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Power In The English Caribbean: The Proprietorship Of Lord Willoughby Of Parham

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Chapter Summary

Obscuring any attempt to interpret English Caribbean government in the seventeenth century lays ambiguity, factionalism, chaos, and a number of unsavory characters who used them all to advantage. At the centre was Francis, fifth baron Lord Willoughby of Parham, East Anglian aristocrat and colonial proprietor. Surinam provided Willoughby with an unprecedented degree of autonomous action, releasing him from reliance on Povey and Noel. In the Caribbean, the grant of religious liberty was a means to transport potentially troublesome religious minorities to a place where their numbers and industry would be of use. They could be defence from foreign powers, and could counter the reluctance of others in the mother country to make the journey. Charles II granted to Willoughby and Hyde the power to transport persons and arms, the right to free trade, and “liberty to such as inhabit the said province and cannot conform to the Church of England”.

Keywords: Caribbean government; Charles II; colonial proprietor; England; Lord Willoughby; Parham; Surinam



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