Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History


Anthropology and Archaeology



First Advisor

Rod Mather


The following thesis confronts pre-existing histories of the English conquest of Jamaica which primarily write about it within either the Caribbean context or the more narrow European context. These prior histories tend to misinterpret the central causes of why Spain was unable to successfully dislodge the English between 1655 to 1660. Previous histories typically cite it as evidence for a broader Spanish or Habsburg decline. By reframing this conquest within a broader Atlantic context, which takes into account both the Caribbean and European perspectives, the reader will come to see why Jamaica was lost by the Spanish to the English. This was primarily because Iberian forces were heavily involved in European conflicts and thus unable to traverse the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Spanish Caribbean forces were instructed to, and primarily focused on, the defense of their ports and territories to ensure that the wealth of the ‘Indies’ made it safely to Spain proper. The thesis relies on primary source documents from both Spanish and English authors to show what the priorities of the Spanish were at the time and in doing so show that Jamaica was not one of those priorities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.