Jamaica Land and Property

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Background[edit | edit source]

The Statute, 33 Charles II., Chapter 12, inter alia provided that all Deeds should be recorded in the Office of Enrolments, the Chief Officer of which was the Island Secretary, within three months, and Patents within six months of their execution. This law also provided that the office should be situate in the town of St. Jago de la Vega, now known as Spanish Town. In the year 1712 the Legislature of the island, finding that the Public Records had received great damage by length of time, frequent searches, and 'the late violent hurricane,' passed a law providing for the books to be re-bound and re-transcribed where necessary, and for a proper index to be kept. In less, however, than thirty years the Legislature had to again come to the assistance of the Records, as in the year 1738 I find another Act was passed which, after reciting that many of the Public Records were damaged by the 'late violent hurricane and the length of time,' were very much decayed, by which the inhabitants of the island were endangered of their properties, provided that an inventory of the Public Record Books should be made and kept, and handed over by each retiring Secretary to his successor.

'In 1879 the office of Island Secretary was abolished, and a new office established called "The Island Record Office," the Chief Justice of the Island being by virtue of his office "The Keeper of the Records," under him being a deputy and capable staff. Here are all the records of Conveyances, Mortgages, Bills of Sales, Powers of Attorney, and Patents, all of which are in good condition, have full indices, and are carefully kept in the office in Spanish Town in a large fire-proof room.'[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 'Records of Jamaica,' Caribbeana, Vol. 1 (1910):135. Digitised by dLOC.