Barbados History Timeline

Barbados History Timeline

North America

According to commit4fitness, Barbados is an island nation in the archipelago of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is one of the world’s smallest but most densely populated countries. With its 430 km², the island state is smaller than Bornholm, but with a population density of almost 300,000, it has a population density that is more than 7 times as high.

The capital is called Bridgetown and is the largest city on the island.

Barbados is divided into 11 parishes: Christ Church, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint James, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Lucy, Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Philip, Saint Thomas.

Barbados is known for two pirates from the Caribbean – Sam Lord and Stede Bonnet. Both were equally unique in that Sam Lord never set foot on a ship – legend has it that Sam Lord hung lanterns on top of the trees near his castle to entice ships to believe they were near the capital and destroyed their ships on the reefs. He then plundered the ships! Stede Bonnet became a pirate in an unusual way. He bought his own ship (unheard of among pirates!) And paid his crew – and he had no sense of sailing, yet he managed to plunder several ships. One day he met Captain Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, and joined him on a raid. Their friendship changed to the opposite when Blackbeard took over Bonnet’s ship before he managed to get it back. This unusual captain was captured and hanged at the end of 1718.

Today, via Barbados, you can go sightseeing to the neighboring island of Dominica, where much of the feature film “Pirates of the Caribbean” was shot. You can also explore the many shipwrecks on the seabed off the coast, or sail a trip with the pirate ship Jolly Roger (see here ).


650-350 BCE – The island’s first residents are believed (fully documented) to be Saladoid -Barrancoid Indians from Venezuela.

800 – Arawak Indians arrive on the island.

1200 – Caribbean Indians of Venezuela conquer the island and expel the Arawak Indians from the island.

1500 – The Caribbean Indians disappear from the island.

1536 – The Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos or Pedro Campos discovers the island en route to Brazil. They docked where St. James parish was established. He named the island “Los Barbados”, which in Danish means “The Bearded”, possibly named after the island’s fig trees, whose long hanging aerial roots resemble beards.

1625 – British Captain John Powell lands on the uninhabited island on May 14, declaring it the property of England.

1627 – Captain Henry Powell (John’s brother) arrives on the uninhabited island with 80 settlers and 10 slaves (all stolen from a hijacked Portuguese ship), first establishing a colony called Jamestown, later Holetown, where tobacco and cotton plantations with white servants on contracts were to cultivate the crops; England imported black slaves from Africa, which were used until 1834, when slavery was banned.

1628 – By the end of the year, the population had reached 2,000 settlers.

1640 – The islanders discover the potential of sugar and the labor demands of the new plantations led them to start importing large quantities of African slaves. The first sugar plantation became an immediate economic success, but at the expense of the slaves who died within a few years after the hard work – but they were quickly replaced by new slaves.

1649 – The first failed slave revolt is the result of the African slaves who were tired of being overburdened and malnourished because they had to work from sunrise to sunset.

1663 – Barbados becomes a British crown property.

1672 – The second failed slave revolt was planned over three years and included the entire island. Unfortunately, a female slave named Fortuna came to tell about the rebellion to her white owner. The slaves were arrested, tortured and executed.

1692 – The third and greatest slave revolt fails. The slaves again tried to liberate themselves with a plan involving the whole island, in which hundreds of slaves were involved. By the time the dust had settled, up to 200 slaves had been arrested and over 90 executed after being convicted of rioting.

1701 – The slave uprising ends with an equally brutal reaction from the British as the previous uprisings.

Author David M. Robertson wrote about the condition of the African slaves in Barbados and the attitude of the white people who held them as slaves:

“The slave-generated wealth of Barbados came at an appalling cost in African lives. Throughout the seventeenth century, the island had one of the highest mortality rates for Blacks in the Western Hemisphere and, whether from disease, malnutrition, or torture, more died annually than were imported to work the great sugar plantations. Unlike their English contemporaries in Massachusetts, Barbadians seldom looked inward to their consciences, and so long as the supply of African slaves seemed illimitable, their economy appeared untroubled. ”

1780 – Hurricane San Calixto kills more than 4,000 islanders. Between 20-22,000 people died in the Lesser Antilles when the storm passed from 10-16. October. (Read here ).

1816 – Easter Sunday, April 14, the African slaves on the island decide once again to end their captivity. Under the leadership of Bussa, they organized the uprising that started from St. Philips and so on to Christ Church, St John, St Thomas, St George and parts of St Michael. Three days later, the uprising was defeated by the local militia (soldiers) and the imperial troops (British soldiers) stationed on the island. Military state of emergency was declared on Monday 15 April and ended on 12 July. (Read more here )

1833 – At the liberation of the slaves, the size of the slave population is about 83,000.

1835 – Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is established.

1854 – A cholera epidemic kills over 20,000 residents.

1876 – British proposals to merge Barbados and the Windward Islands trigger riots on the island.

1937 – Barbados Labor Party (BLP) is founded by Grantley Adams in response to riots and social unrest due to poor economic conditions.

1966 – The island gains independence from Britain.

1967 – Barbados joins the United Nations.

1976 – On October 6, Cubana Flight 455 was bombed shortly after taking off from Grantley Adams International Airport. All 73 passengers on board were killed.

2000 – Barbados is included in the list of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development – countries which are considered to be uncooperative tax havens. Two years later, the island was removed from the list.

2005 – Riots and fire in HM Glendary Prison on March 29 cause military personnel from the surrounding islands to come to the island and quell the uprising (lasted until the next day).

2011 – The historic Bridgetown and its garrison were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 25 June.

Barbados History Timeline