The selling of slaves took on greater importance. From Port Royal, these buccaneers preyed upon and plundered the heavily laden treasure fleets departing from the Spanish Main. Port Royal provided a safe harbour initially for privateers and subsequently for pirates plying the shipping lanes to and from Spain and Panama. In the end, all of these separate factors contributed to the impending disaster. The city's wealth was so great that coins were preferred for payment over the more common system of bartering goods for services. The Royal Artillery House for the Victoria Battery in Port Royal, shown below, sank into the sand and has remained like that since. [12], Under British rule the Royal Navy made use of a careening wharf at Port Royal and rented a building on the foreshore to serve as a storehouse. New wharves and storehouses were built at this time, as well as housing for the officers of the Yard. Port Royal is a community of proud people, fiercely defensive of their privacy, yet warm and welcoming to those interested in visiting. Port Royal is situated on the end of an 18-mile long sand spit known as the Palisadoes, 15 miles from the centre of Kingston, capital of Jamaica. Two thirds of the city sank into the caribbean sea along with many inhabitants. Once the richest and wickedest cities in the modern world, Port Royal, Jamaica has endured numerous disasters, including all consuming fires, cataclysmic hurricanes and earthquakes. Discover the Port Royal Cays is a dive experince like no other. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal, coming from waters as far away as Madagascar. Port Royal Rums are produced from the best sugar cane supplies from the world renowned distilleries in Monymusk and Long Pond, Jamaica. Because of its excellent natural harbor and critical position, Port Royal quickly became a significant haven for pirates and buccaneers, who were made welcome because of the need for defenders. [11] Port Royal benefited from this lively, glamorous infamy and grew to be one of the two largest towns and the most economically important port in the English colonies. After 1670, the importance of Port Royal and Jamaica to England was increasingly due to trade in slaves, sugar, and raw materials. Unlike most archaeological sites where civilizations evolve then disappear through the passage of time, or sites where buildings were built and later neglected or abandoned, eventually being destroyed and then possibly rebuilt; Port Royal is a city that existed in one minute and gone the next, perpetually frozen in the state it was, when disaster struck. Port Royal Current page Port Royal Jamaica may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19. Close to important shipping routes, it was a waypoint for all in the Caribbean. Over the next thirty years, more facilities were added: cooperages, workshops, sawpits, and accommodation (including a canteen) for the crews of ships being careened there. Several 17th and early 18th century pirate ships. Recent genealogical research indicates that Blackbeard and his family moved to Jamaica where Edward Thatch, Jr. is listed as being a mariner in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Windsor in 1706. Spain could not retake the island and, due to pirates, could no longer regularly provide their colonies in the New World with manufactured goods. Consequently, instead of being a safe haven for pirates, Port Royal became noted as their place of execution. The once-great city, now a fishing port, was at its height in the 1600s, when numerous brothels and drinking establishments thrived on pirates' plundered gold. On 7 June 1692, a devastating earthquake hit the city causing most of its northern section to be lost – and with it many of the town's houses and other buildings. This is documented by recovery from the sea floor in the 1960s of a pocket watch stopped at 11:43 a.m., recording the time of the devastating earthquake. Upstanding citizens disliked the reputation the city had acquired. It was a popular homeport for the English and Dutch-sponsored privateers to spend their treasure during the 17th century. Today the sunken city is considered one of the most important underwater archaeological site in the western hemisphere. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. Their presence was actively encouraged by the British as it provided a dual-benefit of discouraging attacks from the Spanish and the French as well as providing opportunity for local government officials to grow wealthy through collusion with the buccaneers. Nuala Zahedieh, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, wrote, "Both opponents and advocates of so-called 'forced trade' declared the town's fortune had the dubious distinction of being founded entirely on the servicing of the privateers' needs and highly lucrative trade in prize commodities. Today, it is a sleepy fishing village across the bay from Kingston, at the end of a long and narrow peninsula, with a small population of Jamaican, who proudly view themselves as 'Port Royalists'. The town was captured by England in 1655 during the invasion of Jamaica. Or, that the town served as the headquarters of the Royal Navy in the Caribbean where Horatio Nelson, then a young Royal Navy officer, was stationed. Admiral Lord Nelson and Benbow, the chilling "Blackbeard" Teach, were among its inhabitants. History tells us that Freemasonry in the British Isles was alive and thriving when the British Forces captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655, and suggests that many a Freemason constituted the invading forces and thus became the nucleus for [1] It was destroyed by an earthquake on 7 June 1692, which had an accompanying tsunami. A stopped pocket watch found in the harbour in 1959 indicated that it occurred around 11:43 a.m.. In 1872 the government designated Kingston, the largest city, as the capital.[5]. The most extensive was done over a period of 10 years in 1981 by Texas A&M University in conjunction with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Severe hurricanes have regularly damaged it. This type of area did not provide a solid foundation on which to build an entire town. [3], The Spanish first landed in Jamaica in 1494 under the leadership of Christopher Columbus. 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