Jamaica

Gaelic

JM01
First Campbell on Jamaica 

JM02
Scots and Plantations

JM03
Wedderburn

 

JM04
Mary Seacole

JM05
Geoff Palmer

 

The Caribbean island of Jamaica was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1494 and subsequently colonised by Spain, but during a war with the short-lived Commonwealth of England, the island was lost in 1655. Oliver Cromwell had despatched a force to the Caribbean to wrest Hispaniola from the Spanish, but after their attack failed the army diverted to Jamaica and successfully held on to their bridgehead. The Spanish were ousted and the efforts to exploit the island's potential began. As a trade-post and sugar producer, Jamaica was a hugely valuable possession, but the labour demands of the sugar fields brought the spectre of slavery. The first Scots to arrive in large numbers on Jamaica were, in fact, prisoners of war transported by Cromwell to create a free labour force for his new outpost - prisoners taken after the Battle of Dunbar in East Lothian (1650). Around 1,200 were sent there soon after the island's capture.

More Scots arrived at the end of the seventeenth century after the failure of their own imperial gamble, the Darien Scheme. The colonial expedition in Panama quickly turned to disaster in the face of disease, starvation, and Spanish hostility, but although one ship full of survivors was refused entry into English Jamaica, one John Campbell successfully landed. He lived on the island until 1740, and as a result of the large family he established there it is believed Jamaica now has more Campbells per acre than Scotland! The failure of the Darien Scheme crippled Scotland's finances and helped pave the road to Union in 1707, an event which opened the opportunities of an emerging empire to enterprising Scots. Perhaps forgetting the experiences of their imprisoned compatriots in the 1650s, many Scots took on leading roles in the slave trade. By 1800 it is thought as many as 10,000 Scots were based on the island, leaving behind them not only their descendants but also their surnames. Jamaica still has many settlements with Scottish names, such as Culloden, Inverness, Clydesdale, Elgin Town and Perth Town.


Iameuca


Thadhail
Crìsdean Columbus air eilean Iameuca sa Charaibìan ann an 1494 agus às dèidh sin choloinich e an Spàinn, ach aig àm cogaidh le Co-fhlaitheis Shasainn nach do mhair fada, chaidh an t-eilean a chall ann an 1655. Bha Oliver Cromwell air feachd a chur air falbh don Charaibìan gus Hispaniola a thoirt air falbh bho na Spàinnich, ach às dèidh don ionnsaigh aca fàilligeadh chaidh an t-arm a chur gu Iameuca agus bha iad soirbheachail air an eilean a ghleidheadh. Chaidh na Spàinnich a ruagadh agus thòisich na h-oidhirpean air cothrom a ghabhail air comasan an eilein. Mar àite-malairt agus toraiche siùcair, bha Iameuca anabarrach luachmhor ach bha iarrtasan na h-obrach anns na h-achaidhean siùcair a’ nochdadh seallaidhean de thràillealachd. B’ e prìosanaich cogaidh a’ chiad Albannaich a nochd ann an àireamhan mòra ann an Iameuca, air an gluasad an sin le Cromwell gus feachd saothrach an-asgaidh a chruthachadh airson an àite-malairt ùr aige prìosanaich a thugadh am bruid às dèidh Blàr Dhùn Bharra ann an Lodainn an Ear (1650). Bha mu 1,200 air an gluasad an sin gu math aithghearr às dèidh don eilean a bhith air a thoirt fo smachd.

Thàinig barrachd Albannaich aig deireadh na seachdamh linn deug an dèidh don cheàrrachas ìmpireach aca fhèin, Sgeama Darien, fàilligeadh. Thionndaidh an turas coloiniach ann am Panama gu luath gu calldachd air sgàth galair, gort agus nàimhdeas nan Spàinneach, ach ged a chaidh aon soitheach làn luchd-soirbheachaidh a dhiùltadh faighinn a-steach do Iameuca Sasannach, bha aon neach, Iain Caimbeul, soirbheachail ann am faighinn air tìr. Dh’fhuirich e air an eilean gu 1740, agus mar thoradh air an teaghlach mhòr a stèidhich e an sin, thathar a’ creidsinn gu bheil barrachd Chaimbeulaich gach acair ann an Iameuca na tha ann an Alba!  Sgrios fàilligeadh na Sgeama Darien ionmhas na h-Alba agus chuidich sin air an t-slighe gu an Aonadh ann an 1707, tachartas a dh’fhosgail cothroman ann an ìmpireachd a bha a’ tighinn am bàrr do dh’Albannaich a bha iomairteach. Le bhith ’s dòcha a’ dìochuimnhneachadh na chaidh an co-dhùthchaich troimhe sa phrìosan anns na 1650s, ghabh mòran Albannaich orra dreuchdan stiùiridh ann am malairt nan tràillean. Ann an 1800, thathar den bheachd gun robh uimhir ri 10,000 Albannach stèidhichte air an eilean, a’ fàgail air an cùlaibh cha b’ e a-mhàin an sliochd ach cuideachd an sloinnidhean. Tha mòran thuineachaidhean fhathast ann an Iameuca le ainmean Albannach leithid Cùil Lodair, Inbhir Nis, Dail Chluaidh, Baile Eilginn agus Baile Pheairt.