Early movement of people in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is composed of people from all over the world including those taken there by force and those who migrated freely.
Caribs lived in the Caribbean for thousands of years. There were many communities of people we now know as Caribs, including Galibi and various Arawakan speakers such as the Kalinago. Beginning in the 16th century, many were killed or expelled from the islands by European forces. They asserted their identity by fighting for land and political rights. One example is Brigands’ War, also known as the Second Carib War (1794 -1798).
Merchants and plantation owners moved into the region. Indentured servants, political dissidents and others from the British Isles provided the first plantation labour.
The biggest migration to the Caribbean was a forced migration of enslaved people from Africa through the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Many of the merchants who settled in the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries were involved in slave trading. The early Caribbean was also a centre for piracy.
In the late 18th century, Britain moved soldiers and sailors to the Caribbean to defend against invasion by competing European powers and guard against anti-slavery revolutions and protests. Former enslaved people came from Canada to join the West India Regiment.
Indentured labour from India and China started in the 19th century. They migrated to the Caribbean to work on plantations in places such as Jamaica, Trinidad and British Guiana. So-called ‘Liberated Africans’ were also indentured during this time.
Many people also migrated from the Caribbean and people convicted of crimes were sometimes transported to Australia and England. Also, Bermuda had a convict establishment for British (including Irish) convicts.
Account of the number of enslaved persons in the colony of Grenada from 1807.
Account of Slaves in the Colony of Grenada
|Attached to Plantations||Not attached to Plantations||Total
|General Decrease …………||………||…………||………||…………||899|
| Extract from the Records in the Treaherers [treasurers] office
Grenada 30th April 1807
Geo. Gun Munro.
UK National Archive Catalogue reference: CO 101/45 folio 190.
Enclosure No. 2.
Abstract of Arrivals of Deckers in Trinidad
from the Neighbouring Countries [including Grenada], and from Trinidad
to the Neighbouring Countries in 1873.
|Barbados||478||157||52||687||122||47||21||190||Including 3 Coolies
|Grenada *||2,428||659||175||3,262||641||183||9||833||Including 31 Coolies
in Arrivals, and 8 Coolies and 1 Chinese in Departures
|d[itt]o + St. Lucia||8||1||..||9||..||..||..||..|
|St. Vincent||472||103||58||633||71||11||2||84||Including 34 Coolies and 1 Chinese
in Arrivals, and 1 Coolie in Departures
|Unknown (by R.M.S.)||609||95||50||754||362||41||39||442|
|“ “ Chinese||4||..||..||4||..||..||..||..|
|“ “ Coolies||81||9||18||108||12||..||..||12|
* The Total loss to the Grenada Government
including Carriacou, was 3689.= 57.54 of whole no.
UK National Archives Catalogue reference: CO 321/1/14 folio 99.
Application to acquire labourers and liberated Africans from the United States of America – Grenada 1862.
Throughout the 19th century the Caribbean had a tense relationship with the American South. For example, during the American Civil War Britain was neutral, refusing to allow thousands of free blacks from the south to move to Grenada despite the wishes of local plantation owners.
Copy L.B. cons: 26th Nov. 62 L.7. Ans[were]d- 193 – 28th Nov. 62 Desp: to Gov: Antigua 262 – 28 Nov 62 further Ans[were]d – 130- 12th December L.75
Grenada & Co.
Barbados, 20 October 1862
84, 6’October 1862
For. off. 4.I.I
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward
to Your Grace a copy of a despatch
from the Lieutenant Governor of
Grenada, accompanying an Address
10843 from the House of Assembly, in
which they request steps to be
taken for procuring 1,000 laborers
from the Government of the United
“States”, and 500 Liberated Africans.
UK National Archive Catalogue reference: CO101/118/63 folio 474.
Hon. George Gun Munro of Grenada
1779 – 5th Nov 1829
Associations with Grenada Estates (37)
1817- → Agent to River Antoine Estate, St Patrick, Grenada
1817- → Attorney to Point Saline and Bellevue Estates, St George, Grenada
1817- → Attorney to St Cyr Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1817- → Attorney to St George Estate, St George, Grenada
1817- → Attorney to Tivoli & St John’s, St Andrew, Grenada
1817-1820 → Attorney to Fournilliers Bacolet, St Andrew, Grenada
1817-1820 → Attorney to Paraclete Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1817-1823 → Attorney to Mount Parnassus Estate, St George, Grenada
1817-1823 → Attorney to Plaisance Estate, St John, Grenada
1817-1823 → Attorney to Preference Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1817-1823 → Trustee for St George Estate, St George, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Beaulieu, St George, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Lower Latante Estate, St David, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Mount Alexander, St Patrick, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Mount Craven Estate, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Mount Gay, St George, Grenada
1817-1826 → Attorney to Thuilleries & Munich Estates, St Andrew, Grenada
1817-1826 → Owner of Unknown, St George, Grenada
1820- → Attorney to Corinth, St David, Grenada
1820-1823 → Attorney to Lower Pearl Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1820-1823 → Attorney to Plaisance Estate, St Patrick, Grenada
1820-1823 → Attorney to River Antoine Estate, St Patrick, Grenada
1820-1823 → Attorney to Upper Pearl Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1820-1826 → Attorney to Baillie’s Bacolet, St David, Grenada
1820-1826 → Receiver of St George Estate, St George, Grenada
1823- → Attorney to Black Bay Estate, St John, Grenada
1823- → Attorney to Levera, St Patrick, Grenada
1823-1826 → Attorney to Dougalston Estate, St John, Grenada
1823-1826 → Attorney to Hermitage Estate, St Patrick, Grenada
1823-1826 → Owner of Isle Rhonde, St Patrick, Grenada
1823-1826 → Owner of Munro’s Bacolet Estate, Grenada
1823-1826 → Owner of Munro’s Little Bacolet Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1823-1826 → Receiver of Paraclete Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1826- → Attorney to Dunfermline Estate, St Andrew, Grenada
1829- → Previous Owner of Munro’s Bacolet Estate, Grenada
1829- → Previous Owner of Isle Rhonde, St Patrick, Grenada
1832- → Previous Owner of Unknown, St George, Grenada
During 1835 compensation claims for the Munro’s for Estates in Grenada:
Alice Munro £10.6S.5D [1 enslaved]
Emma Gun Munro £27.10S.5D [1 enslaved]
George Munro £295.17S.2D [10 enslaved]
George Munro £34.8S.0D [1 enslaved]
George Gun Munro £27.10S.5D [1 enslaved]
Lewis Gun Munro £20.12S.10D [1 enslaved]
Mary Munro Grenada £41.5S.8D [2 enslaved]
Mary Victoire Munro £75.13S.8D [3 enslaved]
Rosetta Munro £41.5S.8D [2 enslaved] and £8.12S.0D [1 enslaved]
This George Gun Munro was also attorny often appointed for that purposes of Executors of Wills, etc. You can read some copied letter to him in the Third Report from the Commissioner of Enquiry into the Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice in the British West Indies [UK House of Commons, 1926].
George Gunn Munro was retained as manager of Bacolet at least until 1821. See the ‘List of Slaves belonging to or in the Lawful Possession of George Gun Munro Agent for the Representatives of Peter Thellusson deceased and worked upon Fournilliers Estate in the Parish of St Andrew 30th April 1817’ [TNA T71/267,272]
In 1825 he had a son who became the Rev. Philip Gun Munro (1825-1901), B.A., Magdalen Hall, Oxford; curate at Ware, Hertfordshire. A Priest- in-charge of St John’s, Horsham, Sussex;, of Grenada, B.W.I. (1852). [Reference: ‘Converts to Rome’, W. G. Gorman, 1910]
At the Quarterly Meeting of the Grenada Branch Association of the Incorporated Society for the Conversion and Religious Instruction and Education of the Negro Slaves, held at the Parsonage House, in the Town of St. George, on Wednesday, the 11th day of October, 1826, one of those present was George Gun Munro and on the Isle Rhonde, a small Island opposite the Island of St. Patrick, the Slaves are most desirous of Religious Instruction, well behaved and orderly; and the Proprietor, Mr. Munro, has placed a young man under Mr. Barkers care in the Catechist’s School to be qualified for the office of a Teacher for which Mr. Munro has built a neat plain Chapel for his Slaves.
Memorial inscription: “IN MEMORY OF THE HONBLE GEORGE GUN MUNRO, SENIOR MEMBER OF HIS MAJESTY’S COUNCIL, ASSISTANT JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE, AND PUBLIC TREASURER OF THE COLONY OF GRENADA, HE DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON THE 5th DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1829, AGED 5O YEARS. Below: – Crest : An eagle with wings raised. Arms : Argent an eagle’s head erased. Motto: ” DREAD GOD.”
Vere Langford Oliver, More Monumental Inscriptions: Tombstones of the British West Indies (Rockville, Maryland, 1993) p. 203.
Other George Munro’s
Note that this person, of Grenada, is sometimes erroneously labelled in genealogical sources as the son of Sir George Gun Munro of Poyntzfield 1st bart (d. 1803) and as the second bart. There appears to be no basis for either of this claims. He is also a different man from the Major (later Sir) George Gun Munro 4th Laird of Poyntzfield who married Jemima Charlotte Graham (q.v.). Finally, given his date of death, the claimant George Gun Munro who received compensation for a single enslaved person on Grenada in 1835 must have been a different man.
The earliest Munro lineage that wound up in Grenada as Gun-Munro seems to starts with Robert Munro having a son who was Rev. John Munro (1685-1743) minister of Halkirk 1704 until his death, married Janet Gunn (1680-?).
Much later in 1860 (June 16) one Mr. George Gun Munro; application for public appointment, Lieutenant Governor Kortright recommends Munro for re-entry into public service. Lieutenant Governor Cornelius Hendricksen Kortright, forwarded by Francis Hincks, Governor of Windward Islands, Grenada 18, Folios 211-215. [UK National Archive Reference: CO 101/116/19]
1861 (Mar 14) Mr. George Gun Munro provisionally appointed as Police Magistracy for Eastern district due to Hutcheson resigning; application for the same office from Mr. Samuel Cockburn, presently administering the government of Montserrat and former Immigration Agent at Grenada. Lieutenant Governor Cornelius Hendricksen Kortright, forwarded by Francis Hincks, Governor of Windward Islands, Grenada 5, Folios 18-25. [Reference: CO 101/117/5]
In 1871 this George Gun Munro was listed as Immigration Agent, receiving £280 plus £80 allowence per annum, a civil worker for the Grenada House of Assembly.