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other Black Anglican clergy | missionaries | other Black Anglicans

Robert Gordon and the other Black Anglican
clergy in Jamaica in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 [Two pages,Augustus Cole and C L Barnes, have now been completed, though I may add more to them; and C C Douce is well in hand. Check other pages to see how far I have got with them; I have put more material on the pages on Robert Gordon. Joy Lumsden]


The objectives of the site:


  • To answer the question: why is so little known about Jamaica's Black Anglican clergy in the 19th century?
  • To provide information on Black Anglican clergy in the 19th century.

Sources of information:

 Archives of the Episcopal Church (USA)

Canterbury Cathedral Archives
- St Augustine's College Archive
National Library of Jamaica

Secular newspapers

- Colonial Standard
- Daily Gleaner
- Jamaica Post
- Jamaica Times

Church newspapers

- Jamaica Church Chronicle 

- The Jamaica Churchman

Church of England, Jamaica

- Synod reports


Who's Who in Jamaica

 - various years

Handbook of Jamaica

- various years

(Anglican clergy 1900)

The Cruise of the Port Kingston

by Ralph Hall Caine,  London, 1908

Life of Enos Nuttall, Archbishop of the West Indies   

by Frank Cundall,  London, 1922

A History of the Diocese of      Jamaica

by E. L. Evans

Roots and Blossom

Theological Education in a Multi-Ethnic Society 

by Edmund Davis      


Some reasons for the lack of information about Black Anglican clergymen in Jamaica in the 19th century:

* the names of all the Church of England clergy are of European origin, providing no indication of the ethnicity of those who bore them;

* official policies in the late 19th century discouraged the use of terminology relating to colour, since there were supposed to be no distinctions based on colour; therefore the colour of an individual clergyman is rarely mentioned;

* until the early years of the 20th century there are very few photographs of clergy, in the newspapers or in books;

* over time certain stereotypical perceptions of the character of the Church of England in Jamaica in the 19th century have become well established; these perceptions have tended to foster neglect of consideration of the significance of the role of Black Jamaicans in the Church.

 The Cathedral, 

Spanish Town 

 Black membership of the Anglican Church >>>
An interesting aspect of the story of the early Black Anglican clergy in Jamaica is that, with the exception of Robert Gordon, they all spent some part of their careers in Portland, a parish where Black small-holders predominated.


This site is dedicated to the memory of

David Robert 'Kew' Brown,
(c 1818 - 1916) of Kew in Portland;
a Black Jamaican born into slavery,
he was a life-long pillar of the Church of England.