What Happened in August

1683 Joseph Trapp is granted land near Lemon Valley – now known as Trapp Cott.

1701 A great flood on the 1st of the month washed away several houses.  Later the same month the governor imposes a 10 pm curfew to try to limit the great increase in drunkenness.

1706  Further August flooding causes damage to the fortifications at Rupert’s Valley.

1708  A reward of $100 is offered to anyone quarrying stone to be burnt into lime.  The lime is urgently needed to repair fortifications. Later the same month the council resolves to go ahead with the governor’s scheme to build a fort which is now The Castle.

1710  The governor and council decide to send the directors of the East India Company a sample of the first St Helena sugar to be produced.  At the same time the directors were informed that lime, tiles, bricks, cut stones, rum and several kinds of minerals were produced in St Helena since the arrival of Governor Roberts.

1714  Governor Pyke, who arrived to take up duty in July, was dissatisfied with the attendance at church on Sundays.  He ordered that all people in the company’s service who are in Jamestown on Sundays are to attend church.

1715  Jepthah Fowler made an official complaint because his wife and a man called Andrew Berg had beaten him.  Both his wife and Andrew Berg were punished. He was fined, she was given a ducking and both had to ride the wooden horse.

1716  Exactly two years later Mrs Snow sailed off with Captain Martin in his ship Queen.  The governor states the moral tone of the island would have been improved if Jepthah Fowler’s wife and three other women had also gone.

1724  After the August floods of 1701 and 1706 the islanders are thankful that this year August is a wet month.  The records claim that a continuation of the drought would have turned the island into a desert.

1734  Turk’s Cap Valley is fortified.

1789  Mrs Clarissa Leech died leaving a will in which she wrote her own epitaph – as follows, ‘Here lay the body of Clarissa Leech who lived in pain but died with pleasure.’

1802  Botanists Viscount Valentia and Henry Salt visit the island.  They join up with Mr Porteous who is also a keen botanist.  Mr Porteous is also noted for having both Lord Wellesey [later Wellington] and Bonaparte as guests in his boarding house.

1811 The St Helena Register resumes production after being closed for seven months.  Saul Solomon, the previous owner, had printed ‘objectionable remarks’ causing the governor to close it down.  It was re-opened under the supervision of Mr Boys [the Parson] who was obliged to let the governor inspect any editorial copy which might be considered a ‘doubtful communication’.  Ten years later Mr Boys is at odds with the governor over the content of his sermons.

1819  Unrest between the Chinese population in Upper Jamestown and some soldiers results in the soldiers shooting and killing two Chinese.  The unrest continues for two more days.  The Coroner finds the cause of the deaths to be wilful murder, however, when the case is heard in Court the soldiers are acquitted.

1824  A recommendation for a tax on free blacks is refused.  The governor points out there can be no distinction of colour in legislation and that it would be difficult to decide whether individual freemen should be classified black or white [& balmy or pink or sunburn red?]

1839  The Girls School at Plantation is closed.  A new school is opened at Hutts Gate.

1865  The governor issues an Ordinance setting up the St Helena Savings Bank.

1867  No floods or droughts this August.  Instead, high winds remove the roofs of several houses and 150 trees are blown down at Plantation.

1873  253 people emigrate to the Cape.

1880   A pair of Storks are sighted.  One is shot dead the other dies anyway.  Also, Four Ostriches are imported.  The two males die within ten months.

1889  Mail steamers stop calling at St Helena on their way to and from Cape Town.

1912  An outbreak of scarlet fever causes schools to be closed for nearly three months.

1913  The St Helena Association is started in Cape Town.

1914  War is declared against Germany and the First World War is underway.  165 St Helenians enlist in the Volunteer Corps.  Thorpe’s Bioscope opens at Rickmers.

1917  The Pretender to the Sultanate of Zanzibar arrives with a party of 25 people.  He, and they, are held as prisoners at Pilling School.

1941  St Helena time is made the same as Greenwich Mean Time.  Previously the clocks were set 20 minutes earlier than GMT.

1946  The garrison stationed on St Helena during the Second World War leaves the island.

1951  The middle and upper cemeteries in Jamestown are deconsecrated.

1959  St Paul’s Social Centre, now Kingshurst Community Centre, is opened.

1962  The practice of ‘begging’ by children on ship days is banned.

1968  Thornton and Metelercamp trading as SATIC purchase the majority of shares in Solomon’s.

1977  The St Helena Shipping Co. is set up and Curnow are appointed to operate the RMS.

1978  Blue Hill Community Centre is opened.

1981  A fire at the Jubilee Cold Store blazes for two hours before it can be brought under control.  Losses estimated at £100,000.

1982  The RMS St Helena returns to the island from the Falklands.

1986  Half Tree Hollow Community centre is opened.

1991  The Oman Sea One capsizes in heavy seas, four men are lost.

1996  An underground cabling team find a tunnel under Main Street.