Seville Great House

When the English captured Jamaica in 1655 from the Spanish areas of the country were divided up amongst the captains and generals of the conquering armies. One such was the Seville Estate that was awarded to a Captain Hemmings. Prior to the Spanish, Taino peoples from South America had settlements on the area now known as Seville. The Spaniards imported Africans as slaves to work the sugar and later Copra there and the English continued this activity.

The Seville Great house was built by Hemmings grandson towards the end of the 17th century. Originally a two storey house, the top floor was blown off during a hurricane in the 19th century. The upper floor was never restored so the house as it was then remains today. Operated as a heritage park where visitors can learn about the various known inhabitants of the area, the once 3000 acre Seville estate which extended form Clayground to the sea has been divided up and what remains known as Seville Estate is now merely 300 acres, divided by the main coastal highway that runs on the northern side ot the island from Montego Bay in the west to Port Antonio in the east.

 

The last owners of the estate prior to it being taken over by the Government were the Hoskins family. Their family burial site can  be seen here. The last remaining spot is empty as the youngest sister did not die on the island and is buried elsewhere.

At Seville Heritage Park, you can take a tour of the great house and the grounds and learn something about the past inhabitants of the area, from the Taino, through to the English. Several archaeological digs have been carried out there, revealing artifacts from the past, which demonstrated how the inhabitants lived.

There are also reconstructions of a Taino village and African house on the site as well as the ruins of some of the plantation workers most notably the overseers house and the intact structures of the copra kiln and chimney.

 

Morlene Fisher

3 comment(s)

It saddens me to see only 300 acres left of the Estate. I am the first granddaughter of Doris Hoskins Robinson. Doris was the daughter of the last Hoskins male who is buried there and his black housekeeper. His 2 spinster sisters wanted my great grandmother to hand over her white skinned child for her to be raised by the two spinster Aunts and sent to school in england. My great grandmother took her child and fled and raised her by herself. Sadly when notices were posted in the 50’s to 60’s re this estate my aunt Leonie Robinson Woodstock who worked in a lawyers office, did not want it known that her mother was a blow by/illegitimate daughter. She never spoke up and when my father Norman Robinson eventually found out it was too late as the lands had gone back to the crown. My younger brother has a dossier of all information proving this all except my grandmothers marriage certificate and birth certificate. My Aunt destroyed her mothers marriage certificate and the birth certificate was destroyedin a fire in Spanish town.
Some years ago after my fathers death his brother Sydney Robinson was advised by a Minister in charge of Seville that each decendant would receive 10 acres of land. Nothing every materialized and we understood much of the land had been captured by small parties and we would face injury to try to reclaim it. Sad that my Jamaican Government made no attempt at restitution especially after changing laws that no child would be termed “illegitimate”.
For the record, Old Mr. Hoskins was an epileptic, a health problem which has manifest itself in several descendants.

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