Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana

 (Editor’s Note: This article was carried in the January 2012 edition of Guyanese Online.  It is being re-published here due to the interest shown by our readers in the story of the Portuguese in Buxton-Friendship)

Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana

On May 3, 1835, the first Portuguese landed in what was then British Guiana. In commemoration of that event, Sr M. Noel Menezes looks at the early Portuguese, and the skills they brought with them from Madeira.
(All photos published courtesy of M.N. Menezes, RSM) by Sr M. Noel Menezes, R.S.M – Stabroek May 7th. 2000 (Reprinted courtesy of Kyk-Over-Al, December 1984)

Portugal in crisis

In the 1830s and into the 1850s Portugal was undergoing a series of crises – recurring civil wars between the Constitu-tionalists and the Absolutists, the repercussions of which were felt in Madeira. Many young men jumped at the opportunity to get out of Madeira at any cost and thus evade compulsory military service which was necessary, as Madeira was considered part of metropolitan Portugal. Also, more and more, poverty was becoming a harsh reality of life on the thirty-four mile long, fourteen mile wide island of 100,000 inhabitants. During the first decade of the nineteenth century life for the peasant, the colono who worked the land for the lord of the manor, had be-come even harder. ….

Read complete article: Portuguese Immigration from Madiera to British Guiana


— Post #1206

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