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Historical Dictionary of Trinidad and Tobago
This is an excerpt from 'The Historical Dictionary of Trinidad and Tobago' giving a brief timeline of Trinidad and Tobago's History. It is one of the twenty books written by Michael Anthony that is recommend to serious researchers studying the history of Trinidad and Tobago.


1498 Columbus encounters Kairi, which he names 'Trinidad', during his third voyage to the Indies, and claims it for Castile. He also spots a nearby islands, Tobago, which he calls 'Bella Forma'. They encounter the inhabitants the Amerindians

1506 Columbus’ son Diego inherits the title of Governor of Trinidad on his father’s death.

1516 The future Emperor Charles V becomes the first king of a united Spain.

1524 The Council of the Indies is established.

1926 The Audiencia of Santo Domingo is established, with Trinidad within its nominal jurisdiction.

1531 Antonio Sedeño attempts to settle Trinidad.

1580 English sailors claim Tobago for England.

1592 Antonio de Berrìo Y Oruña is appointed Governor of Trinidad and founds the town of St. Joseph.
Sir Walter Raleigh’s first visit to Trinidad; he encounters the asphalt Lake, and caulks his ships there, assaults San José de Oruña (St. Joseph), takes de Berrìo prisoner, and burns down the town. Robert Dudley calls at Trinidad just missing his appointment with Raleigh.
James 1 affirms English claim to Tobago.

1610 Dutch traders sell Trinidad its first African slaves.

1617 Raleigh’s second visit to Trinidad.

1625 Charles 1 of England asserts sovereignty over Tobago;
Barbadians led by Nicholas Laverton attempt to settle Tobago but are driven off by Caribs.

1626 Charles 1 of England grants charter to the Dutch West India Company to settle Tobago.

1631 Sir Henry Colt and some of his men are executed after an abortive attempt to settle near Toco in northweastern Trinidad.

1632 The Dutch attempt to settle 'New Walcheren' (Tobago).

1642 On the eve of Britain’s Civil War, Charles 1 of England grants Tobago to James, Duke of Courland, who tries to establish a settlement, but fails.

1654 Six hundred Courlanders settle on the shores of what is now Great Courland Bay, while the Dutch settle on the opposite side of the Islands.

1658 In Europe, the Duke of Courland is captured by the Swedes whereupon the Dutch takeover all Tobago, but the English demand their withdrawal and capture the island. Shortly thereafter 25 Frenchmen trick the 50-strong English garrison into surrendering.

1662 The French surrender their claim to Tobago in favor of the Dutch West Indian Company.

1667 The French abandon Tobago, the Dutch reoccupy it and build the fortress town of Lampsingburg, where Scarborough stands today.

1677 The French successfully assault Lampsinsgburg.

1679 The Treaty of Nijjmegen restores Tobago to the Dutch.

1684 the Treaty of Amiens declares the neutrality of Tobago.

1699 Spanish Governor of Trinidad, José Leòn de Echales, killed by the Amerindians at San Francisco de las Arenales (The Arena Massacre)

1498-1699 | 1700-1899 | 1903-1999