The capital of Jamaica, Kingston, is the largest city and main seaport. It lies on the fertile plains of Liguanea to the south-east of the island at the foot of the Blue Mountains. The harbour is the largest in the Caribbean and the seventh largest in the world. In 1872 Kingston succeeded Spanish Town as the island’s capital and was founded by the British in 1693 to replace Port Royal which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692. The partly submerged ruins of Port Royal can be seen at the entrance to the harbour.
Kingston has been repeatedly devastated by fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. However by the eighteenth century around 3,000 brick houses had been built. Kingston’s natural harbour brought trade and the naval wars brought ship building and industry. English immigrants arrived and sugar, cocoa, agricultural and forest industries expanded. As the plantations grew so did the slave industry and before its destruction Port Royal was one of the principal...