Free Villages

Free VillageThe Free Village System
Free Villages is the term used for Caribbean settlements, particularly in Jamaica, founded in the 1830s and 1840s with land for freedmen independent of the control of plantation owners and other major estates.wikipedia
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Joseph Sturge

Joseph
Starting in the 1830s, in anticipation of emancipation from slavery, the Jamaican Baptist congregations, deacons and ministers pioneered the Caribbean concept of Free Villages with the English Quaker abolitionist Joseph Sturge.
In Jamaica, Sturge also helped found Free Villages with the Baptists, to provide living quarters for freed slaves; one was named "Sturge Town" in his memory.

James Phillippo

James Mursell Phillippo
For example, in 1835, using land agents and Baptist financiers in England, the African-Caribbean congregation of the Rev. James Phillippo (a British Baptist pastor and abolitionist in Jamaica) were able to discreetly purchase land, unbeknown to the plantation owners, in the hills of Saint Catherine parish.
He led the founding of several Free Villages, having gained funds to grant freedmen and their families plots of land for farming in villages independent of planter control.

Oracabessa

Oracabessa, Jamaica
Phillippo’s success in St. Catherine emboldened him; he founded a Free Village in Oracabessa later that same year.
Reverend Phillippo was a pioneer of Free Villages, settlements established to allow independent living by freedmen, on land they controlled.

Baptists

BaptistBaptist ChurchBaptist minister
Starting in the 1830s, in anticipation of emancipation from slavery, the Jamaican Baptist congregations, deacons and ministers pioneered the Caribbean concept of Free Villages with the English Quaker abolitionist Joseph Sturge. The concept was initiated by English Baptist missionaries in Jamaica, who raised funds in Great Britain to buy land to be granted to freedmen after emancipation.
Knibb also supported the creation of "Free Villages" and sought funding from English Baptists to buy land for freedmen to cultivate; the Free Villages were envisioned as rural communities to be centred around a Baptist church where emancipated slaves could farm their own land.

Phillippo Baptist Church

After the enslaved Africans were emancipated in 1834, they helped established two churches in Sturge Town: Phillippo Baptist Church and New Testament Church of God.
He campaigned for the abolition of slavery and for the establishment of "Free Villages" for emancipated slaves.

Sligoville

Henry Lunan, formerly an enslaved headman at Hampstead Estate, purchased the first plot in the very first Free Village or Baptist Free Village at Sligoville (in Saint Catherine parish and named after the Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, the Jamaican Governor at the time of abolition), ten miles north of Spanish Town.
What became known as ‘The Free Village System’ resulted from this first settlement, and similar villages were established throughout the island, most of them by ministers of religion, who supplied land to the ex-slaves who had never owned land before.

Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo

The 2nd Marquess of SligoThe Marquess of SligoHowe Browne
Henry Lunan, formerly an enslaved headman at Hampstead Estate, purchased the first plot in the very first Free Village or Baptist Free Village at Sligoville (in Saint Catherine parish and named after the Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, the Jamaican Governor at the time of abolition), ten miles north of Spanish Town.
The first free village of Sligoville in Saint Catherine parish, Jamaica is named after him.

Kettering, Jamaica

Kettering
Kettering was a Free Village in Trelawny, Jamaica.

Thomas Burchell

Rev. Thomas Burchell
Burchell is credited with the concept of Free Villages and encouraging their development by Baptist colleagues such as William Knibb, as well as by other denominations.

Granville, Jamaica

Granville
What became known as ‘The Free Village System’ resulted from the first named Sligoville, and similar villages were established throughout the island, most of them by ministers of religion, who supplied land to the ex-slaves who had never owned land before.

Granville Sharp

Granville SharpeG. Sharpe
As well as Granville Town in Sierra Leone, the free village of Granville in Jamaica was named after Sharp.

Caribbean

the CaribbeanWest IndiesWest Indian
Free Villages is the term used for Caribbean settlements, particularly in Jamaica, founded in the 1830s and 1840s with land for freedmen independent of the control of plantation owners and other major estates.

Jamaica

JAMJamaicanJamaica, West Indies
Free Villages is the term used for Caribbean settlements, particularly in Jamaica, founded in the 1830s and 1840s with land for freedmen independent of the control of plantation owners and other major estates.

Plantation

plantationscotton plantationsugar plantation
Free Villages is the term used for Caribbean settlements, particularly in Jamaica, founded in the 1830s and 1840s with land for freedmen independent of the control of plantation owners and other major estates.

Missionary

missionariesmissionary workmission
The concept was initiated by English Baptist missionaries in Jamaica, who raised funds in Great Britain to buy land to be granted to freedmen after emancipation.

Abolitionism

abolitionistabolition of slaveryabolitionists
Starting in the 1830s, in anticipation of emancipation from slavery, the Jamaican Baptist congregations, deacons and ministers pioneered the Caribbean concept of Free Villages with the English Quaker abolitionist Joseph Sturge.

Quakers

QuakerSociety of FriendsReligious Society of Friends
Starting in the 1830s, in anticipation of emancipation from slavery, the Jamaican Baptist congregations, deacons and ministers pioneered the Caribbean concept of Free Villages with the English Quaker abolitionist Joseph Sturge.

Saint Catherine Parish

St. CatherineSaint CatherineSt Catherine
For example, in 1835, using land agents and Baptist financiers in England, the African-Caribbean congregation of the Rev. James Phillippo (a British Baptist pastor and abolitionist in Jamaica) were able to discreetly purchase land, unbeknown to the plantation owners, in the hills of Saint Catherine parish.

Marquess of Sligo

Earl of AltamontMarquesses of SligoBaron Mount Eagle
Henry Lunan, formerly an enslaved headman at Hampstead Estate, purchased the first plot in the very first Free Village or Baptist Free Village at Sligoville (in Saint Catherine parish and named after the Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, the Jamaican Governor at the time of abolition), ten miles north of Spanish Town.

Spanish Town

Spanish Town, JamaicaVilla de la VegaSt. Jago
Henry Lunan, formerly an enslaved headman at Hampstead Estate, purchased the first plot in the very first Free Village or Baptist Free Village at Sligoville (in Saint Catherine parish and named after the Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, the Jamaican Governor at the time of abolition), ten miles north of Spanish Town.

Labour Day

Labor DayLabour Day WeekendLabour Weekend
In 2007, a plaque was erected at Witter Park, Sligoville on 23 May, as a Labour Day event - to commemorate Jamaica's first Free Village.

Birmingham

Birmingham, United KingdomBirmingham, EnglandCity of Birmingham
This village was named after Joseph Sturge (1793-May 1859), an English Quaker and abolitionist from Birmingham, England, who founded the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (now Anti-Slavery International).

Anti-Slavery International

British and Foreign Anti-Slavery SocietyAnti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection SocietyAnti-Slavery and Aborigines' Protection Society
This village was named after Joseph Sturge (1793-May 1859), an English Quaker and abolitionist from Birmingham, England, who founded the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (now Anti-Slavery International).

Christianity in Jamaica

Jamaican BaptistJamaican BaptistsJamaican Native Baptist
Although many of the Free Villages were named after a British man of widely accepted influence or importance, perhaps to help raise funds in England, the Jamaican Baptists and Joseph Sturge were Moral Radicals and Nonconformists rather than in the political mainstream.