Englishmen Transplanted': The English Colonization of Barbados 1627-1660


This book challenges the notion that the 17th-century English planters of Barbados were architects of a social disaster. These planters were not simply profligate, immoral, and grasping capitalists who exploited their servants and slaves in a quest for quick riches in the cultivation of sugar. To be sure, they quickly transformed the island's economy from one of semi-subsistence to the most successful plantation economy in the seventeenth-century English empire. Yet, they, like English emigrants to other regions in the empire, transplanted many familiar governmental, religious, and legal institutions; eagerly started families; sought to abide by traditional views about the social order; and resisted compromises in their diet, apparel, and housing, despite their tropical setting. In short, they were more than rapacious entrepreneurs. Seldom becoming absentee planters, these Englishmen developed an extraordinary attraction to Barbados, where they saw themselves, as one group of planters explained in a petition, as 'being Englishmen transplanted'. The book draws heavily upon material from the Public Record Office and the Barbados Archives.


History and Political Science

Keywords and Phrases

Barbados; Emigrants; Family; Government; Religion; Servants; Slaves; Sugar

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type


Document Version


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© 2003 Oxford University Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003