St. James was one of the second group of parishes formed in Jamaica, it was a much larger parish as it included what are now the separate parishes of Trelawney and Hanover. Remains of Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Taino, have been located along the coastal area of St. James. These “early natives” are now affectionately referred to as the “Fairfield people”, in honour of a site near to Montego Bay where characteristic examples of their pottery have been found. The parish capital of Montego Bay was witness to the final act of slave uprising in the island prior to emancipation. Known as the Christmas Rebellion of 1831-32, it began at Kensington Estate and engulfed the entire western section of Jamaica. Led by Baptist preacher and leader Samuel Sharpe this rebellion provoked two detailed Parliamentary Inquiries, which arguably contributed to the 1833 Abolition of Slavery across the British Empire.
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