Am I british subject?
If you were born in 1959 before Jamaica got independence, would you be a British subject?
by Wellesley October 12, 2010
Great question! I've done a bit a research for you and it looks like the answer is No (technically), but still Yes. Why? Continue reading...
First, for the benefit of everyone else, there is a distinction between a British citizen and a British subject.
I learned that 'prior to 1949, every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the British Crown (and no other) was a British subject under common law.
This meant that to be a British subject, one simply had to be born in any territory (like Jamaica was) under the sovereignty of the British Crown'.
The only exception at common law was that the children of foreign ambassadors took the nationality of their fathers, who were immune from local jurisdiction and duties of allegiance.
However, from 1 January 1949, when the British Nationality Act 1948 came into force, every person who was a British subject by virtue of a connection with the United Kingdom or one of her crown colonies (i.e. not the Dominions) became a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies
However, UK & Colonies citizens, in common with citizens of other Commonwealth countries, also retained the status of British subject
. The status of British subject was also known by the term Commonwealth citizen
. Of course, you and I know that Jamaica became independent in 1962.
So technically if the person was born in 1959, it looks like the person would be (correctly) called a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies
, but as was said above, many colony retained the term 'British Subject'.
Note that after 1 January 1983, upon the coming into force of the British Nationality Act 1981, every Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies became either a British Citizen, British Dependent Territories Citizen or British Overseas Citizen.
Here's the full article
with all the details.
I hope that helps!Stay in touch
.Back to history of Jamaica
Related PagesJamaica's Colonial HistoryHistorical Sites In JamaicaJamaican CultureOur Jamaica BlogAnd even more...Search Here
About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.
To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.
efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications,
including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers,
as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies
and universities. Read more about him here.
He invites you to join his friends list and stay updated on all the latest. You are also invited to join his exclusive patron community.