual, whom he accused of
immoral conduct, was personified and
and derided by revellers during the mas-
querade "whilst the names of his victims
are being sullied in the streets, and made
the subject of the ribald songs and jests
of the people." The masquerade calypsoes

did not indulge in mudslinging simply for
the fun of it. The songs were addressed
primarily to an unlettered working-class
audience. They served as newspaper and
tabloid to convey information, offer
commentary, and disseminate juicy gossip
about the affairs of individuals belonging
to all strata of society.
Nineteenth century society in colonial
Trinidad was indeed arbitrarily stratified.
At the base were the numerically superior
black ex-slaves who were still denied
many of the privileges of free people. No
better off were the thousands of Asiatic
Indians indentured to the plantations as
replacement for slave labour. They were
mostly confined to their barrack-room
hovels on estates. The free coloureds saw
themselves as superior to the ex-slaves but
they were just not accepted among the
European ruling class. This upper-crust
was divided by national origin: early
Spanish colonizers, French settlers, and
British administrators; and cross-divided
by political alliance to either republican
or royalist sympathies. They vied with
each other to preserve or assert their
power and privilege, but they were united
in denying any extension of that privilege
to the masses beneath them. The one
great leveller was the calypsonian. He
sang with courage and wit, debunking
the great and defending the small. His
was a salutary function in a society com-
posed of explosive elements. His freedom
to speak out with impugnity was hard-
won and must at all cost be preserved.
At the carnival of 1881 the famed
canboulay riot took place. One report
has it that Captain Baker, Inspector of
Police, had made a bet with a fellow club-
member that he could suppress the stick-
fighting bands which roamed the early
morning carnival streets. These bands had
grown out of a ritual celebration of slave
emancipation. The adherents had devel-
oped the stickfighting sport into a highly
skilled art. At carnival time they paraded
the streets seeking a test of skill and valour,

and to pay off old scores. They sang
calinda songs accompanied by drums.
Previous unsuccessful attempts had been
made to crush the bands and now the
redoubtable Captain intended to assert
his authority. Supported by a party of
picked policemen he mounted his horse
and rode to battle.
The encounter took place in the eastern
section of the city. The police were
routed and later confined to barracks.
Before the day was over victorious mas-
queraders were chanting songs of derision
at the police and an effigy of Baker was
buried at a mock funeral by the revellers.
In an attempt to justify the Captain's
actions, the official report of the riot
referred to "the practice of singing the
vilest songs, in which the names of ladies
of the island are introduced" on the car-
nival streets. Thereafter to the end of the
century newspaper protests are voiced
repeatedly against indecent and obscene
songs, in Patois language, which were
publicly sung at the annual masquerade.
English calypsoes appeared two years
before the century closed. In his compo-
sition, "What is Calypso," Lord Executor
(Philip Garcia) gives credit to Richard the
Lion Heart (Norman LeBlanc) for intro-
ducing the first full English calypso.
Executor, master of Me Minor calypsoes
and of extemporaneous singing, made his
first calypso in 1900 so he speaks with
authority. LeBlanc's English composition
was a political volley levelled at the
Governor, Sir Hubert Jerningham, who in
1898 threatened to abolish the Port-of-
Spain City Council. The chorus ran:
Jerningham the Governor,
Is a fastness in-to you,
Is a rudeness in-to you,
To break up the laws of Borough
The turn of the century was in fact an
important period of change for the calypso.
It was long-standing practice in the weeks
preceding carnival for masquerade bands

;e: Mighty Duke
w: Lord Blackie

Top: Mighty Cy)
Bottom: The Bar

Below: Lord Superior

to assemble at night in backyard tents
and rehearse their calypso choruses. These
gatherings were frowned on by the author-
ities (the drum had been abolished after
the canboulay riot) and despised by res-
pectable people in the town. Now at last
people of influence began to attend the
tent practices to get a foretaste of the new
songs and to enjoy an evening of native
wit and spicy humour. That calypsonians
were now using English lyrics was largely
responsible for the new attitude towards
them. Lyrics were printed in full in the
daily press and, for the first time, the
name, "calypso", was seen in print to
designate the carnival song.
By the end of the first World War,
carnival tents were charging a small ad-
mission fee for patrons who wished to
hear the calypsoes in advance of their
rendition on carnival day. Programmes
were arranged with greater care; rival
singers were invited to visit and pit their
skill at versifying with the home-based
songster. Young dancing girls were intro-
duced to enliven the evening's entertain-
ment. It would not be long before the
extemporaneous form of the calypso gave
way to prepared and well-rehearsed lyrics,
and the calypsonian separated himself
from the responsibilities of managing a
carnival band to become a full-time pro-
fessional singer.
The man credited with turning the
calypso tent into a thriving entertainment
business is Chieftain Douglas, a ticket col-
lector on the government railway. The
tent which he opened in 1921 was bigger,
cleaner, brighter and more comfortable
than any other. It seated three hundred
patrons. It was covered with railway tar-
paulins to keep out the rain. It was well
lighted by gas lamps in place of the old
kerosene flambeaux which smoked and
sputtered. And it had a stage for the per-
formers. Douglas gave three performances
a week, entertaining the audience with up
to two hours of calypsoes which he alone

sang, supported only by a chorus from his
masquerade band, the Railway Millionaires.
It was doubtless a strain and partly
explains why many of his calypsoes were
of the ballad variety and ran to well over
a dozen verses. Once established, he
brought in guest singers from neighbour-
ing tents and in return he would visit
other tents to perform when his was dark.
He was among the last batch of calyp-
sonians to lead a masquerade band on the
The nineteen thirties launched the cal-
ypso on the international market. Leading
singers were sent to New York annually
to record their most popular numbers for
sale at home and to meet a growing over-
seas demand. Calypsonians, facing foreign
audiences and meeting the demands of
professional recording studios, improved
their technique, broadened their content,
and refined individual singing styles. Amer-
ica's entry in the war against Hitler fur-
ther internationalized the calypso as G.I.'s
posted overseas took the songs with them.
In the well-publicized case involving the
pirating of Lord Invader's (Rupert Grant)
"Rum and Coca-cola" calypso by a top-
rated American singing trio, it was dis-
closed that five million discs of this song
had been sold all over the world.
Back home increasing professionalism
imposed heavier overhead costs and higher
wage bills on tent managers. They sought
programme novelties to attract more
patrons. From these innovations arose
the duet and drama in calypso. The duet
did not last. After a few years the experi-
ment of two singers taking alternate verses
in a single composition was dropped
except for the teaming up of Lord and
Lady lere (Randolph Thomas and Edna
Pierre) whose "Ice Cream Block" calypso
remains a minor classic. But the calypso
drama, developed from the duet, persisted.
Today it is a normal expectation that at
least one drama will be presented each
season as an appropriate climax to a
calypso tent programme.

We perhaps dignify these miniature
operettas by the name "drama". They are
little more than twelve to fifteen minute
skits in which the dialogue is mostly sung
in rhymed calypso couplets or alternate
rhyming lines. Much comic mime is intro-
duced. The orchestra plays throughout
accompanying sung and spoken dialogue,
underscoring comic business, and provid-
ing a musical bridge between short drama-
tic sequences. Here the work of the band
leader is of central importance because
although the singer composing the drama
will have a melody for it, the orchestra
leader orchestrates and arranges the music,
adding considerably to the overall success
of the presentation. Prior rehearsal by the
actor-singers is cursory; a distinct impres-
sion of spontaneous, even improvised
action is conveyed at each performance.
Despite its abbreviated scope and casual
preparation, the calypso drama represents
one form of truly indigenous theatre and
might yet prove to be an important con-
tribution to the growth of a -national
What makes a great calypso? Few of
the seven hundred songs composed each
year will survive. Some will, just as many
great calypsoes of olden times are quickly
brought to mind in discussion with calypso
devotees. The following calinda chorus
from the days of stickfighting bands is
partly in Patois and must date back sixty
or more years. It is still affectionately
recalled and chanted today:
Oh Lawd! de glorious morning come,
En bataille-la!
Depuis mama fait mwen,
Nom paka ba mwen bois
En bataille-la!
(0 Lord! the glorious morning come
For the stickfight!
Since my mother gave birth to me,
No man has ever beaten me
In the stickfight!)
Another chorus, this time a famous road-
march, recalls the spontaneous public

arrow Lord Pretender
jubilation that erupted when news broke
that the first World War had ended:
Argos paper, latest telegram! (repeat)
Germans surrender
Under the British commander!
The fact that the Argos paper was the
champion of the working classes in their
fight to have the carnival reinstated as a
people's festival after the wartime inter-
regnum gave added piquancy to the victory
parade. Officialdom took note and revived
the carnival.
Many memorable war calypsoes can be
cited but none will ever surpass one by
the Growling Tiger (Neville Marcano)
about the unprovoked attack on Ethiopia
by Mussolini's facist troops. With a
majestic musical score that has a grandeur
all its own, Tiger sang passionately:
The gold, the gold,
The gold, the gold,
The gold in Africa
Mussolini want from the Emperor.
Abyssinia appealed to the League for
Mussolini actions were like a beast,
A villian, a thief, a highway robber,
And a shameless dog for a dictator.
So the first quality of a great calypso is
that it should be both timely and timeless.
It must be effective in the first season of
its rendition but it should retain a power
to move us years after the event it des-
cribes has receded from our concern.
Next, the great calypso must cohere in
all its parts. Content, treatment, music,
verbal facility, should combine as if they
belonged together inextricably. One looks
for wit and humour, of course, but also
for colourful language, for metaphor, for
a melodic and rhythmic structure that
strengthens the impact of the performed
calypso and is in no way inharmonious
with the idea or story. The following
verses from one of the most appealing
calypsoes of all time is by Atilla. It

In the Tent
records the first visit of a dirigible airship
to Trinidad in 1933:
One Sunday morning I chanced to hear,
A rumbling and a tumbling in the
(Repeat first two lines)
I ran to stare, people were flocking
Gesticulating and gazing and pointing
in the air.
It was the Graf Zeppelin which had
Come to pay a visit to Trinidad.
I gazed and the knowledge came back
to me,
How wonderful the work of man can be,
To see that huge object in the air
Maintaining perfect equilibrium in the
Wonderfully, beautifully, gloriously,
Decidedly defying all the laws of
It was the Graf Zeppelin which had
Come to pay a visit to Trinidad.
Every great calypsonian infuses a song
with his own inimitable personality,
giving each of his compositions its definite
rendition which thereafter adheres to it.
Calypsonians develop singing styles pecu-
liar to their talents and this individuality
of performance leads to great rivalry, not
so much among the singers themselves as
among their supporters. It is unheard of
for the followers of one calypsonian to be
converted to accept the merits of a rival
singers style. Songsters reputed for in-
novative styles of performance include
the Roaring Lion (Hubert Raphael De-
Leon), the Mighty Spoiler (Theophilus
Phillip), and the Lord Melody (Fitzroy
Alexander) to name but a few. Lion is
known for fleetness of expression and a
strong rhythmic flow. Spoiler was a
phlegmatic singer as he drawled out the
most fantastic concoctions of humour
ever heard in a calypso tent. Melody is
a pantomimist. His calypsoes are action
songs which he attacks with gusto and
verbal bravado.

Im iIIAba. New- A I
Mighty Penguin Calyps
Entertainment value ranks high in
judging the great calypso, but its worth
must also depend partly on moral insight
and observation, on the ability of the
composer to aim, however obliquely, at
understanding or improving the human
condition. Most people would be sur-
prised at the notion that calypsoes have a
moral quality. Yet a great many do when
they are genuinely conceived rather than
the product of some rhymester alien to
the milieu who composes salacious ditties
for the pop record market. "Death is
Compulsory" by Lord Kitchener (Aldwin
Roberts) is an all-time classic among
thought-provoking calypsoes, as is "The
Human Race" by Lord Pretender (Alric
Farrell), "Federation" by the Mighty
Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) and, most
recently, the timely "Black is Beautiful"
by the Mighty Duke (Kelvin Pope), reign-
ing calypso king. These are random
selections from a host of calypsoes that
deserve a place in the calypso hall of fame
when that long-overdue building is at last
established in the country where calypso
was born.
"We are word-containers. We are the
memory of man." The calypso repertoire
is as wide and varied as it is long. Patriotic
songs, philosophic songs, songs in praise
of human achievement or in dismay at
human degradation, songs of protest and
songs of celebration, fantasy, satire, love,
the battle of the sexes, songs of crime and
tragedy, of racial prejudice and pride, the
whole spectrum of human experience is
to be found in the calypso. It is at once a
social document of the country's history,
a compendium of the people's language,
an archive of their music. It is an accurate
indicator of the people's pulse on matters
of national concern.
The calypsonian serves his country
equally as well as the griot of ancient
Mali served his. But our native bard has
not received the place of honour he
deserves. Perhaps it is just as well. No

B. C.

honour or patronage should impede his
freedom to speak out. In the nineteen
thirties government censorship of the
calypso was strongly advocated. It was a
time of social and political unrest; the
workers' leader, T. Uriah Butler had been
arrested and jailed. This was the moment
that King Radio (Norman Span) chose to
release one of his defiant calypsoes:
They want to licence my mouth,
They don't want me to talk,
Ai-ai, I ain't Butler.
They want to licence my foot,
They don't want me to walk,
Ai-ai, ain't Butler.
But if is blood, sweat and misery,
We mean to fight till we get our liberty.
Radio's uncompromising spirit must be
protected. His freedom to speak out
against the excesses of his day is our
guarantee of freedom in our own time.

A. Mighty Wanderer
B. Lord Brigo
C. King Fighter
D. Mighty Popo
E. Mighty Sparrow
Many years ago.

Lord Kitchener and
The Mighty Duke


/~ -. p- ~m *




' /





Time of Prayer

Kingston : Corner Princess Street and Beeston Street

Ras E.Brown


21 "5




{ i :lm.
-y S -~m

-:..i IL

.* 1'

h. i *
f '*


[~.;: ~i.b~, ~-~.;T
rl ..1 a: ----.


and two back-ground abstracts.

by Milton Harley

coffee walk


orange blossoms






blue drawers
of time
calicoed skirts
flat light black feet.
The trodden white marl
with baskets :
the market place
a rest.


Heaps :
new sugar.

the sweets


NO .

I drink from a glass
on a table


the chill and
forgotten warmth


burnt-out cinders
in the summer


Grey is October

a silted silvery grey

Dropped in a pool that ran

parched from earth

Touched by a hibiscus.

The Three Graces 1970.




crzt 0



talks to

A.G.: So you paint; but painting should be expressed in its
own language. All criticism of painting must be a
little fatuous: if the painters could say it in words,
they would not paint it.
G.E.: I couldn't agree with you more because when I read
the critics I am very amused. I wonder what on earth
they are talking about. It surely couldn't be my
painting! One critic says that I remind him of Stanley
Spencer; I think it's not because of me that the critic
mentions Spencer but because Spencer has captured
the critic's mind for the time being and he wants to
link his interest with another experience or brings out
the word mysticism. I'm the 'victim'. For another
critic takes umbrage, at the first critic's words and
they are off. They have a lovely fight. But not about
my paintings; about their own problems, nothing to
do with me.
A.G.: I think criticism can do two things only, and I've tried
to do these two things myself however modestly:
one can describe the painter's work and one can try
to put the painter into a context. When I wrote about
Kapo I put him into the context of his ideas, the
ideas of a Revival Shepherd and I described the figures
and the landscape that he painted. Now I have to
try to put you into your context.
You're a teacher, Gloria?
G.E.: Yes.
A.G.: Incidentally do you teach art?
G.E.: No, I don't teach art. I used to teach art. But I
gradually got out of it. I teach English Literature to
VIth Formers.


You don't like teaching art?
No, I hate it.
But you like teaching English Literature?

G.E.; Yes, I love it.
A.G.; You have yourself written poetry for some time?
G.E.; Well Alex, you are dignifying my verses by giving them
the name poetry. I don't regard them as poetry. I
don't think my writing is important; it's a hobby just
as some people collect stamps. Well not quite but
not a vocation anyway.
A.G.; It's a pleasure to hear you say that. So many people
over-assess themselves, you down-grade your work.
Yet the Festival judges, all competent in their own
way, have thought your poetry worth singling out for
honourable mention.
G.E.; I'm happy to hear it but I still think that to be
a poet you have to dedicate a great deal of your time,
of your life to poetry. You have to produce a body of
work. I have nothing like that; I have the odd poem.
I scribble something down when I feel intensely that I
want to say something. If my poems have any value,
they should be related to the paintings.
A.G.; So you think of yourself far more as a painter? You
devote whatever energy you have to painting, rather
than to writing?
G.E.; I suppose that is so. A great deal more goes into
painting and very little into writing. But a lot goes
into teaching.
A.G.; Tell me something about the relationship between
your writing and your painting.

A l x Gdu All pictures from the collection
Alex Graussov of the Artist.

G.E.; Yes; to do that I'd better borrow T.S. Elliot's ideas
about what goes into the composition of a poem.
Because you see its the same process in painting and
this is what explains the link in my case. One starts
with certain strong "floating feelings which are then
expressed by sifting the images to which they spon-
taneously attach themselves below the level of
consciousness that is. The problem is to match the
"objective correlative" to the feeling in some meaning-
ful, organised way. Well, you see, although the craft
and media are different, I myself, as a person, start
from the same base of feeling, and the images, the
visual ones, are the same too.There is a little poem that
has come out in the last number of 'BIM', a poem
about personal experiences called 'Calcification'. In
the poem the image at the end is the agave (agavate);
this plant is central to my life. There is a huge one in
my garden.

A.G.; Yes, I follow you.
G.E.; This plant often comes into my painting.
A.G.; Yes, I've noticed that. So the images float around, as
it were, and you use them for your varying purposes,
writing and painting. More often in painting though.
G.E.; The feeling is the important thing. In another way the
critics are wrong by saying that I am an intellectual
painter. I know I'm not. I feel I'm not. I am a
person who feels things strongly. To achieve any-
thing, the process I go through is to depersonalize the
feeling. ..
A.G.; So that you make it more universal ...?
G.E.; Precisely. In so far as I have achieved that it has been
a conquest over myself.
A.G.: Women, unfortunately are accused of being non-
intellectual and possessed only of feeling, so I hate to
agree with you. But then the feeling of the painter
man or women is so much more important that I
can't do anything else but agree. Which painter could
we call intellectual.
G.E.: In modern art you could, I suppose, say that Modrian
was an intellectual painter.
A.G.: Because he set out to have a theory and a school and
he set out to abstract in a conscious fashion. He took
a tree and reduced the tree.
G.E.: But even there he had intense feelings yes, the
divisions of space, too, were endowed with feeling.
I don't think that you can ever speak of a purely
intellectual approach. There must be feeling to make
a painting.
A.G.: Even in the painter's detachment from his subject
there is the conscious effort of wanting to do so, the
motive force has to be partly emotional.
G.E.: Quite, I have an emotional craving for order.
Seurat was one who in his pointillistic paintings wanted
to reduce reality into manageable proportions. That's
how it is with me.


that mainly. I adore the sea. I could not live any-
where else but in Rio Bueno. But the sea is a very
changeable element. It's never the same. It is like
clouds . always'on the move. I like things which
have a solid shape.
And stay the same way.

A.G.: You want to capture a shape as it is.
G.E.: Therefore the sea does not play a great part in my
world of imagery. Although I love it in life.
A.G.: Yes. One has to carve out of the universe that portion
which is manageable or important. I don't know
whether this is the right word but you seem to admit
to a limitation. Is that so?
G.E.: Limitations can be your assets. Because every art has
A.G.: Sure
G.E.: It's like Jane Austen. Her greatness lay in recognizing
her own limitations.


And therefore she has endured.
My limitations are infinite. But as I am getting older,
I learn to use my limitations better. That may be my
greatest achievement.

A.G.: To put to good use your limitations... No, I should
not have used the word, it is rather recognizing the
area in which. your talent is to be found, where your
interests lie?
G.E.: Yes.
A.G.: Gloria, you've mentioned that you've always lived in
Still Life 1962.

You want to bring order into a disorganised world.
Life is so chaotic.

You cling to reality in an orderly fashion.
Creating some kind of order.
In chaos.
In my paintings.
Gloria, your studio is by the sea but does the sea
influence you much? You are far more a 'plant

G.E.: One's early background influences one.
I've grown up with the land around me. But it's not


G.E.: She was a very decorative painter and a very fine
teacher. But in those days it was not really considered
possible to study art.
A.G.: Young ladies did it as a hobby.
G.E.: Especially if you had some promise intellectually. So
I was fed like a turkey for Thanks-Giving to win the
Jamaica Scholarship ... which I did get. I went to get an
art's degree. My headmistress and Miss Rhoda Jackson
considered the possibility of my studying art but they
concluded that I was not an artist. But when I went to
McGill Lfound myself drifting into some art courses of
the architects. When I wrote about that home, every-
one was shocked ...


You went to McGill: in Canada. Was that usual?
Because of the war.

Recollection Rupununi,Guiana 1964.
the country. Does that imply that you are not a city
G.E.: Definitely I am not.
A.G.: Have you ever tried to capture city atmosphere?
G.E.: Ihave lived in the city from time to time. When I was
younger I spent a great deal of time walking around
West Kingston sketching and painting. When I've been
involved with the city I've not shunned the theme but
the urge to escape has always been there.
A.G.: What about people? Remember your school-girl
paintings? Was that a special phase?
G.E.: Yes, but it was simply a response to my environment.
I was teaching at the time. I was teaching art and
while the girls worked, I painted them.
A.G.: You reciprocated. They were learning and you were
learning how to draw them?
G.E.: Yes.
A.G.: It might be impossible to answer this but please try.
How did you come to painting? Was it that you
suddenly knew that you can paint or were you always
interested in drawing.
G.E.: I suppose I came to painting for the hell of it. Because
people said I could not do it.
A.G.: You were out to prove them wrong.
G.E.: Yes, one is perverse. You see when I was at school, I
liked art my art teacher, one of them was Rhoda
Jackson who died just recently ...
A.G.: I did not know that.

I *T^: i

^L, /-- /

A.G.: I see.
G.E.: I wanted to write, too ... but I don't know ... I just
painted more and more.
G.E.: By the way, it might interest you that I owe a great
deal by way of encouragement and stimulus, but also
of challenge, to that great friend of the Arts, Mrs. Edna
A.G.: How so?
G.E.: Well, in the early days of my working life, I started
out as a journalist working for Public Opinion News-
paper and when I decided to give this up to study art
I didn't get much encouragement from her. The
general drift of her advice I hope I am not mis-
interpreting her was, "My dear, you are doing such
a useful job here, why give it up and I am not sure ..."
One of the most memorable days in my life was some
time in 1956, when she and Sir Philip Sherlock came
to my studio to look at my work and she said, "Well,
I concede, you were right." Her opinion meant, and
still means, the world to me. When she turns up at an
opening of my show I feel all is well, whoever else
doesn't come."
A.G.: How did you start Gloria? What medium did you use
G.E.: Rhoda Jackson introduced us to guache that is what
she used herself. And charcoal of course. I got a lot
of experience when I was at school. My father was a
doctor and I often visited his surgery to draw people ...
A.G.: ... You've always had a firm outline for your figures.
Is that because you want to reduce things to a static
form or because of your feeling of solidity?
G.E.: I don't know whether I can answer that. I suppose it
is temperamental the lines one uses.



But it's characteristic of your style.
I am a person who has to make a decision, one way or
the other. I can never be muddy in my mind.
You're not in between: either for or against.
No . It's not a question so much of commitment
for or against as of being sure of ones own mind. Not
exactly. But I like things to be clear cut. I don't
know how to explain it more precisely.

A.G.: I know. We started bv saving that if the painter could
say it in words, he would not paint. How did you
come to use oil?
G.E.: I went to art school at the Slade and there we were
taught quite a lot about the technique of oil painting.
In fact a lot of scientific things about paints and how
to prepare canvases and ... some things we don't use ...
A.G.: But it's still interesting.


Landscape 1967.

Learning about colours and pigments is vital.
Gloria, you always use the flat surface; you're not a

*Ti.R~iC-Lr~ ~-rlCIi~

Small Town Ethos

All Island Art Exhibition Prize-winning Painting

Gloria Escoffery



G.E.: No, Alex, I'm hopeless at carving or modeling. I love
the flat surface. I think that has something to do with
my flatness of colours. I am never really happy until
the painting is reduced when to a stage in which it can
be read in two ways. One of them is a completely flat
wall ... I'm amuralist at heart.
A.G.: I remember you using several times the triptych. You
like that form? I notice that this year's prize-winning
painting is in that form.
G.E.: I like that form but I. don't know why. I like to have
broken up areas. I have a feeling for an architectural
space. Nothing will please me more than to have a
given space and then I have a problem of space that I
have to solve.
A.G.: To fill the given space.
G.E.: When I did the mural for the Sugar Manufacturers'
Association there were certain problems there.
A.G.: What was the size of that?
G.E.: Very approximately 15 feet by 10 . I'm not very
good at exact measurements. What interested me was
how the painting was looked at. You can't get a great
distance from it. You can see it when you're moving,
walking up the steps.
A.G.: From various angles you wanted it to have different
feeling. Talking about murals, are you interested in
the various techniques of murals?
G.E.: Frankly I feel handicapped by being a minor painter
and knowing so little about the mural. Here again it is
knowing my limitations. If I were younger, I think, I
would go to Mexico and learn some more about murals.
A.G.: You have the feeling for the space but you've not done
outdoor murals?
G.E.: I'd have to know more about the techniques of pre-
servation ... so far I've done none outdoors.
A.G.: I can't quite reconcile this: you say you were painting
school-eirls while they were drawing and then you
said that you did not like teaching art. That is so?
What makes you fell less inclined to teach art? Was it
an irritation?
G.E.: I should think so. You've got to realise that you have
large classes and few of your students are interested in
A.G.: Should we then teach art in a conventional sense?

G.E.: Yes but you've got to plan and give a lot of yourself
to make art interesting in a variety of ways. One of
the main reasons why I wanted to stop teaching art
was my belief that I was doing it badly. You have to


Pastoral II 1970.

teach art exclusively, nothing else. There was a time_
when I thought that I was doing reasonably well. You
have to create a studio atmosphere and you have to
constantly be living it and thinking of newer, more
attractive means . you're almost painting the
pictures for your children. But you can't do that if
you are dividing.your time between English Literature
and trying to paint yourself. My mind was divided
and I was doing it badly.
A.G.: You say something interesting: the art-teachers
thought is reflected in the student, is that what you
G.E.: Thought! No, everything is there. You put your
everything into the students work. It comes out ih
different ways.



There is no way past this influencing the students?
I don't think so. You always see the teacher coming
out. There is a variety. A good teacher ...
Provides more variety ...
Not necessarily, rather quality. A good teacher is
inevitably a frustrated artist. I see it so often. I am
not willing to be a frustrated artist.

A.G.: That is an important point of view. Far too often the
artist is relegated to the role of hobbyist. We ask the
artist to earn his living not by his art but by some
other means. That is wrong and inhibits, doesn't it?
G.E.: Not every one. I am only speaking for myself. And I
need the teaching of English Literature because that
stretches my mind. But when I'm teaching art it
does not truly stretch my mind. It exhausts me.
A.G.: Does modern literature influence your art?


It's tremendous.
Would you like to give me an example how it works?
It's very difficult but I don't think it works directly.
I don't read Henry IV Part I and then I use it. No it
develops me as a person.

A.G.: You obviously like Shakespeare, Gloria?


I adore Shakespeare.
So literature is a character building exercise badly
put but something of the sort. What about images?

G.E.: No that's not the way it works. It helps my own


The integration of your personality with your painting.
You fill your canvases with two kinds of things: there

are the every day people that you see around you,
every day plants, too, and then there are the phantas-
magoric elements. Or maybe I shouldn't use such a
frightful word?
G.E.; Use it if you like . it might be that I've gone to
literature to justify myself. It's a rationalization after
the painting has taken place. It's not something that
I've worked out before hand. If I take T.S. Elliot's
"Wasteland" with it's patchwork of allusions; mine
are not literary but artistic. Just as Elliot wrote a few
notes to the "Wasteland", so that he would avoid the
charge of plagiarism, I don't say I would like to write
notes to my paintings but I'm quite happy when-
people recognize the allusions. There is a reference
for instance to Raphael's "Three Graces but in my
own terms.
A.G.: Is that the picture where the Graces are surrounded
by a lot of white?
G.E.: Yes. I think the artist can draw on art the same way
as the writer can draw on literature. The point is you
have to put the allusion into contact with your own
kind of world.
A.G.: The painting that I liked most in the Institute show is
not the prize winner. That might be perverse. I like
the picture to the left of the prize winning one. It
is enclosed in a diamond shape. Do you know the


You mean the "Angel of the Morning"?
Yes. Would you like to explain that painting to me?
Or comment. I like it.

G.E.: I am very glad that somebody likes a painting of mine.
But I don't know what to say about it.
A.G.: Say for instance when did the idea occur to you to
give it the geometric skeleton in the background?
G.E.: I cannot tell you! I just wanted to do it that way.
A.G.: Do you think I'm silly in liking your Angel in prefer-
ence to the prize winning one?
G.E.: No not at all. I like some paintings ... I don't know
why. I like the Pastorals. They satisfy something in
me. That's why I went after the exhibition and
brought them home.

A.G.: I don't like pushing you into some kind of classification
but are there phases in your painting? Times during
which you painted in a particularmanner.
G.E.: I don't look back very much. I've done a lot of
peculiar things at different times. I was trying to sort
myself out. I am jist interested in what I am doing
now or what I am going to do in future.
A.G.: You're not one to crave for a retrospective show?
G.E.: I don't think too much about many pictures that I
have done in the past, so I am not too keen in seeing
them exhibited. Some however are surprisingly good
as if done by some one else and to these I am attached.
I keep them in my studio and I don't like parting with
them. They are no longer part of me but I cherish
A.G.: But you're not like Picasso not letting go of any of
your pictures?
G.E.: Only very occasionally as I told you about the Pastorals,
but I don't know whether the feeling for them will
last. I might outgrow them.
A.G.: This is not strictly speaking on the painting but do
you feel badly because you have to teach to make a
G.E.: No, not really.

The Neutral Elements 1970.

A.G.: But do you have the urge to take off a month and just
paint and not be bothered about making a living.
G.E.: It suits my temperament best to have a job. I cannot
paint all the time and I would feel guilty if I were
living in idleness. No, I prefer to teach and to paint.
I have even now a sense of guilt for not painting just
now. Perhaps I shouldn't have it ...
A.G.: The balance that you keep between teaching and
painting is useful to you.
G.E.: I would be bored if I were not working.

SLove XlVe,

a-y horse !


The OddStory

of Lieutenant- ColonelMills

and His Horse

or Two Horses,

or Three Horses
by Rosemary Evans

You remember the story of the man who wanted to write a
play on Savonarola, but never got that far because he got stuck
permanently in the encyclopaedia at Sardanapalus, so wrote a
play on him instead? Well, the other day at the West India
Reference Library, whither I had gone to look for some very
serious material for some very serious research, I came unexpec-
tedly across a story which proves what I had long suspected -
that there is nobody but NOBODY as eccentric as the
English over animals. Here then is the story of Lieut.-Col.
Mills and his horse, or two horses, or three horses, as it lies
mouldering in the files at the Institute. It is told entirely in the
form of letters.
26 June, 1906.
Brigadier General (Director, Personal Services) G.F. Browne
informs the General Commanding, Jamaica, that Lieut.-Col.
Mills, D.A. is to return to England- and report at Plymouth on
24th September next for duty. The Brigadier adds that there is
no objection to Lieut.-Col. Mills visiting Canada on the way
home, but adds firmly again that he must join at Plymouth on
24th September.

15 October, 1906.
Letter two, in huge bold firm black handwriting with not
more than two words to the line, is from a rather peeved Lieut.-
Col. Mills, having arrived at Plymouth, to G.O.C., Jamaica.
Now the Horse as important to this story as was the Wooden
Horse to Troy enters the tale. Mills writes:
"I left my horse at Jamaica when proceeding on Leave, and
it has been, I understand, at the disposal of the officer
commanding till embarkation. Would you kindly ask the
District Paymaster to issue to me, if he has not already done
so, forage allowance for the admissable period?"
This harmful missive seems to have caused a fearful flurry
in Army Headquarters on its arrival in Jamaica. Anxious notes
scurry backwards and forwards on the back of Lieut.-Col. Mills'
huge sheet of paper, while, we may imagine, The Horse grazes
quietly and calmly in the background, behind the hot little
Army huts.
Col. G.F. Bowles, the recipient of Mills' anxious plea, writes
to someone illegible on
2 November, 1906.
"Lieut.-Col. Mills' horse was left in GOC's stable and has
been available for service if required. It embarked for
England on the PORT KINGSTON on 25th October."
This one is followed by an angry but scored-out note from a
Colonel Talbot; one can read quite clearly between the lines in
an angular, bad-tempered writing:
3rd November, 1906.
"No notification that the horse was left at GOC'S disposal
was received at this office at the time of Mills 'departure. "
Now, come you can't lose a whole horse, Colonel Talbot!
Even if not notified, you can see a horse in a stable, can't you?
You mean you can never see it unless you have a slip of paper



in your hand informing you that there is Horse, One, Army
Officers For The Use Of, in front of you?
On 5th November, 1906, somebody called Gillespie gets
into the act. His prim copybook handwriting shows him to be
rather worried, and he brings two new problems into the story;
he writes to Bowles (still on the back of Mills' enormous bath-
sheet of notepaper):
"Lieut.-Col. Mills' left two horses at the disposal of GOC.
Can you please forward a description and the name of the
horse which embarked for England on the 25th ult.?"
7th November, 1906. Bowles replies briefly -
"The horse is a chestnut one named Wildboy. "
The same day Gillespie is at it again.
"Col. Mills" (in his rage Gillespie iias promoted the in-
offensive Mills, now probably shivering in the cold winds of
Plymouth, and humming "My Wildboy is over the ocean, oh
bring back my Wildboy to me" etc.) "has ALREADY drawn
forage allowance for TWO horses up to 3 June, and for
ONE horse up to 10 July. As he was on leave up to 5 July
only, he overdrew 5 days for one horse, which is balanced
by the underdrawal for the second horse, so that NO
allowance is due to Col. Mills"
"The above is not understood," replies Bowles plaintively
on the same day. (He was probably an ineffectual little man
who looked red-nosed and bleary with only the slightest touch
of cold, whose hobby was butterflies, and who was rather
appalled by the rough-and-tumble of Army life). "Col. Mills'
application is to draw forage allowance up to Oct. 25th, the
date when the horse referred to left. (That's Wildboy, pre-
sumably, on the PORT KINGSTON, vide supra. Heaven knows
what happened to the other horse or the other two).
Bowles adds pompously: "Minutes 4 and 6 do not appear
to be relevant to this application." (Minutes 4 and 6 are the
description of the horse, and all Gillespie's waffle about horses
1, 2 and 3).

Bowles adds, clearly tryi;., o explain things simply in words
of one syllable to the wooden-headed Gillespie:
"Lieut.-Col. Mills quitted the station on 1st July and pro-
ceeded on leave, on W.O. authority G29/35804, to Canada;
his horse remained at Up Park Camp till 25th October."
(No jauntings to the Land of the Maple Leaf for Wildboy).
"Lieut.-Col. Mills claims forage for ONE horse from July 11
to Octo. 25th." (But that's not five days, old boy. However,
he's come out plainly on the side of Mills and Wildboy.
Good old Bowles!)
Gillespie now gets really angry. He hints that Bowles is
inventing things:
"Would you kindly let me SEE the letter you refer to?" he
scribbles fiercely.
Bowles, smarting at the insult, replies the same day:
"Herewith. Please return when done with." (Clearly he
fears the irate Gillespie may fling it in the wastepaper basket or
light his pipe with it).
Bowles adds in true Army Service manner:
"Please see Para 435 (A.O. 99-1905) and Para 325 as re-
ferred to in letter."
By 24.11.06 Gillespie has had time to sleep on it, and has
hunted up a new hare (or horse). Wildboy appears by now
definitely to be in England; Gillespie, foaming at the mouth,
"Col. Mills (damned if hell call him Lieut.-Col.!) was NOT
entitled to the conveyance of his horse to England, and from
W.O. letter G29/35804, dated June 26th 1906, that officer
(he can't bring himself to write the hated name again) was
well aware that he was not returning to this command.
Under these circumstances the ordinary course would have
been to dispose of the animal." (What on earth does
Gillespie mean by this sinister remark? No doubt he would
have liked to dispose of Mills too). "It would therefore
appear that NO forage allowance is due to Col. Mills".

And he signs himself GILLESPIE with a furious, ferocious
and flamboyant G.
A happy Christmas was had by all, presumably, and perhaps
Wildboy got a little extra forage allowance for the New Year,
for we do not hear of him again till 4.1.07, when, stationed at
Plymouth, Lieut.-Col. Mills (let's not be mean) is asked for a
cheque for 4.16.0. by the Director-General of Army Finance
to cover messing contribution (what an unfortunate term!)
during the voyage of Mrs. Mills and family to England (it seems
certain that Mills brought them to England anyway, even if
there's some uncertainty about whether he brought Wildboy;
and this refers I suppose to their forage allowance). Mills pays
up promptly, and adds pathetically in his big black florid
February 4, 1907
"Perhaps you could assist me to adjust a matter in which I
think some sum is due to me. (Mills apparently enjoyed
the odd pun; maybe this was what made Gillespie howl for
his blood and deny him his forage allowance.)
"In January 1903, on being ordered from Plymouth to
Halifax, Nova Scotia, I took my horse with me" (and pre-
sumably Mrs. Mills too) "at the expense of the public, in
accordance with Army regulations." (So that's why taxes
were so high in 1903! Remember?)
"In August 19041 was ordered to Jamaica. I took my horse
with me but on appealing to the War Office, I was refused
the expenses of the horse's transport on the grounds that in
Jamaica Jamaican horses are used, and that it was unneces-
sary for me to take my horse. "
"In July, 1906," continues Lieut.-Col. Mills, "on being
ordered back to England, I brought my horse with me, again
atmy own expense. (And presumably Mrs. Mills, at public
Tears spilling down his thin cheeks, he continues with noble,
injured pride:
"It seems to me that some sum is due to me. If an officer

is ordered about" (but what else did you expect in the
Army, Lieut.-Col. Mills?) "and has to buy and sell horses as
he moves, he must lose financially unless he has very special
faculties for horse-dealing. Suppose I had not been ordered
to Jamaica, but had remained at Halifax, on my return to
England I should have got the expense for the return of the
horse to England. Yet I am, as it were, surcharged with the
extra expense of the return of the horse home from
(Home is the horsie, home from the sea, and the hunter's
home with the Mills though it's a moot point whether Wild-
boy regarded Halifax, Jamaica or Plymouth as his home. A
gipsy sort of horse, a where-my-caravan-has-rested sort of horse
he must have been, a well-travelled sophisticated seen-it-all-
before sort of horse, this Wildboy of the Western World).

A cold impersonal little note from the War Office, signed by
a clerk whose scrawled name is apparently Wullawulla, brings
to a tragic end the saga of Lieut.-Col. Mills and his horse, or
two horses, or three horses.
"With reference to your letter of the 4th inst. wherein you
apply for a refund of expenses in connexion with the con-
veyance of your horse from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Jamaica
and then home, I am commanded by the Army Council to
inform you that the Allowance Regulations (Para. 435) do
not admit of the conveyance of a private charger to or from
Jamaica; and that you were entitled to be supplied with a
Government charger at that station. "

"Under the circumstances your application for a refund for
the conveyance of a private charger cannot be admitted as a
charge against the public.
Iam, Sir,
Your obedient servant




The elector, who ascended the throne
of England two months after his mo-
ther's death, was neither a tyrant, nor
a coward, nor a fool; he was only
unintellectual and brutally selfish. There
were ladies in his company who received
English titles, and offended one part
of the public by their morals and the
remainder by their ugliness. (Lord
Acton Lectures on Modem History.)
The learned lord was not rude to
George I,nor for that matter to the age
that took its name from the three Hano-
verian kings. The moral criticism and the
aesthetic revulsion point however at use-
ful messages for the assessment of an age
which ought not to be given uncritical
adulation because neither the glitter of the
whig aristocracy nor the ostentation of the
Jamaican plantocracy can blind us about
the essential divisiveness and injustice of
the 18th Century. Yet the motives for
admiration must remain. Harmony in
building does reflect some harmony of
soul, and balance and elegance in the lives
of some men living in the age of the
Georges can help us today. But we can
neither simplify nor gloss over the back-
ground brutality of the age.
Some of us living in Jamaica today,
and I doubt whether many of this per-
suasion will be reading this, will endeavour
to see the picture in another way. And
their angle of vision is a legitimate one:
lack of opportunity in the past and utter

Looking back

on the



in Jamaica
by Alex Gradussov

degradation in the more remote past are
poor teacher s for aesthetic rapture today.
How then can we fuse the legitimate
objections of the present day Jamaica -
black Jamaica, with a true assessment of
the past? A past that is guilt-besmirched
and poverty-ridden for most, yet provides
a necessary ingredient for the present. A
present which is ugly beyond belief in the
visual sense, and often ugly in many other
ways that cannot be discussed in the pre-
sent context of doing justice to an artistic
and social heritage. But we must mention
some of the facts: Jamaica has been and
still is in some respects a PLURAL SO-
CIETY. How can this plurality of living
become fused in a unified whole if we do

not lay bare the roots for this division of
I suggest by being honest.
It is not true to say that the age we call
the Georgian was exclusively elegant and
refined and EUROPEAN, and that the
African heritage of that age and of the
whole of Jamaica's history must and can
be suppressed. We would also do an in-
justice to all of us, if we assumed that all
that was produced and created by the slave
masters and their European dependants
has to be forgotten and destroyed. It is
easy to cut down a tree but it takes a long
time to grow it. The tree of Jamaica's
cultural heritage must be nourished by the
contribution of Europe, and Britain in
particular. To wipe it out is cultural mutila-
tion. But the context has to be always
clear. We cannot make men forget or
force them to accept. We have to explain
and by explaining gain acceptance of those
offerings of the European mind which still
remain valid and necessary for us today.
It is not enough to praise Great Houses
and banquets and balls; we must also
understand John Canoes and Myal, plant-
ing and reaping, songs with African rhy-
thms and songs derived from the English
folk tradition. It is only in the mixture
that we candiscern the essence of our pre-
sent day society. Mastering the prejudices
of the past, we can build both literally
and metaphorically a more harmonious
whole today.

Annandale, St. Ann W.I.R.L.
The prejudices of the component which
has been called white or white-biased in
this island is a misnomer. It would be more
true to say that we have in our midst an
element that is 'white-washed' or 'Euro-
twisted'. By this I mean the white, brown,
black, Chinese, Indian and Syrian members
of our society who have become convinced
through ages of colonial rule that all good
sprang from Europe and that all the bar-
barous forces of the society can be identi-
fied with Africa,or at least with the non-
This is very painful for some to hear.
It is not said in order to be offensive or
provocative but in order to come to an
understanding with the far larger, in fact
the largest, component of our society. The
black component. The dark force that is
feared as the destructive and uncivilised
force in our society.
I have been asked why I can't say some-
thing 'cheerful'; in fact, I have something
cheerful to say. I suggest that in harmony
and acceptance, voluntary acceptance, of
the past, lies the true cheer for our future.
We boast, and in some respects with justice,
about our model society, our harmonious
society. Let us then live up to the boast
and make the boast, or some of the pre-
tence, a reality. For if our society is to
grow meaningfully and usefully in this
island, it is necessary to straighten the
twisted image of the past.
It was my contention that the majority
will feel that the endeavours to honour
the age of the Georges might be a mockery
of Jamaica's history or heritage, and it is
these critics far more than any one else
that I wish to convince of the usefulness,
nay necessity, of the need to preserve and
cherish that part of a guilt-ridden past that
can provide hope, enlightenment and
pleasure for the future.
It might be a truism for most educated
people to think that all that is beautiful

from the past has to be preserved and
cherished. And gleefully we might point
to the Russian communists who despite
their atheism have preserved the Kremlin
as a central edifice of their state. This
Kremlin that was the centre of Czarist
oppression and religious begotry against
which the Communists rebelled. And
similarly we might point to the Win ter
Palace of the Manchu Emperors in ultra-
revolutionary China as the symbol and
centre of the communist state. But that is
not what I came to argue. The rulers of
Moscow and Peking IMPOSED the pre-
servation on the populace and are now -
and quite successfully guiding the pop-
ulace into acceptance. It is not force that
we need for acceptance but persuasion.
How then can we make those who have
little or no material stake in this country
want something that stands as a monument
of privilege?
Before embarking on the major task,
and in order to do justice to one of the
themes of this essay, I must outline the
core of the problem: the deceit of motive.
Briefly it has been stated to be the inabil-
ity of the dispossessed to see value in the
preservation of the very symbols of their
grievance and the smug assertion of the
preservers that they have a special right
and a special position to do the preserving
for their own edification. But in these
crude terms we do not come to grips with
all the facts. A poor man is not always
poor .because of the rich, and the rich are
not the exclusive possessors of base mo-
tives. Both sides have to make compro-
mises, both have to bend their prejudices
towards reality.
No one can expect the wage-earning
or unemployed Jamaican to make an effort
to perpetrate this newly discovered urge
for preservation. But if such critics were
to burn down the things that seem to him
to be bastions of oppression, it would
incarcerate him in a reality that had

neither more material wealth nor greater
spiritual satisfaction. On the other hand
the well-off should not think of the gulf
that separates them from men of lesser
means, rather should they dwell on those
aspects of the society that unite all men
in this country. Many readers have had
the benefits of an education that goes
beyond the possibilities and opportunities
of the majority. The educated have in
other words tasted the fruits of a wider
cultural experience which has been denied
to the multitude, and perhaps by the very
nature of things, will always be denied to
the majority in the fullness of participa-
tion. We must therefore find the modus
vivendi of co-existence between the person
of sharpened cultural awareness and the
deprived person. It is not a matter of
condescension and it is not a matter of
tolerance alone; it is more a matter of
sympathy and accommodation.
If we look at, say Devon House, and we
enter seeing some of the glitter of the past
in the pictures and the furniture; and on
the outside the facade pleases the eye -
but how does the passerby who has had
no inclination to visit'Devon House feel
about this? Repelled, revolted or irritated?
If we have anything to offer it must be
offered to all and the invitation to a par-
ticular restored building must be matched
by the invitation to all the buildings and
objects we wish to preserve. All of us,
have to be teachers in appreciation and in
doing the job we must not be put off. It
is easy to say: what does it matter to
'quashie' to have a Georgian building re-
stored. But 'Quashie' can see as well as
anyone and if we get him on our side, we
have won the battle. Perhaps the task is
more difficult than I imagine; perhaps
the hardest task will be to persuade the
wealthy barbarians of the benefits of our
task rather than in the persuasion of the

- I

common man. I simply don't know. Let
us not be deceived by the 'goodness' of
our motive into thinking that automatic-
ally we will be understood and supported.
Let us not deceive ourselves on another
score: those of us who have thoughts of
perpetrating a way of life, those of us who
have a yearning for the idyllic past of
gracious living for the few in other
words those of us who think of the past in
one-dimensional terms; all those will not
only be disappointed by discovering that
they have been dreaming a wicked dream,
but what is worse, the dream will be
shattered very rudely by the others. The
have-nots. The blacks. The barbarians.
Call them what you want.
The wheels of history turn only one
way. Dreams of a return to the past are
not destined for fulfilment.
Then, too, I must undeceive some of
the critics of preservation. Those thinking
or unthinking members of the Jamaican
society who postulate wickedness and
colonialism and white supremacy when-
ever the past is brought up. Those, too,
are wrong. Some might say for the best
reasons in the world but then good reasons
for being wrong are not very useful. I
want to explain: Colbeck Castle, Rose
Hall, Marlborough House, the square at
Spanish Town and Devon House are some
of the few remains of the past. If I were
really industrious, I could enumerate all
the buildings of the past. It's a short list.
And that points a lesson. There is very
little to preserve. There is very much
ugliness about.
On a different front I must ask some
other questions: Who built Stokes Hall?
Who designed and executed the Iron
Bridge in Spanish Town? Whose hands
fashioned the wrought iron work at the
gate of Devon House?
And the answer must be: Jamaican
hands. Can any one afford to reject one's
own because it was not freely given or
perfectly adapted to the needs of all?
That can not be and should not be.
Admire the shingle-layers art, the coop-
er's skill, the brick-layers patience and the

plasterer's design. All these and many
others: slaves and freemen; brown men
and white men; indentured servants and
masters in the Great Houses were involved
in the creation; and all of them we must
remember if not revere.
You will say what about the age of the

Stokes Hall, St. Thomas drawing from W.I.R.L.

One George was no thinker as you
heard Lord Acton say; he spoke only
German and Latin. The last was at least
suspected to be mad. The whole import-
ation of the Hanovarians was a political
convenience as tar as England was con-
cerned. The Georges were imported 'live
stock' to meet a need. Is this a striking
parallel here to the need for slave labour?
But not true: the Georges were well
looked after. England had entered the era
of prosperity. Hugh Walpole reigned and
sold seats in the House of Commons and
all was well. Jamaica and the other West
Indian possessions supplied the wealth for
the leisure classes, and architects and
crafts men invented pleasing designs.
Blenheim Castle, Bath and St. Pauls (not
necessarily all strictly Georgian ) but ex-
pressing the harmony of the age); Chip-
pendale, Hebblewhite made furniture to
match the age; the Midlands potteries of
Dalton, Worcester, Derby decorated the
elegant houses; and the painters Gainsbo-
rough and Reynolds further strengthened
the image of classical calm and balance.
It was the Augustan age of England. It
was the age of the landed gentry and the
upper-merchants. But the West Indian
nabob was one of the most respected
figures where money was concerned. In

taste, however, the nabob was a figure of
fun. Beckford's Abbey and "Vathek"
were abberations of that affluence which
came from the sugar islands.
Africa in the time of the Georges was
in the process of disintegration. Slavers
had been common since the 15th Century
but only in the 17th Century had there
been a tremendous expansion of slave
trading to satisfy the sugar islands and the
results were felt in the 18th Century.
African Kingdoms had deteriorated and
disintegrated. The coastal area of West
Africa was dotted with slave factories
and forts to protect the slavers. Inland
the raids, partly organized purely by
Europeans, partly instigated by Europeans
as so called 'wars' between African rulers,
were all directed towards one goal: slaves.
Little material wealth was taken across in
the Middle Passage. But the slaves remain-
ed men and men have more than the desire
to survive. They took their culture across
the water. The same as the West Indian
nabob tried to copy the elegance of con-
temporary England, in Jamaica the African
slave persisted in perpetuating his culture
in his new home land.
The motive for the planter and the
attorney was ostentation,or at least com-
fort. The motive for the slaves was the
preservation of their humanity. True other
parts of British culture came across from
the British Isles too: dance and song and
naturally the language. But the conspi-
cuous part was the material splendour of
contemporary England. Dress, tableware,
The Cook W.IR.L.

Chamberlain Worcester Vases
both porcelain and silver -, furniture and
the design for houses. The implementation
of allthe needs of the planters and of their
compulsorily kept white servants (trades-
men and mainly overseers) was in the
hands of the slaves. And it is important
to note that the value of skilled tradesmen
of the slave class was often astonishingly
high. They were as contemporaries men-
tion far more valuable 'property' than the
indentured white servants who either had
sold themselves into bondage or had been
transported as political victims or as
criminals. The value of the slave endured,
the white indentured servant had to be
freed after a number of years and hence
he was expendable. But who ever they
were, they built the houses and the furni-
ture and made the clothes and cooked the
meals. There was naturally a lot of
importation of china and cloth and food

Pembroke Table 18th. century.
and drink but much had to be done locally.
And strangely there was one uniting
factor in this most divided society: the
dance. The John Canoes danced at
Christmas and the masters watched; and
Ivory Mask. Kine of Benin

the masters danced at their balls quadrille
and other European dances and the slaves
watched. And their dances fused. The
quadrille became a Jamaican country
dance (i.e. a European dance became a
'black' folk dance) twist, ska and the
reggae were or are danced today by black
and white (provided they are agile) alike
and they are African dances (much trans-
formed but nonetheless African for all
Lady Nugent, perhaps the most valu-
able observer of late Georgian life in
Jamaica was not very impressed with the
manners of the ruling class. Her dictum
that the planter 'ate like cormorants and
drank like porpoises'shows that the plant-
ers existence was fairly basic and brutish.
But to be honest the men of England (and
some women) were no better. In fact the
*See Sylvia Wynter's article Jonkonnu Jamaica
Journal vol. 4 no. 2.

surface elegance of the age was only skin
deep. Beneath the gloss was buried the
filth. The diseases of the age were more
dirt originated than otherwise. Washing
although recommended was not univer-
sally practiced and Lord Balcarres' dirty
finger nails did offend Lady Nugent no
end. And Lord Balcarres was the Govern-
or departing. And not because of his dirty
The question ought now to be put:
why were these brutes black and white still
capable of producing harmony? Here the
myth of the Negro inferiority has to be
destroyed as much as the new myth of
total white inhumanity. The slave owners
had to defend their position, however
absurdly, of keeping one kind of man as a
chattel. Long, the planter historian of
Jamaica's past, and others went to the
bible and half-baked pseudo-philosophers
of Negro inferiority and bestiality to ex-
plain why the minority whites could and
should hold black men as chattels. They
forgot that technology had no part in their
argument and that the gun that imposed
the raider's power, might show ingenuity
but not superiority in human terms. The
gun made slavery possible; white guns,
black slaves. Money, wealth and possess-
ions were the guiding principles that re-
placed ideas. But ideas cannot die and

even at the worst time of slavery not all
whites were slave owners or slave traders
or at least slave tolerators. Jefferson in
America was troubled. Ralph Waldo Emer-
son conjectured that the colour question
- the question of the necessary freeing of
the slaves and it's concomitant the desire
tor absolute freedom would become tme
crucial questions of the coming century.
He was right. And so were the Quakers
in Pennsylvania who became troubled
about slave owning. And the honours roll
is long: the 'Saints' Wilberforce and
Clarkson and all non-conformist preachers
and missionaries who laboured against the
ruling passion of the age. Wealth and
opulence were not to all men of white
colour supreme. But the material aspect
had the last say: as Dr. Williams has
shown in his 'Capitalism and Slavery'
it was only when slave labour became too
costly and uncompetitive that the voice of
humanitarianism prevailed.
But the human mind is a strange mix-
ture. The men of the Georgian age: Pope
and Wren, Johnson and Wood (father and
son) felt harmony despite the burden of
inhumanity that enabled them to live and
think. Their models came from another
slave-borne civilization: Greece and Rome.
In the serenity of Phidias and Praxiteles,
and in the perfection of Homer and Pindar,

and even in the disturbing verses of
Euripides, they saw the ideal. And the
ideal of the state and of organization came
from Rome. Rome's laws and Roman
roads and aquaducts were the ideals for
the age that characteristically called itself
the Augustan. But God had lost his com-
plexity and importance. The sectarian
wrangles of the 17th Century were set
aside. Roman Catholic Alexander Pope
was up to a point untainted by his heresy
and Non-conformist thrift accumulated
vast fortunes for many merchants like the
Frys. Even the Jews became tolerated;
thus Prime Minister Disraeli's father man-
aged to become a respected literary curio-
sity. And the Chief Justice of England
went so far as to pronounce that the laws
of England did not know the state of
slavery and hence no man could own
another. This law applied only in England,
itself, of course.
The thinking of the Augustans did not
go far enough to admit the absolutes that
we hold self-evident: the equality of all
men irrespective of their race. But they
had values. And out of their values sprang
the harmony of the Georgian period.

The African slave and his descendants
had other ideals and these, I suggest, are
aminable, too, to the acceptance of the

I =,



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1-ri -~~I/.I'. ,


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_________ I i -

el. I ,y A. AS


1. Johnny Newcome
2. Damns all Musquetoes and Calls for Sangaree
3. Feels his pulse and trembles
4. Disembogues. The first-fruits of the Torrid Zone
5. Blasts such a country and regrets he came out.
6. The Biliary Ducts ofJohnny's stomach laid open
7. Johnny recovers apace and domesticates
8. Johnny convalesces and believes himself seasoned

r7 I

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Im I 4)



A- q\<

Johnny Newcome W.I.R.L.
9. Johnny assumes the planters castor and dashes
at game
10. Johnny creolizes and puffs sickness away.
11. Johnny gets wetand plays the devil with Quashie.
12. Johnny capers A La Samboese to the tune of
Morgan Rattle-her
13. Dr. Calomel feels the pulse of Mr. Newcome and
shakes his head
14. The yellow claw of febris gives Johnny a mortal




15. John sends for Mr. Codocil and bequeaths his kit.
16. John writes by the packet a state of his case
17. John thinks himself better even on his last legs.
18. The delirium of Johnny astonishes Quashie
19. The soul and body of John are consigned to the
20. The body of John is packed up for the penn.
21. Hie Jacet Joannes Newcome.



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Georgian ideals of beauty. First and
foremost the African has always been
tolerant. Much more tolerant than all
the other races of mankind. He has
accepted other gods and other values and
has incorporated the new areas into his own
value system. Cultists (Pocco and Rasta
alike) have fused African values with
European ones. And the serenity and
measured stateliness of the Georgian
age might be strange but most certainly not
repulsive to men of African origin. The
African concept of beauty and harmony
has only recently been discovered in the
West: the mask and the dance. But states
craft and communication all have been
powerful forces shaping the African con-
sciousness of life; and of the reasons for
existence. Into this world view this
Weltanschauung we can, if we have not
done so already, fit the best of Europe.
And some of the best is the Georgian visual
The dwelling place of a man speaks of
of his attitude to life. It expresses his
value system. What the serenity of an
African mask is to the Negro, the Georgian
facade of Marborough House in Manchester
is to the white man. But they are not
exclusive or incompatible.
The drum rhythms of Africa have
remained and should remain in Jamaica.
The brick-rhythmns of the reign of the
Georges should equally remain. Not as
symbols of subjection or dominance but
as them-selves unhampered by the asso-
ciation with the injustices of the past.
Life lived in Jamaica in the 18th
Century was conditioned by the economy.
And the economy was sugar. Sugar grew
best when mass produced, cheaply. So
the centre of the Jamaican scene was the
estate. And the centre of the estate was
the Great House. Not immediately because
the first houses of the estates have been
described by observers as hovels of wattle
and daub. But eventually wealth pro-
duced the Great House like Bryan Castle
in Trelawny. This was not all. The sugar
millmore valuable and necessary, required
some fine craftsmanship in the details of
execution. So did the Slave hospitals and
some of the lesser buildings of the estates.
It is only at the very tail-end of the Georg-
ian era, and in fact more in the 19th
Century, that town houses like Devon
House and Head-Quarters House were built.
The Georgian age proper was rural and
Perhaps even more than in the over all
design of the houses, it was in the details
of execution that the native Jamaican
genius expressed itself. From the perfectly
shingled roof via the impressive rafters in
the ceiling to the elegantly molded plaster
cornices on the walls and shining mahog-
any floors, perfection was sought after.
Stair-cases and balustrades, verandahs and
windows all reflected meticulous care in
execution and the desire for perfection is
to my mind a pearl we can ill-afford to
But the slaves were not inactive by-
standers. They were the builders and the

Bridge at Martha Brae W.I.R.L.


Ballantroy Sugar Works, St. Ann
early 18th. Century. WI.R.L.
(now dismantled March 1970).

taraijj Halltate way, St. Ann W.I.K.L.
craftsmen. Not only in their skill did they
fashion the temper of the age, they did it
in their leisure time, however short that
was. They danced the dances of Africa,
they used the instruments of their home-
land and they used the mask ideal of their
native land.. All these ingredients of the
native as distinct from the imported cul-
ture, did show transformation from its
origins. Neither dance, nor song nor mask
remained pure. But purity in art is static
and imitative. And the slaves created their
new culture from the remnants of the old.
The components were mainly African but
by no means exclusively so. Dress and
food was European influenced so were
the dances and the songs. If we today find
too many black men in this country dis-
owning their heritage, it would be profit-
able to ponder on the possibility of an
African restoration as a counter measure of
a Georgian restoration today. And the
African restoration cannot be just going
back. It must be a reflection and a per-
spective of the past. The same as I
counselled for the Georgian preservation
of the remnant of that age.
The fabric of cohesion of a society is
usually provided by the idea of the nation
Old Court House, Mandeville Manchester ca. 1900.


-F -,.-- - 7-.

84014#4ES '0.-

Clovelly House, North Street, Kingston W.I.R.L.
or the allegiance to a man. 18th Century world, ancestral piety and loyalty to a
Jamaica obviously lacked any cohesive local leader.
idea. Although most planters were loyal As a result of the divisions of society,
British subjects some did however con- the 18th Century was a series of slave
template joining up with the 13 states of revolts of which Tacky's is the best known
North America that were in rebellion -, but by no means the only one. The early
the vast bulk of the population, black part of the century one might describe as
mainly, had no external symbol of unity. relatively quiet and the last part in the
What the blacks had was their own 'thing'. shadow of the French and Haitian revolu-
The imported African ideas of the spirit tion fearridden. The militia was the

main instrument of surpression but troops
had always been stationed in Jamaica and
the unsuccessful suppression of the Mar-
oons did bring considerable numbers of
British troops into the island. What the
first Maroon war accomplished, however,
was the curtailment and sometimes eli-
mination of any sanctuary in the hills for
the runaway slaves.
All this does not mean that life was
lived in a hang-dog fashion or that fear
cancelled out the pleasures of the planters.
Rebellions or no rebellions, there were
always balls. For any pretext and for any
reason. And the slaves were the greatest
dancers of them all. They danced the
John Canoe (as previously mentioned),
they danced at funerals (sometimes for-
bidden) and they danced powerful medi-
cine dances to rouse themselves to rebel-
lion, and what is far more important, to
give themselves magical protection from
the weapons of the white man (illegally of
The musical instruments varied.
At planter's balls use was made of ap-
proximate European instruments some
locally manufactured and the slaves
rallied around the drum. Many kinds of
drums; hand beaten and stick beaten, bass
and tenor. The whole are of drum
rhythms as preserved today is vastly more
complex than is assumed by European ob-
servers and a wide field for investigation is
open to the willing and observant musico-
Besides, there was the market for the
slaves (and their plot of land cultivated
during leisure time); the planters had the
Assembly at Spanish Town. The whites
wrangled with all the Governors sent over
from the Mother Country. But the

Admiral's Penn, Courtesy of Barclays Bank D.C O.

Portsea House, Falmouth W.I.R.L.

wrangles, often misrepresented as the
fight of freedom-loving Britons abroad -
was but a rearguard action against pro-
gressive measures proposed by some Gover-
nors or taxation begrudged as it still is -
to the exchequer. (Here we must remem-
ber that it was the Mother Parliament that
abolished the slave trade and emancipated
the slaves, and that the planter assembly
did everything in their power to prevent
Emancipation. Naturally their purses
were affected!)
A very different social element crept
into Jamaica and became a powerful force
as time progressed: the Missionaries. Led
by the Moravians, but far more numerously
followed by the Baptists, (not often
remembered there were at'least two black
missionaries from North America Lisle
and Baker), and in much smaller numbers,
the Methodists, Congregationalists, Pres-
byterians and Quakers; the non-con-
formist ministers became a third class in
Jamaica. And a nuisance to the planters
who harassed them as much as possible.
Altogether the missionaries were a living
accusation to the double morality of the
planter society. Slaves baptized could not
be called as easily chattel as when they
had been in heathen darkness. Similarly
the Christian sacrament of marriage un-
known to most book-keepers and attor-
neys living on the sugar estates, and the
other accommodations of planters and
town's men alike, were in open contra-
diction to the teachings of even the
Church of England. Yet the basic pattern
of sexual mores was not substantially
changed. And has not changed. The
pretence was only introduced. The con-
cubine of the white man was called the
house-keeper which she no doubt was
but fulfilling a wider role.
ism cloaks both moral double-standards as
well as hides the essential brutality of the
The towns mainly Spanish Town and
Kingston but for a short while at the end

of the era Falmouth, too, were the urban
centres. Savannah La Mar, Black River
Port Antonio and others were of some
importance. Spanish Town, the seat of
the legislature and residence of the Gover-
nor, was the centre of the beau monde
such as it was in the island. Kingston was
a commercial centre and port of entry and
Falmouth similarly but more for export.
Both Falmouth and Spanish Town had
architecturally a somewhat more unified
appearance than Kingston. Although
Kingston's heart the streets running
radially out from the parade was well
planned, but parsimony on the part of the
Assembly and neglect on the part of the
merchants made the streets in any rain -
as they still do a veritable hazard to life
and limb. Kingston boasted a theatre, the
Theatre Royal where the Ward stands
now and towards the end of the century
the New York papers were wont to adver-
tise plays as 'straight from a success in
Kingston, Jamaica' and persuade their
prospective customers to buy the tickets

as fast as they could sell. But few houses
could match the elegance of Spanish
Town and Falmouth.
But for all that the estates were the
centres of the real life of the island. And
whether it was in the slave plots where
agriculture was taught as it is practiced
today or whether it was during planter
visits which usually lasted a week and
often more, the estates were more import-
ant than the towns.
Besides the skills of the building and
furnishing, the obvious daily activity or the
estate was the training ground and pattern
setter for Jamaican habits. Masses of
servants doing each relatively little have
instilled, I suspect, the same mentality in
our labour organizations employer and
employee alike of today a lot of
people doing little. Crop and dead season
were the only divisions of the year that
had meaning. In crop time the work day
was long often 18 hours. In dead
season there was idleness.
But learning and refinement were hard
to find. The owner, more often than not,
was an absentee either buying influence,
title and parliamentary seat in England or
on another estate or in one of the towns
But most prevalent was the absentee in
England. The estate was run by an attor-
ney; his social status was inferior, his
main desire was to cheat his employer
quickly enough to buy an estate of his
own and thus his interest rarely co-
incided with the best interest of the estate.
His subordinates were men of dubious
origins or at least very little culture. The
book-keeper, and the other white men
required by law to counterbalance the
vast mass of black slaves, ate, drank -a
great deal and propagated the species.
Reading was hardly a known skill (and is
still not a very favourite occupation in
Jamaica). There was the surgeon's visit or
if the estate was very large there might
even be a resident one. The rector of the
Parish Church usually had a curate, a
locum teneus but neither were men of
God and more often were they planters

Kellits Estate Hospital, Clarendon W.I.R.L.

- -


too, in a smaller way.
The house slaves lived a double life.
Fawning when dealing with white men
(there were naturally exceptions of true
devotion and a nanny gave away Tacky's
rebellion because she could not bear the
thought of her 'baby' naturally white -
being slaughtered together with all the
other whites. But these were the excep-
tions.) And hating the white man in the
slave quarters was the rule because one
rarely loves the whip that was only too
often used by even gentle white ladies
(whose accent or manners hardly differ-
entiated them from their slaves) and thus
the anancy mentality has become deeply
rooted in the social mores of most Jamai-
cans. Say yes, do no if you can get
away with it.
The care of the sick in the slave
hospitals was the same care as any good
farmer bestows on his live-stock. And
when the farmer, read planter, was bad
the treatment was bad, too.
The houses were large but lacked pri-
vacy. The master's business was known
to all and reading contemporary records
it amazes one to think how few precau-
tions the planters took when discussing
their business. Only arrogance can ex-
plain the treatment of a slave as a thing
that cannot understand or evaluate the
sayings of the so-called sentient master.
Many rebellions must have been helped
by information gleaned from conversa-
tions between planters. But what seems
more odd to me: the proverbial British
reserve was very little in evidence. Neither
Kenilworth Sugar Works, Hanover J.I.S.
*"t &

Bellvue, Red Hills,
St. Andrew -

Photo Gleaner.

the sex-life nor the tempers of the masters
were restrained, and the most common
topics of conversation were the man-
oeuvres employed by wily mothers to
bring their daughters into the right set
and of the vicissitude of the men ensnared
by one beauty to the detriment of an-
other. Things have not changed so much!
Perhaps the one way .direction man
white, woman coloured, has.
But the beliefs of the slaves were the
beliefs of the whites as well. And in fact
Bellvue Interior W.I.R.L.

what was religion to the slaves became
magic and superstition to the whites. The
obeahman was in demand-and for very
different reasons by black and white
What can we learn from the Georgian
age in Jamaica? What can we pass on and
what must we keep?
The last is the easiest: the houses, the
furniture and all the appurtenances of
every day living should and often have
been preserved. We must make the col-
lection more systematic and use the taste
of that age to revive the taste of what
little there is of today.
It is much more difficult to summarise
the lesson of the age to ourselves and to
our successor generation.
Self-awareness is the most important.
We, black and white and brown, were not
so perfect in the past. Some the slave-
owners sinned more consciously, in-
stilled values more cynically, destroyed
more ruthlessly . but the slaves as
victims always have to developed their

own vices and perpetrated them. It is no
good hiding from onds past. No whiteman
should be treated as if he were still wield-
ing a whip and the power of life and death.
Both by not hating him, we should show
our emancipation and by not treating him
with reverance for the superior being that
he is not. AND we must cease to speak of
THEM the blacks, the inferiors. They
created our culture even the white or
European component would never have
remained, had it not been for them. So let's
wipe out the term: THEM. Culture is
fusion and in fusion we can look for har-
mony and unity of purpose. And if we
are to progress in that direction of har-
mony and unity, we must give all their
due and detract from no one, not even
from ourselves. For we have something
to offer: a blue-print for cultural fusion,
the seeds for racial harmony and tho
ability to do the unexpected.

Pattern and Meaning




by Mervyn Morris

All five of John Hearne's novels so far are the carefully worked creations of a very
conscious artist. Each argues by its structure that it is part of the novelist's craft to give
shape to the experience he explores. Like Barrie Davies2 (who, however, has very
1. Based on an introduction damaging reservations)3, I believe Land of the Living to be Hearne's best novel so far.
Voices Under the Window But in a recent, very severe, article Frank Birbalsingh judges that "the one 'non-escapist'
which is to be republished novel, Voices Under the Window, is the only thoroughly satisfactory feature of Mr.
in the Hearne's entire work. "4 -Such an opinion should be congenial to those who give priority
Heinemann Caribbean attention to the social and political usefulness of fiction. For although Land of the Living
Writers Series under the (1961) includes a sympathetic study of a messianic black leader, Voices Under the Window
neralessor John Figueroa. (1955) is the only Hearne novel of which the main thrust might promote political commit-
ment to the black masses.
2.In The Islands in Between Yet even in Voices, which is Hearne's first book, there is very clear evidence of an
(ed. Louis James) p. 117. artist building that order in variety which can give aesthetic pleasure. And as the structure
3."Is a cosy adjustment controls the meanings of a work, we may find that in examining "the thing made" we get
into middle-class domestic closer to what is being "said".
life any answer to the
challenge posed by the "What he was aware of now was the pattern behind these painful, unimportant
life and death ofHenneky?" things. He could see the pattern he had made and for a minute he could almost tie
The Islands in Between it to the things he was now on the bed. For a little while, lying there, he almost had
p. 120. it. Then the secret thread that would have led him through to what had happened
4. Caribbean Quarterly was gone, and he knew he would never find it again. That he would only see ihe
Volume 16 Number 1 pattern: the way it had been and the things he had done . ." (pp. 63-4)5.
March 1970, p. 37.
Mr. Birbalsingh's article, Pattern is very evident in Voices Under the Window. The lawyer Lattimer, who is
'Escapism' in ,ne Novels mulatto but by family, wealth and training effectively white, is in the company of his
of John Hea,ne", black mistress and his Indian friend. They are all of therh concerned about the hardship
is premissed on the
inaccurate observation of the black masses and committed to social change. Instinctively Mark has rescued a
(p. 29) little black boy whom the crowd seemed about to trample; and, as the child is deposited
that "The main theme of safe, Mark is struck down by a man, mulatto like.himself, whose occupation means he is
Mr. Hearne's five novels effectively black. The man specifically places Mark as "white". Mark and his friends are
is race and colour helped by a black woman of the masses who takes the group of them up to her room.
consciousness. From near the beginning of the book until near the end, the basic action takes place in
that small room. By means of flashbacks we are made to know the life and mind of
5. Voices Under the Window Lattimer, the important episodes in his experience which have, ultimately, brought him to
(Faber & Faber, 1955). this place. Framing the central action is the fact that Lattimer goes to the room on the
All page references are humane invitation of a poor black woman, a member of the rioting class; and leaves in
to this edition. the charge of a Superintendent and policemen, establishment figures whose job it has
been to quell the disturbance. The frame invites us to wonder: to which side does
Lattimer really belong?
While aware of questions of class, colour and commitment inherent in the initial
action of his novel, Hearne uses as his main structural principle another element also
present: Lattim er is dying. The attacker "with ... eyeballs as red as coals" chops Mark with
the "motion of a man who has cut bananas on a plantation or has killed the beef cattle as
they came plunging and terrified out of the slip-gate on the cattle-pens." (18) One of
Mark's final memories is of killing a.boar in a hunt: "He had... bent down and slipped
the point of the machete under the huge slab-like head into the soft throat and the tiny
unafraid, hating eyes had never left him... (159) The reader associates the two passages,
which form another frame around the centre of the novel. Mark dies remembering the
boar: "The blood had welled out around the blade and spurted on to his clothes and on
to the damp, sweet-smelling earth of the valley." (159) The first words of the section
which follows, immediately, transfer to the boar as well although they are specifically
about Mark's death: "He haemorrhaged," Doctor Rennie told them. (160).

The titles of the novel's four main Parts "The Wound", "Warriors' Chorus",
"Echoes" and "The Death" are meaningfully chosen. "The Wound", for example, is,
not just Mark Lattimer's physical wound (recalled in the wound of the bird the young
Mark shot, which was "still warm and nervous with blood although it was quite dead"):
it is also the young Mark's psychic wound when he is told he is not white, and it is Mark's
abandonment of Margaret to avoid "the death sentence" of involving himself too much.
Part One which began with a wound Mark receives ends with one he inflicts. The warriors
of Part Two are various. The trio in the room hear "the crowd below ... go suddenly into
madness ... ", they hear "a huge-voiced man somewhere at the head of the mob scream-
ing, 'Kill dem! Kill dem! Killdem!' "(61-2) To the men formally engaged in war nobody
in this novel shouts like that, but those words are the cry of battle. (The connection
between the two kinds of warrior is made most explicit in Part Four (120) when Mark
tells Ted: "A riot is just a very nasty sort of war. ") The politician is engaged not only in
a war against opponents but also in a war against self: "to do the work faithfully you
have to kill a little of yourself every day, till it's only the work and your faith left." (60)
In each succeeding Part Mark Lattimer is brought nearer death, while the flashbacks
expand our sense of his total development; but there is also an intricate interweaving of
correspondences knitting the'novel into a subtler whole than the simple narrative pro-
gression. In Part Two, for example, a long section is devoted to David Lumsden's death
and reactions to it. The section recalls an episode in Part One, when on a training run in
Canada, a plane behind Mark's had disintegrated. On that occasion "the whole thing had
seemed unconnected with the real life of eating and drinking and walking around together.
Any minute he expected to see the men who had died in the explosion alive and talking."
(48) In Part Two when his close friend David Lumsden has died Mark responds more
strongly but with a similar unwillingness to believe. David's death is counterpointed also
by Mark's lucky escape recalled in Part Three.(98-101) The damage to Calvert (70)
reminds us in its rawness of Mark's vivid wound (21) and will be remembered when we
read the detail of the boar (159). Hale's scar ("That was a long time ago, in another war")
is another reminder of the physical cost of war. Mark, too, has his scars (98) from his
"lucky break". In Mark's memory of missing David we focus on the grief of those who
survive; so that Brysie and Ted, who are waiting while Mark dies, are close to mind in a
section where they do not actually appear. The chess game is an image of war, and Tiny
who "as usual had been too timid in opening, keeping everything well back and en-
trenched" brings to mind the emotional timidities of Mark himself. Out of a shared
embarrassment in the face of tragedy Hales moves into discussing with Mark the generation
gap which usually separates them. The fact of war has led to an examination of purposes
and attitudes, an opportunity for significant comment on the unfolding character of Mark:
"private ambitions," says Hales, "in the way of love for instance, are never pure and
unattached with you. Love for your generation is only interesting and important if it takes
place inside a much wider frame than two people can make. "(85) "Your world seems to
ask all the right questions about people and give all the wrong answers about individuals."
Part Three, "Echoes", continues this development. Mark accuses himself of being
an empty politician who has begun to tell himself "These are only the people. Not a
number of distinct, suffering souls, but the people "(89), echoing almost at once the charge
against himself which Hales had made against his generation. Importantly he goes on to
make the link between his political and his personal failures. "You're a great fixer, all
right. Look at how you fixed everybody you ever touched; fixed them good." (89)
Determined not to hurt Brysie, Mark reflects that "Somewhere or other a man had to put
up a decent show. (89) We move into an account of a man who did put up a decent
show, against which Mark measures his own inadequacy. His father, dying from cancer,
thin, weak and helpless, at the end "stank worse than anything you had ever imagined"
(92) but "All this had been unable to break the old man." Mark is not so strong. "His
death was back in the room; stinking and oppressive; and he had begun to be afraid of it
again. "(94) To Mark's memories Brysie adds a reinforcing account of his father's kindness
to her when as a girl she went to see him about her eyes. The scar on Mark's left leg re-
minds us of Hales' scar and also pulls us back to David's death and the death of colleagues
in training, for it was acquired on the occasion when he was very nearly killed. Shot in
an air battle he "had been quite sure he was going to die... Oh, God, I don't want to
die. He had kept saying that the whole way back, quite sure he was going to die, and
terrified." (101) The episode has a strong ironic point, as the reader knows by now that
Mark will not survive this time. The language echoes the earlier crisis: "Oh God, I wish I
could stop leaking blood. I wish I could stop being afraid." (102) Maudlin at the ap-
proach of death, and conscious of Brysie's devotion, Mark tells Ted, "Don't ever forget ..
to be astonished when somebody is kind to you and somebody loves you. "(103-4) Moira's
kindness and Mark's betrayal of Margaret are strongly recalled. The sadness of politics,
Mark considers, is that "you get tied up in the procedure and think up reasons why you
should have kindness and love." (104) The connection is made again between the
personal and the political. A Communist girl at a London party had spread her arms in a
crucifix and shouted "I want to die for the people: Oh God, let me die for the wonderful,
wonderful people" and then passed out drunk. The anecdote makes us wonder whether
Mark's commitment has not been similarly unreal. He tells Brysie that "you've got to do
it alone . Anything that means a damn thing." Like dying, is the invited addition,
reinforcing the theme of death. The memory of David and Mark helping an old Negro
man in California relates to the colour-concern of the novel but is more closely linked

6. Jamaica Journal
Volume 3 Number 1
March 1969, p. 36.

7. Jamaica Journal
Volume 3 Number 1
March 1969, p. 37.

8. Jamaica Journal
Volume 2 Number 4
December 1968, p. 25.

with the death of Mark's father. Mark's father near the end "wasn't weighing more than
eighty or ninety pounds" (92), the old Negro whom David and Mark carry "had felt no
heavier than a half-empty kit-bag. (108) The man is determined to reach Texas to see
his sick daughter; the relationship echoes Mark's with his father.
In "The Death" (Part Four) the rifle shots are heard more insistently as the end
draws near. Mark reminds Brysie and Ted of the continuity of the struggle for social
change. "You're in the middle of a fight that started long before any of us were born,"
he tells them, "and will be going on long after we're dead." More clumsily than he had
intended, he lets Brysie know that his death is imminent. His self-reproach embraces in a
single analysis his love relationships, his political life and his fear of death;thus drawing
together three of the main concerns of the novel. "You've bitched up and spoilt the
people you wanted to love most, because always you were afraid of something. Afraid of
what? This time it was dying. And the other times? I don't know. Having to care about
them maybe. Having to love them so the consequences didn't matter. I was afraid of
that. of having to give too much. Maybe that's it. And maybe it's the same thing as
being afraid of dying. "(122) He remembers his married life with Jean, one of the people
he had wanted to love. Among their friends had been Hancko and Bebler from
Czechoslovakia. Hancko is an extreme version of political commitment, "rather wonder-
ful, terrifying and not quite human" (129), contrasting not only with Mark but also with
G.K. and Ted who are closer to Mark's ideal. But it is Hancko, apparently, who has made
Mark consider political service. When Mark fights with the sailors his identification with
the word "nigger" seems to follow from Hancko's probing of his racial and political
commitments; though in identifying in this way he seems also to be searching for meaning
after failing again in an important personal relationship. After two happy years his
marriage to Jean has collapsed. "The Death" is not only the physical death of Mark but
also the death of his marriage and the death of his relationship with Brysie and with Ted.
The account of his affair with Brysie is placed very near the end of the book, leaving the
suggestion of possibilities not fulfilled (though we remember that in the early stages
Mark's relationships with Margaret and with Jean had seemed similarly promising). On
the way to the hospital Mark shows his concern for the people who rioted but his thoughts
remind us that he and Crawford are of the same class, to which Brysie is still an outsider.
The impression is reinforced by Brysie's tactful departure before the arrival of Mark's
mother, and by Doctor Rennie's apparent surprise that Brysie's grief seems genuine:
"She must have been properly in love with him, eh?" (162)
One critical advantage of looking closely at the structure of a novel is that attention
is necessarily focused on the actual work; so that the reader is encouraged to return to
the text instead of replacing it with the more impressive ideas of the free-wheeling critic.
To examine with disappointment two passages from Sylvia Wynter's massively
intelligent article on West Indian Writing and Criticism (Jamaica Journal, Volume 2
Number 4 December 1968 and Volume 3 Number 1 March 1969) is not to deny the
cogency of her comments on many writers and critics or to seem ungrateful for so
important a contribution to the discussion of West Indian literature.
"In Voices Under the Window," Miss Wynter writes, "the changer of the system,
Mark Lattimer, is doomed; and the author dooms him, by an accident of Fate, a
casual machete stroke rather than by the logic of his circumstance. '6
"Lattimer," Miss Wynter writes, "commits himself without ever having really felt
what Jose Marti termed the 'slap on his own face' that'the poor feel every day, the
total sense of outsidership.
"And it is here perhaps that Hearne confuses the issue. For, if he had shown us that
the political commitment of his hero was as much an upper-middle class privilege,
as much a product of the social and political arrangement of his society as was his
colour of skin, quality of hair, of education, of feeling, of conscience; if he had
shown us that in taking over the running of the system Lattimer was merely coming
into an inheritance, and that in chanting the slogans and seeking the destiny of the
poor he was in fact fulfilling nothing but his own private destiny, easing nothing
but the private property of his conscience, then his death, at the hand of an unknown
murderer, would not have been by accident; but the result of a terrible logic. For
then the unknown murderer would have been seen also as a logical product of the
same system; a man who kills aimlessly in an aimless existence which is his lot of
inheritance. But Hearne draws back from such a conclusion. It would have made
Lattimer's murderer as important as Lattimer himself It would have shown both
as the result of the same historical process, a process in which Lattimer had an
ineluctable appointment with his murderer; an appointment decreed not by Fate,
not even by History, but by Man's unjust arrangement of his society. "7
These passages suggest some of the pitfalls of a critical procedure which is impatient
of particulars. Even if one "cannot pretend to objectivity nor impartiality", evenif one
cannot "pretend to function purely as a critic", it must remain important to try for
fairness and accuracy.
To suggest that Hearne should have focused more on the unknown murderer is to
ask for a different novel altogether: for the controlling consciousness in Voices (as we
have it) is MarK's. Granted the personal and social limitations the novel establishes as
Mark's, he goes far toward understanding his anonymous attacker and the possible larger
significance of the attack. The novel is at pains to establish that the machete stroke is

more than "anaccident of Fate"; and is not far from showing it as "the result of a terrible
logic". The central paradox of Voices is that Mark Lattimer is struck down by the side he
thinks he has picked: but the more subtle irony is that his commitment is incomplete.
"The people out mere uren 't part of me... They knew it, the people out there; the people
I've tried to love. They smelt out the failure, and the fear; that's why they chopped me."
(113-4) As a near-white man in a colour-divided society Mark knows that he fears blacks
even while loving his black mistress, and he recognizes that fear and hatred of Mark's col-
our is one likely motive of the attacker: "I'm just the sort of fair, almost white, that chap
has wanted to kill all his life. He's hated me and been afraid of me more than anything.
lust as I've hated him and been afraid of him and his colour more than anything else. (27)
The novel establishes that, while working for the cause of the black masses, Mark has main-
tained his contact with privileged near-whites and still enjoys the security of his class.
"Mark nodded and looked pleased when he saw Crawford. They had been to the same
school, and they belonged, now, to the same cricket club. Crawford did not approve of
Mark's politics and he would not have had Brysie in his home, but it's good, thought Mark,
to see a face you know." (150) While it would be misleading to say that Lattimer's
political commitment is "an upper-class privilege" (there are in this novel political
workers who are not upper-middle class), the fact is that as presented Mark has both the
political commitment to the masses and an at least vestigial commitment to his upper-
middle class social heritage. Perhaps the main reason why Hearne does not show us that
"in taking over the running of the system Lattimer was merely coming into an inheritance,
and that in chanting the slogans and seeking the destiny of the poor he was in fact fulfilling
nothing but his own private destiny, easing nothing but the private property of his
conscience" (the bold letters are mine) is that Hearne chooses to do something more
complex and possibly more interesting. Lattimer's ambivalence is actually one of the
novel's most central concerns. It would seem from her analysis that Miss Wynter is
demanding a novel primarily about "Man's unjust arrangement of his society"; Hearne's
basic fault is that, although weighing the narrative against social and economic injustice,
he has chosen to concentrate on the individual experience of the one character in
his ultimate moments of crisis. Miss Wynter's critical reaction does not allow the artist
even that much freedom of choice. She tells him what to write about.
The brown-man Lattimer is caught between the worlds of black and white. When
as a boy he had assumed that he was white the keen colour-sense of the family's black
servants firmly disabused him. Although people like the Czechoslav Hancko make- it clear
that whiteness is what Mark has chosen, Lattimer is aware of not being entirely acceptable
as white. Sometimes in England "race ... was a distinction but no difference" (76-7) but
back in Jamaica it seems to matter more. "The black people bellowing at me to get off
their necks, and the whites, too, screaming nervously, not so often, more refined, when-
ever I came nearer than a certain limit. (28) After that childhood incident with the
family servants Mark never entirely forgets that he is part black. But he knows that, in
the Jamaican context, he is not black; and that being not-black carries with it not only
certain privileges but also certain burdens. In time of crisis the blacks regard him as alien,
they reject any advance he might make. (17) And Mark himself sadly acknowledges that
in their particular judgement of him the blacks are right: "The people out there aren't
part of me .. They knew it, the people out there; the people I've tried to love. They
smelt out the failure and the fear." (114)
He has failures and fears also in personal relationships. As he puts it himself:
"You've bitched up and spoilt the people you wanted to love most, because always you
were afraid of something." (122) His sexual relationships seem to disintegrate as soon as
they make inconvenient demands on his loyalty. The whore Moira is "eager, intricate and
giving"; he accepts her affection more reluctantly than he accepts her body. (79) His
encounters with the French student Christine and with a red-haired lecturer seem to have
been brief, although he thought he had fallen in love with Christine. To avoid "the death
sentence of involving himself too much (53) he abandons Margaret whom he had loved
while training in Canada. Unfaithful to his wife Jean, he loses her after "the best two
years he had ever had." (131) No wonder, then, that with Brysie he is so "afraid of
making one, irretrievable mistake." (144) Although he says'that "what he had with
Brysie he knew he was going to keep" (148), death ends that particular relationship before
it is tested. The seeds of difficulty are certainly there. The black Brysie is only Mark's
mistress; that there is no reference to the possibility she might ever become his wife
suggests a firm limitation on her status. In spite of his pro-black politics, the near-white
Mark moves also in near-white social circles in which Brysie could be a problem -
Crawford, as we have seen, would not have had her in his home. She had met Mark's
father once, but "not socially" (94). Mark reflects that Brysie was "the first and only
time" he "might have done something really well" (141). But on the evidence this seems
less than likely.
Mark is afraid of involvement, afraid of the total commitment. He lacks that inner
certainty which his friend Ted seems likely to acquire and which G.K., the Party Leader,
has: that "power of engaging himself completely with the people so that they know it
and trust it." (118) His failures as a politician are intimately linked with his particular
failures as a human being.
Against a background of social unrest and colour-conflict, Voices explores such
themes as commitment (to persons and to causes), the nature of political talent, responses
to the fact of death. But the novel's central preoccupation is personal inadequacy.

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