Catalogue description Colonial Office and predecessors: Jamaica, Original Correspondence

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Details of CO 137
Reference: CO 137
Title: Colonial Office and predecessors: Jamaica, Original Correspondence

This series contains original correspondence relating to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. After 1874 correspondence relating to the Turks and Caicos Islands is also included.

Date: 1689-1951

Bound volumes arranged chronologically, and from 1902 within the following subject headings: Despatches (letters of the governors), Offices (letters of government departments and other organisations) and Individuals (arranged alphabetically). Each volume with a contents list, or précis of each letter giving name of correspondent, date of letter and subject matter. From 1926 the correspondence is arranged in subject files.

Related material:

For earlier records of the Turks and Caicos Islands see CO 301

For other records relating to the West Indies see CO 318

For later records see CO 1031

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 906 files and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Publication note:

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, 1574-1739 (HMSO, 1860-1994; CDROM edition, Routledge, 2000)

Unpublished finding aids:

For registers of this correspondence see CO 326 before 1850, CO 351 after 1850. For indexed précis of correspondence see CO 714.

Administrative / biographical background:

Jamaica was initially settled by the Spanish, but was occupied by Britain in 1655 and recognised as British by Spain in 1670. The Cayman Islands were administered by Jamaica until 1959, and the Turks and Caicos Islands became a dependency of Jamaica in 1874. From 1958-1962 Jamaica was a member of the Federation of the West Indies, which broke up after Jamaica withdrew to seek independence alone. Jamaica became a fully independent state and a member of the Commonwealth on 6 August 1962.

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