Port Royal is a town on the south coast of Jamaica. It was originally colonized by the Spaniards, but was attacked and captured in English in 1655. Port Royal was never the same after the 1692 earthquake, but today there is still a town there.

Jamaica’s invasion of 1655

In 1655, England sent a fleet of invaders to Jamaica under the command of Admirals Penn and Venables but Spain’s defense there proved to be too great, but the invaders did not want to return to England , so instead they were lightly strengthened and lived sparsely in Jamaica. English began building a fort in a natural harbor on the south coast of Jamaica. A town broke out near the fortress. Originally called Point Conway, it was renamed Port Royal in 1660.

Port Royal Defense Pirates

Town managers were worried if the Spaniards could recapture Jamaica. Fort Charles in the harbor was uncontrollable and there were four small forts around the town, but few really protected the city in the event of an attack.

They invited pirates  to set up shops there and began to ensure that men in the battle between ships and veterans were always available. They contacted the famous Brethren of the Coast, a pirate and pirate organization. This arrangement was beneficial to both the pirates and the town, and made them fearless of attacks by Spain and other navies.

The perfect place for pirates

It soon became clear that Port Royal was the perfect place for personal belongings and private life. There was a natural harbor in the deep sea to protect vessels with anchors, close to Spanish routes and ports. Once it gained fame as a refuge for pirates, the town changed quickly: it filled brothels, taverns and drink halls. Merchants trying to buy goods from pirates immediately opened a store. For a long time, Port Royal was the busiest port in the United States Navy and was run and operated primarily by pirates.

Port Royal prosperity

The fast-growing business of pirates and private stories in the Caribbean soon led to other industries. Port Royal soon became a trading center for raw materials such as slaves, sugar and wood. The Spanish port of the New World was officially closed to foreigners, but smuggling surged as it represented a huge market for African slaves and goods manufactured in Europe. Port royal had a loose attitude towards religion, as it was a loosely swaying outpost, and was soon inhabited by Anglicans, Jews, Quakers, Puritans, elders, and Catholics. By 1690, Port Royal was as big and important as Boston, and many of the local merchants were quite wealthy.

1692 Earthquake And Other Disasters

That day, everything collapsed on June 7, 1692. A large earthquake shook Port Royal, most of it dumped in the harbor. The quake killed 5,000 people, or shortly thereafter, due to injury or illness. The city was ruined. Looting was widespread and all order has collapsed. Many thought that the city was chosen by God to punish him for his evil. Efforts were made to rebuild the city, but it was once again devastated by a fire in 1703. It was an essentially quiet village in 1774, hit by repeated hurricanes and many more earthquakes over the next few years.

Port Royal Today

Today, Port Royal is a small Jamaican fishing village. Little of its glory remains. Some old buildings have not been damaged yet. It is worth going to the History Museum. However, it is a valuable archaeological site, and the bargains of the old harbor continue to make interesting things.