English Conquest of Jamaica, 1655

In 1655 Oliver Cromwell dispatched a fleet commanded by Admiral Penn to the West Indies, with troops commanded by General Venables, with the order to conquer Hispaniola from the Spanish. Hispaniola turned out to be too strongly defended, so Penn took his fleet to Jamaica.
The Spanish fortifications were weak and the Spanish garrison outnumbered. Penn issued an ultimatum; the Spanish liberated their slaves, trained them in guerilla warfare and left Jamaica for Cuba. The English marched into a deserted island capital, Spanish Town. Spain ceded Jamaica to England in 1670.
Upon their return to England, Admiral Penn and General Venables were imprisoned in the Tower, for their failure in taking Hispaniola.

The Capture of Jamaica, from British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate
Admiral William Penn, from Pepys Diary Glossary, from Columbia Encyclopedia, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS Image : Portrait of Sir William Penn, from National Maritime Museum

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 12th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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