Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of History
Re-writing the English conquest of Jamaica in the late seventeenth century
English historical review
Date of Publication
John Taylor's 'Multum in Parvo', a manuscript History of Jamaica completed just before England's Glorious Revolution, incorporates many of the stories circulating among the first generation of English settlers. Their invented histories not only highlight local hopes and assumptions but also framed the ways a group of English settlers re-imagined a contentious past. In the colonists' fabricated history, the Spanish offered no protracted resistance to the English conquest under Oliver Cromwell. Instead Spanish ghosts tried to hand over hoards of gold to the English, legitimating English possession in their own minds. Almost as implausibly, the colonists' assumed that Jamaica remained central to English policies. The stories Taylor incorporated into his History proved persuasive in Restoration Jamaica, although they hardly reflected either local realities or metropolitan priorities under Charles II and James II. The settlers' re-invented 'history' shaped a distinctive colonial identity.....