Port Royal

Jamaica Saint Andrew Kingston

During the late 17th century, Boston, Massachusetts, and Port Royal, Jamaica, were the two largest English towns in the Americas. Port Royal is a coastal town located in Jamaica. As the one of the largest cities in 17th and 18th centuries, in the Caribbean colonies, with excellent geographic position, the city of Port Royal had large influence.

Between 1655 and 1680, during the war with Spain, the city of Port Royal, became a famous buccaneer hideout. With en excellent strategic position, many buccaneers used Port Royal, as a main base for their operations. Soon, from a peaceful city, Port Royal transformed into a criminal nest. There were hundreds of brothels and taverns. People called Port Royal: "the richest and wickedest city in the world". From 1670, Port Royal’s influence became even larger. The legality of trade of slaves, sugar and plundered goods made city of Port Royal mercantile center of the Caribbean region.

On the morning of June 7, 1692, a strong earthquake destroyed almost the entire city. In just a few minutes, 33 acres of the city disappeared beneath the sea. More than 3000 people lost their lives in this tragedy. The people called it ‘God's punishment on this wicked city'. The earthquake itself was not that strong, but the city was built on a sandpit and without a proper foundation, entire streets slipped into the sea.

After the earthquake, Kingston became the new trading center and the most influential city of Jamaica.