The present 14 parishes the Jamaica in its current form have existed due to the fact that 1866, yet there were many more parishes prior to that. End a duration of a couple centuries, parts of parishes were combined, some were eliminated, new ones created. There were 9 transformations and also following is a chronology of its evolution together with a short description of each period.

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Jamaica Parishes Elevation and also Locations of the mountains in Jamaica


Use this storyboard for a intuitive of how the parishes tranformed transparent history, then check out the details that each change in the section complying with the storyboard.


How the Parishes Transformed

Under Spanish Rule

Jamaica Pre-1655

Under the dominance of the Spanish, the island that Jamaica looked similar to the map above. Yallahs and also Morant to be names of huge Spanish ranches. Guanaboa and also Liguanea to be taino names. Liguanea is still supplied today come refer to lower St. Andrew. The funding of the island to be Seville from 1510-1535. Spanish Town became the capital from 1535 to 1872, except for 1755 when Kingston came to be the funding for a year. Kingston ended up being the funding in 1872 and still is today.

Under English preeminence (1655 onwards)

Jamaica"s Parishes 1655-1675

The English used their own device of management once they took control in 1655. The island was split into parishes with many of names offered the designation that "St. (Saint)". Originally seven parishes were named after governors, necessary persons or areas in Britain; Clarendon, St. John, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, harbor Royal, St. David and St. Thomas. These merged with the others, several of which were unnamed, consisted of 14 parishes between 1655 and also 1675. Throughout this duration Port royal was a separate parish. Period Map

Jamaica and Barbados - by John speed , published in 1676 ( mirroring Jamaica Only)

Jamaica"s Parishes 1675-1692

Between 1675 and also 1692, there were 16 parishes. St Elizabeth prospered in dimension to include the soil area the 3 parishes that exist today, Manchester, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth and also a part of the unnamed parish the existed between it and Clarendon. The other section of the unnamed parish to be aligned through Clarendon. Land to the south of the Clarendon was sculpted off to develop the parish that Vere. Other added parishes were also created throughout this period: St. Thomas in the Vale, St. John and St. Dorothy. St mar was enlarged and also St. George make smaller. The area recognized today together Hanover and a component of Westmoreland merged to make an unnamed parish. Period Map

A new Map of the Island of Jamaica by Herman Moll, released in 1717

Jamaica"s Parishes 1692-1703

Kingston was officially declared a parish in 1713, however it is being stated here, external of its exactly chronological placement, since of the special situations behind the creation. Two weeks after the damage of Port imperial by an earthquake in 1692, i beg your pardon killed about 3,000 civilization (read an eyewitness account ), the federal government bought 200 acre of land situated in St Andrew, from teacher William Beeston for the erection the a new town referred to as Kingston. The land was bought to construct a negotiation for the Port imperial survivors who had been displaced through the earthquake. In the ensuing years, together the dust settled and the horrors that the earthquake started to fade native memory, the settlers began returning to harbor Royal. But, in 1703, Port royal was again destroyed, this time through fire, forcing the settlers to go back to Kingston and other parts of St Andrew. Kingston ultimately grew right into a significant city supplanting Port imperial as a major town because that commerce and also port the trade. That was ultimately formally asserted a parish in 1713, enhancing the full parishes come 17.

Jamaica"s Parishes 1703-1723

In 1703 a section of St. Elizabeth was sculpted off and also annexed to the "Unnamed" parish and also given the surname Westmoreland. This to be an apt description as it to be truly the westernmost parish. This change did not impact the number of parishes together it to be a redefinition that borders.

During this period, Kingston had actually grown to replace Port royal as the commercial capital of the island, and also was officially supported to a different parish in 1713. Spanish Town stayed the political capital of the island (Kingston briefly took the title in 1755) but it took an additional 159 years because that Kingston to permanently replace Spanish town as the political resources of the island in 1872. Duration Map

Jamaica by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, released in 1758

Jamaica"s Parishes 1723-1770

In 1722, the fight it out of Portland ended up being Governor and also an 18th parish was called after that the following year. Portland was developed in 1723 by carving off and also combining parts St. George and also St. Thomas. The parish that Hanover was additionally established top top November 12, 1723 from a ar of Westmoreland, making that a complete of 19 parishes. Period Map

George Dionysius Ehret - one copperplate engraved map of the island. Published for inclusion in "The Civil and also Natural history of Jamaica, c1757"

The development of Jamaica"s Counties in 1758

In 1758 the island"s parishes were split into 3 counties: Cornwall, Middlesex and also Surrey


Jamaica"s Parishes 1770-1814

The 20th parish of Trelawny was produced in 1770, when the wealthy planters in St James and also St Ann, who deemed they were too much from governmental centers, thrived in having actually sections that both parishes integrate to form the new parish of Trelawny. Trelawny was named after sir William Trelawny then branch of Jamaica, who prominent family members originated native the manor of Trelawny in the parish that Pelynt in Cornwall, England. The first capital to be Martha Brae, situated 3 kilometre (1.9 mi) inland from absent Bay. Period Map

A steel engraved map, licensed has been granted JAMAICA. Engraved by J & C Walker and also published by Whittaker, 1836.

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Jamaica"s Parishes 1814-1841

The duke of Manchester administrate Jamaica between 1808 and also 1811. The parish that Manchester was created in his name in 1814, happen the full to 21. Duration Map

Jamaica by Harvey Newcomb, released in 1854

Jamaica"s Parishes 1841-1866

In 1839, sir Charles Metcalfe became governor of Jamaica. In 1841, the year before he left office (1842), Metcalfe parish was developed from St. George and also St Mary, bring about 22 parishes. Period Map

Cuba and also Jamaica - D. Appleton & Co. - released 1892 - (Showing Jamaica only)

Jamaica"s Parishes 1866-Present

In 1866 eight parishes were removed through consolidation, leaving the fourteen parishes that exist today.

Vere was merged into Clarendon, St. David an unified into St. Cutting board , St. Dorothy, St. John and also St. Cutting board in the Vale an unified into St Catherine and St. George linked into Portland. Most of Port royal was soaked up by St. Andrew and also a smaller part became component of Kingston parish. Metcalfe was merged into St. Mary. Period Map

Jamaica today: 14 parishes, 3 cities (Kingston and St Andrew Corp, Montego Bay and also Portmore) and also 3 counties