with all that's new at My-Island-Jamaica, Click Here to subscribe
for my updates and don't miss a thing!
Alarming Facts On The History Of Port Royal Jamaica
Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.
New! For Authentic Jamaican products, from my very own hands, visit my Etsy store here.
Did you know that Port Royal Jamaica had the reputation as both the richest and
wickedest city in the world? Yes it was!
This was during the 17th century when it
was the considered the center of shipping commerce in Jamaica.
Watch! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS
Click Here to watch my latest videos on my fun YouTube channel - you'll love it!
Built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica, it was notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals, and was a popular place for pirates and privateers to bring, and spend, their treasure.
Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal, coming from
waters as far away as Madagascar on the far side of Africa.
During the 17th century, the British actively encouraged, and even paid, buccaneers based at Port Royal to attack Spanish and French shipping.
Here is a map interpretation of Port Royal by Shaun Brown - as it was before the earthquake.
However, in the midst of 'Babylon', an earthquake and tsunami
struck at 11:43 a.m, on June 7, 1692, largely destroying Port Royal. The destruction reportedly killed over 2000 persons!
It was unimaginable! According to History.com, 'corpses from the cemetery floated in the harbor alongside recent victims of the disaster' at Port Royal Jamaica.
That disaster, described by the clergy as God's punishment for Port Royal's excess, piracy, smuggling and debauchery, caused over two-thirds of the city to sink into the Caribbean Sea, such that
today it is covered by a minimum of 25 ft (8 m) of water.
A Survivor's Story
In an exclusive story by the BBC, Nick Davis, featured a letter, reportedly written by one of the survivors of the massive destruction.
"On Tuesday the 7th of June 1692, betwixt eleven and twelve at noon, I
being at a tavern, we felt the house shake and saw the bricks begin to
rise in the floor, and at the same instant, heard one in the street cry,
Immediately we ran out of the house, where we saw all
people with lifted-up hands, begging God's assistance.
running up the street, whilst on either side of us, we saw the houses
some swallowed up, others thrown on heaps; the sand in the street rise
like the waves of the sea, lifting up all persons that stood upon it,
and immediately dropping down into pits; and at the same instant, a
flood of water breaking in and rolling those poor souls over and over;
some catching hold of beams and rafters in houses; others were found in
the sand, that appeared when the water was drained away, with their legs
and arms out, we beholding this dismal sight." Source
After that disaster, Port Royal's commercial role was taken over by the city of Kingston.
An Archealogists' Gold Mine
Known today to 16th–18th century focused archaeologists as the "City that Sank", it is considered the most important underwater
archaeological site in the western hemisphere; yielding
16th –17th-century artifacts by the ton and many important treasures from
indigenous peoples, predating the 1588 founding from as far away as
17th and early 18th century pirate ships are sunk within the harbor and
are being carefully harvested under controlled conditions by different
teams of archaeologists.
Other "digs" are staked out along various quarters and streets by different teams.
Today, this famous place in Jamaica has inspired several movies, books, other place names and even beers!
According to a report on the BBC, Robert Grenier, a Canadian marine archaeologist who worked
closely with UNESCO, considers Port Royal to be one of the most important underwater sites in the world!
development in progress will redevelop the small resultant fishing town
into a flourishing tourist destination, serviced by cruise ships with the archaeological findings the heart of the attractions.
The attraction will also include a combination underwater museum, aquarium and restaurant with underwater dioramas and the ability to see the native tropical sea life.
For further information on Port Royal, be sure to visit this wikipedia page.
Back To Top Of Port Royal Jamaica
- "Earthquake destroys Jamaican pirate haven", History.com, Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/earthquake-destroys-jamaican-pirate-haven on July 26, 2019
- National Museum Of Jamaica, Retreived from https://museums-ioj.org.jm/?p=309 on July 26, 2019
- "Jamaica's 'wickedest city' Port Royal banks on heritage", BBC.com, Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18601357 on July 26, 2019
- "1692:Earthquake of Port Royal", Jamaica Gleaner, Retrieved from http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/history/story001.html on July 26, 2019
- "Port Royal", Wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Royal, Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Royal on July 26, 2019
Must-Read Pages Related To Port Royal Jamaica
And if you haven't done so, make sure you subscribe to my free monthly e-zine My Island Jamaica Digest (MIJD) and stay with the latest from Jamaica!
Return to Famous Places in Jamaica from Port Royal Jamaica
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Port Royal Jamaica
Sharing IS Caring... Its now YOUR turn to...
If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, My Island Jamaica Digest here.
Back To The Top Of This Page
It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica!
New! Talk To Me
Was the information helpful? Something needs changing? I welcome your feedback here.
Recommended For You ...
Other Great Articles You Might Have Missed
Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)
Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? Still need help?
Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!
Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.
Back To The Top Of This Page
About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adore its 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 this site 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 subscribe to this site to stay updated on all the latest and check out his unique Jamaican products on his Etsy store.
If you are on social media, here are the links to follow his latest posts
You are also invited to join his exclusive JAMHearts community where like-minded Jamaican enthusiasts discuss all things Jamaican.