Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Jamaica Station (Royal Navy)

The Jamaica Station was a formation or command of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy stationed at Port Royal in Jamaica from 1655 to 1830.

Jamaica Station
Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica, Plate 03.jpg
Ships at Port Royal c. 1820
Active 1655–1830
Country United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Part of Royal Navy
Garrison/HQ Port Royal
Disbanded 1830

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Remains of the Naval Hospital, rebuilt 1818 by Edward Holl.

The station was formed, following the capture of Jamaica, by assembing about a dozen frigates in 1655.[1] The first "Admiral and General-at-Sea" was Sir William Penn.[2] Its main objectives in the early years were to defend Jamaica and to harass Spanish ports and shipping.[3] In the late 1720s three successive commanders of the station lost their lives to tropical diseases while undertaking a Blockade of Porto Bello during the Anglo-Spanish War.[4] The general ill-health associated with the station continued throughout the century. An assessment of Navy strength at the Jamaica station in 1742 found around 3,000 men were fit to serve out of a total Navy complement of 6,620.[5] A Navy hospital was constructed in 1745 but its location was poor and many patients brought in for shipboard diseases developed additional tropical illnesses while in the hospital itself. A report to Admiralty in 1749 found that the Hospital was "rather a hurt to the [Navy] Service than a Relief."[6]

The station merged with the North American Station to form the North America and West Indies Station in 1830.[2]

The station closed in 1830, but the Royal Navy continued to operate a dockyard until it closed in 1905. Left abandoned, it was damaged by an earthquake in 1907 and hurricane in 1951. Part of the station now houses the headquarters of the Jamaica Defence Coast Guard (HMJS Cagway, Port Royal) and the rest being restored as part of the Port Royal Heritage Tourism Project.[7]

CommandersEdit

Commanders included:[2]
Commander-in-Chief, Jamaica Station

 
The barque Woodmansterne calling for a pilot at Port Royal

Commander-in-Chief, West Indies

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bradley, p. 192
  2. ^ a b c Cundall, p. xx
  3. ^ Bradley, p. 198
  4. ^ Bradley, p. 204
  5. ^ Baugh 1965, p. 217
  6. ^ Admiralty papers 1/234, 15 January 1749. Cited in Baugh 1965, p. 218
  7. ^ "Port Royal Heritage Tourism Project" (PDF). Retrieved 16 January 2017. 

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit