Colonial Office and predecessors: British Guiana, formerly Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo, Original Correspondence

CO 111
Colonial Office and predecessors: British Guiana, formerly Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo, Original Correspondence

This series contains original correspondence relating to Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo (from 1831 British Guiana). Also contains some correspondence relating to Surinam.

Please Note: The National Archives is grateful to Sister Noel Menezes (formerly head of the History Department in the University of Guyana) who provided a selection of catalogue descriptions for this series. Her contribution was made available from TNA's wiki ('Your Archives') which existed at the time. Snapshots of 'Your Archives' (series RW 13) are now available online.


Bound volumes arranged chronologically and primarily under the following subject headings: Despatches (letters of the Governors), Offices (letters of government departments and other organisations), and Individuals (arranged alphabetically), but separated out between Demerara and Essequibo, and Berbice in the early period and with a large number of case volumes. Most volumes with a contents list, or a précis of each letter giving name of correspondent, date of letter and subject matter. From 1926 correspondence is arranged in subject files.

Related Material:
For further records relating to Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo see:
For later records see CO 1031
CO 318/72
CO 318/73
CO 318/74
CO 318/75
For records of the earlier Dutch administration see CO 116
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Physical description:
825 volume(s)
Unpublished finding aids:
For registers of correspondence see CO 326 before 1850, CO 334 after 1850. For indexed précis of corresponsence see CO 714.
Administrative / biographical background:

The Dutch West India Company occupied Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo from 1621, Demerara and Essequibo being united in 1784. The territories were captured by Britain in 1796, restored to the Dutch in 1802, recaptured in 1803 and formally ceded to Britain in 1814. All three were united as British Guiana in 1831. On 26 May 1966 the country became independent under the name of Guyana. It became a republic within the Commonwealth on 23 February 1970.

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