It was part of Oliver Cromwell’s war on Spain. In 1654, a huge fleet – one of the largest English fleets ever assembled – left Portsmouth headed for the Caribbean. Its target was the rich prize of Hispaniola. Unfortunately, it was a fiasco, and 3,000 English marines failed to take the island’s capital of Santo Domingo./p>
The “invincible” New Army was defeated and the victors of the English Civil War were exposed as ineffective on the world stage. How could the head of the expedition save face? Attack Jamaica of course!
It was another Spanish island, but much less well defended. On May 10th, 1655 the admiral attacked, easily defeated the small Spanish garrison at Cagway Bay. It was hopeless for the Spanish and the admiral had a treat of surrender from the Spanish commander in 6 days. England annexed Jamaica just like that. And Jamaica speaks English to this day.
Charlie Ace’s Swing-A-Ling mobile record and recording shop and studio. Kingston, Jamaica, 1973.
Charlie Ace was one of the Jamaican DJ originals. Following his career as a DJ, in the early 70’s he drove around the backstreets of Kingston in his Swing A Ling Mobile Record Shack, a converted Morris Van. From this mobile shop, he would sell the latest releases, many of them pressed on his own label Swing-A-Ling. He was gunned down in Kingston in the early 1980’s.
Charlie Ace’s Swing A Ling Mobile Record Shack in action.
Old house located where JFK International Airport currently lies today ,on 150th street and 147th Avenue in 1922’s Jamaica, Queens,.
Cane cutters in Jamaica, ca.1880s
As Welsh privateer Henry Morgan approached the San Lorenzo Fort at the mouth of Panama’s Chagres River in 1671, several of his ships wrecked against the Lajas Reef, including Morgan’s flagship Satisfaction. Morgan’s ships ran afoul of a shallow reef and rough waves, on the way to raid Panama City in response to a Spanish attack on English Jamaica. Recently six cannons from one of those shipwrecks were raised.
Well, we are pretty sure that’s what was raised. The wreck was a violent one, strewing iron cannon debris across the reef. That matches with the rough seas we know Morgan’s ships were dealing with. And the varied weaponry found also points to pirates. Pirates used whatever weapons they could purchase or capture, and therefore would have had mismatches, unlike the standardized armory in any royal navy ship.