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St. Vincent

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St. Vincent was a volcanic island in the Caribbean. It was composed of partially submerged volcanic mountains.


The island's first known inhabitants were Arawaks, later driven out by Caribs; the latter put up a strong resistance to European colonisation. Columbus sighted the principal island on 22 January 1498, and named it after the saint whose feast falls on that day. No immediate European immigration followed his discovery. In 1627 King Charles I of England granted the island to Lord Carlisle, but no settlers arrived. Charles II granted it to Lord Willoughby in 1672; possession was disputed by the British, French and Spanish. All these claims were resisted by the Caribs. The Caribs did not, however, oppose the settlement of a shipload of enslaved Africans who escaped after a shipwreck in 1673, and in due course seem to have merged with the Carib community through intermarriage.

In November 1717, the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the infamous pirate Blackbeard, attacked and captured the merchant vessel Great Allen off the coast of St. Vincent. The pirates moved the merchant ship closer to the shore, disembarked her crew and emptied her cargo holds, and then burned and sank the vessel.

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