Trelawny Jamaica -
Jamaica's Fifth Largest Parish

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Trelawny Jamaica was formed from the eastern part of St. James in 1770 after the wealthy planters of the area complained that Montego Bay, the capital city, was too far away for them to go to conduct business. The parish was named for Sir William Trelawny, Governor of Jamaica when the parish came into being.

The parish was said to have approximately 73,066 residents according to the 2001 island-wide Census.

The capital of Trelawny is Falmouth and it has major towns Clarks Town, Duncans, Wakefield, Wait-A-Bit, Albert Town etc. This parish is found in the county of Cornwall and is popularly known for its agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Rum and sugar are its main products, however, other crops include yams, bananas, vegetables, coffee, strawberries, pimento, coconut and ginger.

Trelawny goes down in Jamaica’s history as the parish with the most sugar estates and sugar factories. At one time the estates numbered as many as a hundred, and there were no less than forty sugar factories. By 1927, the number of estates had dwindled to 16, but Trelawny, even then, produced more sugar than any other parish in the island. The early days of Trelawny pivoted around sugar which provided a good living for many in the parish. There were large and small estates which varied technologically from big mechanized plants to the one-man donkey-drawn mill. In the early 1900s, a fall in the price of sugar on the world market resulted in the decline of Trelawny’s sugar industry. Banana cultivation took over as the major agricultural enterprise.

Trelawny Jamaica

The first capital of the parish was known as Martha Brae but its size and location raised doubts as to its suitability as a permanent parish capital. It was felt that since Trelawny had a sea-coast it needed a seaport for its chief town. The honour of the “second capital of Trelawny” consequently fell to the town of Falmouth. Falmouth was established in 1790, at a time when sugar was booming. When sugar declined, so did Falmouth. In its grand days, the town supported many businesses and more than one weekly newspaper. Once the busiest port on the north coast, Falmouth was the place from which sugar was shipped and where important goods needed by the estates in the interior were landed.

With the advent of steamships, Falmouth’s former sea traffic was diverted to ports which could accommodate these larger ships. Consequently, by 1890 Falmouth was practically a ghost town. Today, except for Hampden Estate, on the border of St. James and Trelawny, only Long Pond Estate remains of the one hundred estates that used to grace the parish.

Monuments And Historic Buildings In Trelawny Jamaica

1. Falmouth Court House

The original court house in the town of Falmouth, built in 1815, was destroyed by fire in 1925. The present court house building was built in 1926. It is a replica of the original Palladian style building, except for the roof line and windows.

3. Falmouth Parish Church

Located on Duke Street, is the Anglican Church of St. Peter built in 1795. It is the oldest building in Falmouth and the oldest church in Trelawny. In 1842 the church was enlarged, with a western extension which now forms the nave.
Falmouth Police Station

This building on Rodney Street, occupies the former Cornwall District Prison. It was constructed in 1814.

2. Monument Erected To A Slave

It is uncommon in Jamaica to find monuments dedicated to slaves. This monument to a slave is located in the old slave village on Hyde Estate. Dating back to 1800, it was erected in honour of a slave woman called Eve, who it is said was the person in charge of the children of those slaves who went to work during the day. Legend has it that she drowned in a pond on Hyde Estate. The monument was apparently erected by her master, Henry Shirley.

4. Falmouth Presbyterian Church

Known as St. Andrews Kirk, this church is located at the corner of Rodney and Princess Streets. The church was built in 1832 by prominent Scotsmen in the parish. Alterations have been made to the original building.

Famous Jamaicans From Trelawny Jamaica

Trelawny is the birthplace of a number of great athletes such as:

Usain Bolt

Veronica Campbell-Brown

Ricardo Chambers

Marvin Anderson

Omar Brown

Michael Frater

Dane Hyatt

Lerone Clarke

Sanya Richards

Warren Weir

Ben Johnson...

...just to name a few.

Also hailing from Trelawny is Rex Nettleford, and Samardo Samuels who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Trelawny Jamaica is a popular parish and it boasts producing some of Jamaica's finest and most recognized people. Hope you got a great insight of this wonderful parish.

Jamaica Information Service, Trelawny. Kingston: Jamaica Information Service, (Parish Profiles), 1991.
Map of Jamaica, 1895.
Senior, Olive, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage. St. Andrew, Jamaica: Twin Guinep Publishers Ltd., 2003

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