Barbados Plantations

A little history of Barbados:

1627 - first English settlement.

1637 - sugarcane was first brought to Barbados by the Dutch.

1650 - Barbados was described as the richest spot in the New World.

1684 - there were 60,000 slaves in Barbados, outnumbering whites 3 to 1.

1703 - Yellow fever outbreak killed many people.

1731 - a hurricane caused widespread damage, followed 2 years later by a drought.

1751 - George Washington visited Barbados with his brother Lawrence who was sick with TB.  

        George contracted smallpox while there which left his face permanently scarred.  

        It was the only overseas trip George ever made.

        During the later 1700's Barbados suffered economic problems.  

        The price of sugar fell because of competition from other Islands, such as Jamaica.  

        The American War of Independence devastated trade.  

        At one point food shortages were so severe that the poor died in the streets.  

1780 - A destructive hurricane killed over 2,000 people and destroyed crops.

1790 - Robert Mapp was born

1805 - Lord Horatio Nelson sailed into Barbados just a few months before he died in the Battle of Trafalgar.

1820 - Buccaneer, Sam Lord, built his castle in Barbados.

1821 - John Thomas Mapp was born

1838 - slaves were emancipated.



There were a few different Mapp men who owned plantations through the years, only one was called Mapp plantation.


Mapps College (boys school) today in Barbados is on the original Mapp plantation, near Mapp Hill in St. Phillip's parish (Mapp Hill is in St. Michael Parish, but it is near St. Phillip Parish).  What is the front entrance to the College was the back of the plantation house 100 years ago. The Headmaster’s house is an older building and was the first house built on the plantation. (Today the plantation is owned by Teen Challenge, a ministry to young drug users.)


1721 the Mapp plantation was established by Thomas Mapp (previously called the Vinter estate).

1741 the 130-acre plantation was owned by Samuel Mapp (St. Philip parish); he married to Catherine Gibbes

1757 Samuel Mapp’s daughter Mary Mapp (of St. George parish) became the owner as Samuel didn’t have a son to pass it onto

1764 Samuel’s daughter, Mary Mapp, married Richard Smith from England; they had a daughter Suzanna and she married John Gosling

1846 the 243-acre plantation was owned by James Mapp Allen


Not sure of the exact connection to our John Thomas Mapp, but Samuel Mapp must have had a male relative because his granddaughter Suzanna was born about the same time as John Thomas Mapp (b 1821)

map of Barbados.


Pictures of Mapp College, located on the original Mapp plantation.

It is currently owned by Teen Challenge (a ministry to young drug users).

hand-written caption reads: “Church cemetery in St. Philip Parish, Barbados.”

Can’t read the tombstone from the picture, but the written note at the bottom right says: “Frederick Mapp, Nov 2, 1855, ?yrs, 2 months.”

(I have to comment that this church looks like St. John’s Parish church though.)