What Happened in June…
1610 Francois Pryard makes his second visit to the island. He finds the Portuguese chapel desecrated. The damage was seen as an act of revenge by the Dutch who blamed the Portuguese for taking letters left in Chapel Valley by Dutch ships for their compatriots to collect. There is evidence to show that letters left by the Portuguese were also taken – probably by the Dutch.
1621 John Hatch in the James spent seven days resting his crew at St Helena. During this time they caught about fifty pigs and goats and picked about four thousand lemons for the ships stores. Lemons were an effective deterrent against scurvy.
1628 John Darby, a Masters Mate, died in St Helena and was buried in the chapel which gave Chapel Valley its name. The chapel was built in 1571 and though suffering at the hands of some visiting crews was still in existence.
1655 Jan Van Riebeeck, the founder of the first Dutch settlement in South Africa called at St Helena with the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies. Van Riebeeck recorded in his journal the visit of the Tulp whose crew took aboard pigs, apple saplings and horses. Horses were left on St Helena to breed and then be captured for use by crews of following vessels.
1673 The Dutch were expelled from St Helena the previous month but naval scirmishes continued with Dutch ships sailing homeward from the Cape. Seven Dutch vessels were sighted off the island and a warning signalled to the fort. Shore batteries fired on the Dutch vessels which then sailed away into the night.
1678 Governor Blackmore arrives with soldiers and passengers, some of whom left their names on the island permanently. Trap, Chubb, Downing and Rowland were among them.
1690 Ten of the most lazy and weakly of the Companys slaves were sold for prices ranging from £8 to £27. The slaves ages ranged from eight to twenty-seven.
1707 John Luffin sells his house and 30 acres of land near Great Plantation to the Government before sailing for England.
1714 The severest drought so far known caused cattle and crop losses. A supply ship from England was expected but well overdue. Governor Boucher leaves the island due to ill health.
1716 A bullock killed to supply a vessel was refused by the ships captain who described it as carrion. In explanation the butcher said he was unable to hang the beast after slaughter as they were no trees within half a mile. Asked why he should slaughter cattle in such a location the butcher further explained the shot did not kill the bullock but caused it to run off at great speed. Dogs were set upon it to give chase. The bullock ran for half a mile before being caught.
1717 Small pox broke out among the slaves from Madagascar. They were quarantined in Lemon Valley.
1719 Parson Jones admits to striking Mr Tovey during an argument. Mr Tovey complained of suffering from a swollen eye.
1734 The water stored in tubs in Chapel Valley is the breeding ground for swarms of mosquitoes which invade every house.
1747 It is reported that lemon trees are now rare. Many of those which bore much fruit are now dead.
1762 An earthquake was felt at 5.00 am on the 17th. The strongest tremors were in the south where crockery was shaken off shelves.
1776 Saul Solomon born in London
1782 Register of a runaway – see the document
1787 William Worrall and his slave were caught sheep stealing. They were seen committing this crime by other slaves who reported the offence. As the word of a slave could not be taken against a free man, only Worralls slave was tried and convicted. Worrall himself received £15 compensation for the loss of his slave.
1827 The Briars was purchased by the East India Company for £6,000. The property was used as a silk-worm establishment and for growing Mulberry trees.
1830 The schooner St Helena is captured by pirates. Most of the crew massacred.
1833 Subscription offer for the setting up of a whale fishery attracts £1,000 of investment.
1836 All male inhabitants of the island are enrolled in the Volunteer Corps.
1844 Two frigates take on water at St Helena to transport to Ascension where there is a serious drought.
1849 Official records for births, marriages and deaths are started.
1854 A St Helena museum is opened. Exhibits included a sea serpent and a flying lizard. Were they extinct endemic species?
1861 A service at St Jamess church is interrupted when hundreds white ants are found eating through a desk and then the Bible.
1883 The cemetery for paupers and seamen at Half Tree Hollow is closed after 675 burials.
1886 The St Helena Whaling Association is dissolved.
1899 A new drainage system is completed in Jamestown, carrying waste water in a culvert from Upper Jamestown to the sea front.
1901 A water condensing plant starts operating in Ruperts Bay
1902 Boer prisoners begin repatriation after taking an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. The repatriation process lasts twelve months.
1907 Twenty-five Zulu rebels are brought to the island for confinement. Housed at Ladder Hill barracks, they are employed breaking rocks.
1908 St Helena craftwork is exhibited in London at Caxton Hall.
1913 A suggestion publicised that suffragettes [the votes for women movement] convicted of misdemeanours in UK law courts be sent to St Helena as prisoners. Just one of many similar suggestions made since.
1920 A lace depot is opened by Solomons in Main Street.
1921 Cotton is planted on Prosperous Bay Plain
1926 Electric lights are installed in the General Hospital
1929 The Executive Council is formed by Order in Council. The Senior Military Officer and Government Secretary are ex-officio members.
1956 The new General Hospital is opened.
1961 An electricity supply is connected to some houses from Half Tree Hollow to White Gate.
1968 The first RSPCA clinics are held at the Red Cross Hut.
1975 Eric ODean and Ivan Henry are swept from rocks at Deep Valley.
1976 A team of divers arrive to try to salvage Witte Leeuw a Dutch 17th Century merchantman.
1978 The St Helena Handicapped Persons Aid Society is formed.
1981 Thunderstorms cover the island.
1983 Scott Mill reservoir becomes operational.
1988 The keel is laid for the new RMS St Helena.
1989 The Fisheries Association is formed.
1992 Mr Yu Sang Lees proposals to bring inward investment to the island are rejected by the government.
1993 June floods [a fairly regular occurrence] affect the Bulk Fuel Farm at Ruperts Valley and cause rockfalls.
1994 The All Party St Helena Group is formed among MPs from the House of Commons and Peers from the House of Lords.
Acknowledgement is due to the Saint Helena Heritage Societys St Helena 500 compiled by Robin Gill & Percy Teale