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Barbados Trivia


- Barbados is the birthplace of rum. You’re welcome world!

- Barbados was British from 1627 until independence in 1966, and never changed hands unlike the other Caribbean islands.

- Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth, established in 1639.

- Grapefruit was created in Barbados by an accidental cross between two introduced species - sweet orange and pomelo or shaddock. We don’t think this is as great as the creation of rum, but it’s still worthy of a mention.

- George Washington visited Barbados in 1751 at the age of 19. He contracted small pox while in Barbados making him immune to the disease that killed many of his troops during the War of Independence. He also studied the Charter of Barbados, parts of which were used to help draft the Declaration of Independence. He also visited the British forts and discussed military strategy, and learned agricultural techniques later used at Mount Vernon. He apparently became a lover of rum while in Barbados.

- Seven of the first twenty one governors of the Carolinas in the USA were Barbadian. Barbadians established the settlement in 1670 that became Charleston. It was led by Sir John Yeamans of Nicholas (now St. Nicholas Abbey). In the Charleston phone directory there are many Barbadian names, and the Gullah dialect spoken on the islands off of Charleston is similar to the Barbadian dialect. Barbadians introduced the "single house" style of architecture to the Carolinas, as seen at Arlington House in Speightstown, St. Peter.

- A Barbadian signed the Declaration of Independence of the United States and a Barbadian was the printer.

- Sir Garfield Sobers is widely considered to be cricket's greatest all-rounder and is now a National Hero of Barbados. Cricket is the island’s national sport.

- Rihanna is also a famous Barbadian.  

- Bridgetown and its Garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011. We do acknowledge that Bridgetown has several buildings in need of repair that hopefully will be refurbished in the near future.   

- Barbados is a coral island and the highest point is only 1,115 feet or 343 metres. Because it is a coral island the beaches are nicer than many other islands. 

- Barbados is home to a sizeable population of endangered sea turtles that are protected and montored.

- Barbados Blackbelly sheep look a bit like goats, but they are a cross between an African hair sheep and a European wool sheep. They are uniquely Barbadian although they can now be found in other tropical countries. 

- The Barbados Green Monkey came from Africa in the 1600's as pets and they can now be found island-side. Unfortunately they are a pest to the farming community. 

- Barbados’ famous pirate, Major Stede Bonnet, also known as the “Gentleman Pirate”, lived from1688 to 1718. He was the son of a wealthy planter and he owned more than 100 acres of land. He was married, a major in the militia and also a Justice of the Peace. It is suspected that he had marital problems and in 1717 he bought a sloop, called it “Revenge” and outfitted it with ten guns. The sloop remained in the Careenage, in Bridgetown, for several days, while he hired a crew of seventy men. He is the only pirate to have bought his own ship and to have paid his crew a salary. It is believed that he started the tradition of “walking the plank”. He became partners with Blackbeard (Edward Teach) and Blackbeard at one point took over Major Stede’s ship and he eventually stole all of the plunder onboard. After taking 28 vessels, including Barbadian ships, that he always burned, he was captured. He briefly escaped, probably with the help of the Provost Marshal in Charleston, South Carolina, who was a Barbadian, but he was recaptured and was hanged clutching a bouquet of flowers. He was left hanging for four days and is buried in Battery Park in Charleston.

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