Free Villages in Jamaica

With full freedom from slavery and apprenticeship in 1838, there was the desire among some blacks for personal liberty and land of their own. This desire was heightened by the harsh treatment meted out to the ex-slaves by the planters. In many cases, the planters paid the slaves low wages and charged them high rental fees, which sometimes led to eviction from plantation dwellings. It was soon realised that freedom would have little meaning as long as planters controlled both the housing and labour of the ex-slaves. Free villages emerged as a solution to this problem.

Sturge Town - Sturge Town Baptist Church Parish: St. Ann Sturge Town, named after Joseph Sturge, the Quaker philanthropist who advocated for the end of the apprenticeship system, was established in 1839 by Reverend John Clark, a Baptist missionary. The property contained about
Sligoville - Sligoville Parish: St. Catherine In 1835 Rev. James Mursell Phillippo, a Baptist Minister and abolitionist, in anticipation of the abolition of the apprenticeship system, purchased land in the hills of St. Catherine. This land was then divided into lots for
Salem - Parish: Westmoreland Salem was born out of the need to relocate the Moravian congregation at New Hope in Westmoreland. The church building was but a small school-house which was in a state of disrepair. Added to this, new Hope had
Maidstone - Maidstone Parish: Manchester   Maidstone, under the direction of the Moravian missionaries was founded in 1840. An estate of a coffee plantation, called Maidstone, close to Nazareth in Manchester was purchased. The property comprised three hundred and forty-one acres and
Kettering - Kettering Parish: Trelawny   Kettering, in Duncans Trelawny, was named after the birthplace of the late Reverend William Knibb in Northampton, England. He came to Jamaica as a teacher of slaves in Kingston at a school established at East Queen
Granville - Granville Parish: Trelawny   Granville in Trelawny was originally 90 acres of land acquired by Reverend William Knibb, a Baptist minister. His purchase of the land for use as a free village was sanctioned by the Missionary Society of England.
Goodwill - Goodwill Parish: St.James   Goodwill, a Presbyterian village, was established after the abolition of slavery and in 1840 it was still in its infancy. It was settled on a small piece of fifteen acres, on the border of St James,
Clarksonville - Parish: St. Ann It was named by Rev. John Clark, Baptist minister stationed at Brown’s Town in St Ann in 1835, for Thomas Clarkson, an English advocate of the abolition of slavery. It was one of the first set of
Buxton - Buxton Parish: St. Ann This free village was established by Rev. John Clark with the support of the philanthropist Mr. Sturge. It was named after one of the abolitionists of slavery Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. The abolitionists laboured long and
Time and Patience - Parish: Trelawny Located in Trelawny this plot of land was chosen a free village after August 1st, 1838. The persons to whom lands were granted gave it this apt name, declaring time and patience work wonders.

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