The English

In the Spanish period, several English and Irish familes had settled in Trinidad. Some of them were Catholic, but some of them were Protestant, and therefore living there illegally under the terms of the Cedula. The large migration of English, however, began after the formal cession of Trinidad to England by Spain in 1802.

One large group of immigrants was comprised of planters and their slaves from the older English sugar islands that were past their peak. Many English also came to try to earn their fortune through business. This group was made up of tradesmen, professionals, merchants, and artisans. A third group were the expatriates that were there temporarily, such as the sugar company managers and colonial officials.

The English and French Creoles were socially divided, and intermarriage was uncommon. An exception to this were the English Catholics, who were more likely to marry into French Creole families. The relations between the two groups were worsened by the policy of “anglicization” adopted by the English. This policy, roughly in place from 1840 to 1870, was an attempt to marginalize the Catholic religion and French language in order to assert the desired dominance of the English rulers. By 1876, this experiment had been ended, and the French Creoles returned to shared power.

Some prominent English families included:

(The information on this page was obtained primarily from The Book of Trinidad, edited by Gérard A. Besson, and Bridget M. Brereton. Port-of-Spain: Paria Publishing Company Ltd., 1991.)

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