Kingston Parish, Jamaica

 

 

Kingston parish is situated in the south-eastern section of the island. It is located in the county of Surrey, bordered by Saint Andrew to the east, west and north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.

The parish is administered by one parochial board, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Land Area: less than 22.0 sq. km (8.5 sq. mile)
Capital Town: Kingston (The largest city of Jamaica)


History

Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, is the smallest parish yet the most populated city on the island.  It faces Kingston Harbour which is the 7th largest natural harbour in the world that is protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport NMIA to the rest of the island.

Kingston was founded in July 22, 1692, on Colonel Barry’s Hog Crawle as a refuge for survivors of the earthquake on June 7th which had destroyed two-thirds of Port Royal. Prior to the earthquake, Port Royal was the headquarters of the English buccaneers and was known as the “wickedest” city in the world because of the riotous life of the town’s inhabitants including the likes of privateer, Sir Henry Morgan.

The new town was bounded on the south by Harbour Street while East, West and North Street defined the remainder of Kingston.  The original grid pattern of the parish remains the same today except for a few additions.  The additional streets were named after the councillors at the time when the town was founded.

Somewhere around the mid-eighteenth century, the Governor of Jamaica, Admiral Charles Knowles, sought to have the capital city of Jamaica remove from Spanish Town to Kingston.  However this reign was brief as Knowles’ successor, Henry Moore, announced on October 3, 1758, that the King had not allowed the Bill making Kingston the capital city of Jamaica. 

In 1865, over a hundred years after Admiral Knowles’ attempt to remove the capital of Jamaica to Kingston, Governor Sir John Peter Grant was assigned the task of re-organising Jamaica after a period of civil upheaval which had resulted in the Morant Bay Rebellion.  Part of John Peter Grant’s re-organisation of the island included the relocation of the capital from Spanish Town to Kingston. The parish developed at a phenomenal rate and soon became the centre of trade and commerce in the island.  The population grew to such an extent that it spilled over in the north into St. Andrew.