April 9, 2015

1517 BARBADOS - The beach where landed the first settlers


The first English ship arrived in Barbados, where is now the Holetown, on the sheltered west coast of the island, on May 14th 1625, after what appears to have been a fortuitous accident. Captain John Powell and the crew of Olive Blossom were sailing from Brazil to England and went off course, due to a navigational error. Powell found the island to be uninhabited and claimed it in the name of King James I of England. On his return to England informed his employer, Sir William Courteen (a Dutch-born English merchant trader), what it happened. Immediately Courteen sent Powell back to occupy Barbados and establish a settlement. However, Powell never made it, as en route to Barbados he captured a Spanish ship and needed to return it to England.

Courteen financed a second voyage, complete with a band of 80 settlers. This time Henry Powell, John's brother, captained this ship the William and John. Despite another skirmish on the way, where Powell captured ten slaves, the expedition sailed forth and they landed in Barbados on February 17th, 1627.  Once on land, Powell unfurled the royal standard to show that Barbados was in English possession and called the area of settlement Jamestown. These first English settlers cleared the land around them and built simple houses. A monument erected in 1905 to commemorate this first landing on the island erroneously records the date as 1605. Since 1977, the town has also celebrated the Barbados Holetown Festival to commemorate this landing.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series The Gardens of Barbados, released on December 18, 2014:
• Gardenia Gardens (0,10 BBD)
• Hunte’s Gardens (0,65 BBD)
• Glendale Gardens (1,80 BBD)
• Eusteen’s Garden (2,20 BBD) - It's on the postcard

References
Holetown - Wikipedia
1625-1627, The Early Beginnings of English Settlement in Barbados - Totally Barbados

Sender: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Bridgetown (Barbados), on 20.03.2015
Photo: Randall Banfield

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