Continuation from Page 2
TOBAGO ANCESTRY: THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Only 135 men are on the register of voters so power is still in the hands of a minority.
Population: 14,378. 292 liberated Africans are sent from St. Helena by the British Government to settle in
Emigration, mainly of men, to Trinidad, where it is believed there will be better wages.
The Land Tax is introduced.
British troops are withdrawn from Fort King George.
1856: 27 Dec
Tobago passes the Encumbered Estates Act, but this is disallowed by the Queen.
An Act is passed by the Tobago Legislature, which provides for the registration of baptisms, marriages
A modified Encumbered Estates Act is approved by the British Government. Commissioners are
appointed in London for the sale of lands by creditor or owner. From the proceeds of the sale, an
equitable distribution is made to all creditors. An entirely new grant, hereafter unassailable, is issued
for the property. Estates pass to those with capital to work them or to those who are prepared to sell
in small lots.
The Franchise Act is intended to ‘provide for the better representation of the people.’ The Act divides
Tobago into nine electoral districts, each Parish returning two representatives, and the towns of
Scarborough and Plymouth one each. The qualification for an elector becomes the ownership of real
property of the value of $48.00 or a position as manager or overseer in occupation of a house valued
at an annual rental value of $720. The tenants or occupants of any freehold part of a house having a
distinct communication with a public road or street are qualified to vote, provided that they have been
in possession for twelve months and their names are on the valuation roll. The Act also provides for
the establishment of a registry of voters, and the Provost Marshall is the returning officer. The result is
that the number of voters is increased from 102 to 215. At the ensuing elections 91 vote, and the
representatives for St John and Plymouth are returned by the vote of one voter in each district.
1861: May 15
Population: 15,410, an increase of 1,032 over the 1851 census.
An Act of the Legislature makes provision for African immigrants who have been rescued by British
cruisers from ships still carrying out the slave trade. On arrival the immigrants are to lodged in
comfortable houses, and given a year's clothing, an iron pot, a spoon, a common clasp knife in the
case of a man, one pound of soap per month, and one pound of tobacco. Each African over fourteen
years of age is to be granted a quarter of an acre of land for the cultivation of ground provisions. The
rate of wages is fixed at 16 cents a day.
225 more liberated Africans arrive from St. Helena to augment the labour force. The term of service is
New edition of Byres map shows a list of Estates and names of proprietors, etc.
See: Maps, Tobago
Ditto, as above.
The Chinese Government insists on a return passage being paid and this puts an end to Chinese
The British Colonial Office unites Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia and Tobago under one Governor.
Italian Catholic Mission is set up at Mason Hall.
The franchise is extended to $5.00 to holders of property.
The Concurrent Endowment Act is passed, by which the Church of England ceases to be the
established church of the colony. Annual grants of money are made to the Anglican Church,
United Brethren (Moravians) and Wesleyans.
The Single Chamber Act is passed, under which the Legislative Assembly is to consist of six
nominated and eight elected members.
Tobago becomes a British Crown Colony and the elective principle is abolished.
The British Government ceases to provide the salary for the Lieutenant Governor and the
offices of Administrator and Colonial Secretary are combined.
Population: 18,051:. . . .Africans (15,072); . Afro-European (2,862); . Europeans (109); . Asian (8).
Note: The system of indentured immigrants from India does not develop in Tobago.