Annabella Proudlock, a vibrant leader of the GSJ, St. Mary/Ann Chapter passed away on Valentine's Day, 2015. Needless to say, the news reverberated throughout the Georgian Society community as members keenly felt the loss.
Born in Wales, Annabella worked as a fashion model in London and moved to Jamaica in 1966. She was an artist, art collector, patron of the arts and Managing Director of Harmony Hall, a 19th Century manse, turned art gallery. In addition, she had a passion for The Georgian Society of Jamaica and upholded the organization's mission for the preservation, restoration and maintenance of Jamaica's historical buildings, monuments, artifacts, works of art, furniture and fixtures particularly those belonging to the Georgian Period (1720-1850).
Longtime Honourable Secretary of the Georgian Society, Pauline Simmonds provides background information on the key role that Annabella played in this organization as follows:
"In 1991, Geoffrey deSola Pinto, Co-founder of the Georgian Society in 1967, requested the late Dorothea Whitehorne to convene a meeting in Ocho Rios to start a Chapter of the Georgian Society of Jamaica. That was done by Dorothea, and Annabella Proudlock was one of the first persons she invited to participate. After a few meetings in 1991 and 1992, the Chapter was officially launched at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in July 1993 at which time Annabella was elected to the Executive Committee on which she served for many years. Geoffrey, Max Southby and I attended the official launch – Max and I as representatives from the St. James Chapter.
Annabella was elected Chairman of the Chapter in 2000/2001 following the death of the then Chair – Shirley Playfair.
I do recall her leadership role in getting the Chapter involved in the restoration of CLERMONT GREAT HOUSE near Highgate - a project which had been identified/adopted by the Nation Council and for which funds had been raised - the identification for restoration of the ROARING RIVER WATER WHEEL , the restoration of the OCHO RIOS COURT HOUSE and the ANNOTTO BAY BAPTIST CHURCH".
Marina Delfos, Chairman of the Trelawny Chapter has a personal remembrance to share:
"I became a member of the Georgian Society back in 2007 and Annabella was leading the St. Ann/St. Mary Chapter by then, which was a very active Chapter with projects, field trips and events at Te Moana. Her approach was an inclusive one, and I even became a member of her Chapter at one point even though I was based in Falmouth and a member of that Chapter.
Annabella demonstrated how a Chapter should be run...organized with passion, dedication and fun. It wasn't just about outings, it was also about making a concerted effort to educate members about the importance of preserving Jamaica's Georgian heritage. She was never afraid to voice her opinion.
When I took over the Falmouth Chapter her support became invaluable and without it I am not sure how I would have managed. She helped to start the monitoring programme of the historic district by providing some funding from her Chapter, she attended an all important meeting with the then Executive Director and Chairman of the JNHT in Falmouth, she wrote letters about the plight of Falmouth, and she was always interested in what was happening even until very recently. In early January she asked how the 2014 Falmouth Fundraiser in December had gone.
Annabella was certainly an inspiration to me, with her knowledge, her commitment, and her passion for the things that really interested her. If it wasn't for her I probably wouldn't have started exploring Jamaica as much I do and with my maps in hand. She showed me her maps from the Survey Department when I told her one Sunday after an GSJ Executive Meeting at her house that I was on my way to explore with a friend in search of ruins, old houses, etc.
It was certainly a privilege to have known her and I know her presence will always be felt when it comes to the business of heritage in Jamaica".
Wendy Lee, a member of the St. Ann/St. Mary chapter shares:
"A beautiful spirit has left this earth today. She was a friend, a lover of animals and nature, an artist, a generous giver of her time, resources and money to causes she believed in, a valued member of the local business community and the cultural life of her adopted island home, a wonderful wife and mother. Annabella, your kind and gentle presence will be sorely missed".
Current Chairman, St. Ann/St. Mary chapter, Monika Maitland-Walker remembers that: "Annabella cared very much and organised many interesting trips and wonderful Christmas parties at her home for the Georgian Society. She will be missed".
The members of the Georgian Society of Jamaica wish to express deep condolences to Annabella's husband, and 2nd VP of the Georgian Society, Peter Proudlock as well as her children, Sebastian and Jessica Ogden.
The Barrett Family
The Greenwood Great House was built in 1780 and was for many generations the home of the famous Barrett family who arrived in Jamaica from Wimpole Street in London. In a short time, the head of the Barrett family -- Hersey Barrett -- had become extremely wealthy, owning more than 84,000 acres of land and 2000 slaves in the parishes of Trelawny and St. James.
Hersey Barrett was not only famous because of his extensive land holdings in Jamaica, but also because he was the uncle of the famous poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning -- her father was Edward Barrett.
Edward Barrett's income exceeded 60,000 pounds a year. When he returned to England--with his brother Samuel and his sister Pinkie--a cousin, Richard Barrett stayed on, becoming entrenched into Jamaican life. He became Speaker of the House of Assembly, Custos of St. James and eventually a judge.
Click photos below to enlarge
The Great House
The great house boasts a fine antique museum and still has many of its original furniture. Greenwood Great House also has a large and rare collection of musical instruments and books. Located on the border of St. James and Trelawny, it is positioned on the top of a hill which commands a view of almost 130 degrees of the surrounding area.
Greenwood Great House Today
A Georgian Christmas
By Ben Johnson
In 1644, Christmas was banned by Oliver Cromwell. carols were forbidden and all festive get-togethers were deemed against the law. With the restoration of Charles II, Christmas was re-instated, albeit in a more subdued manner. By the Georgian period (1714 to 1830), it was once again a very popular celebration. When searching for information on a Georgian or Regency (late Georgian) Christmas, who better to consult than Jane Austen? In her novel, ‘Mansfield Park’, Sir Thomas gives a ball for Fanny and William. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the Bennets play host to relatives. In ‘Sense and Sensibility’, John Willoughby dances the night away, from eight o’clock until four in the morning. In ‘Emma’, the Westons give a party.
And so it would appear that a Georgian Christmas was very much all about parties, balls and family get-togethers. The Georgian Christmas season ran from December 6th (St. Nicholas Day) to January 6th (Twelfth Night). On St. Nicholas Day, it was traditional for friends to exchange presents; this marked the beginning of the Christmas season. Read the rest of the article.
(This article was first published in Georgian Jamaica, the FGSJ's newsletter, in September 1995)
For me, there are two quite distinct types of Georgian architecture to be found in Jamaica. The first, which one might call Colonial Classicism, imitates 18th-century prototypes as closely as possible. Familiar examples include the Rodney Memorial in Spanish Town and, on a more intimate scale, certain of the cut-stone ancillary buildings at Good Hope estate, Trelawny.
The Good Hope buildings are pure Palladian in character, meaning that their design has been carefully worked out according to the classical principles laid down in the 16th century by Palladio, the great Italian architect. They are fine examples of mason’s work, to be sure, but they make no concession to their environment, so far in distance and in spirit from temperate England.
Yet these buildings, and dozens like them, are important for two reasons quite apart from their value as treasured monuments of the distant past. The first reason is because they illustrate the strength of contemporary European architectural fashion in a remote colony like Jamaica at the height of the sugar boom. And, secondly, because they are a tribute to the craftsmanship of the black tradesmen.
Almost more interesting for me, however, is the other type of Jamaica Georgian - the ‘tropical classical’ vernacular which, whilst showing much evidence of the European tradition and adhering to its rules, is in fact more original, more imaginative, more characterful, strongly influenced by the local lifestyle, materials and, in particular, climate.
This tradition is to be found in many of the early churches, slave hospitals, boiler houses and sugar factories, in the town mansions of the rich, in the great-houses of the (often absentee) 18th- and early 19th-century planters, in the smaller dwellings of their resident overseers and the humble cottages of their slaves. It can be seen echoed, often unconsciously, in the late 19th-century gingerbread houses, in the better beach bungalows of relatively recent times and even in some of the ritzy shingle-roofed villas which are beginning to dot the hills around Kingston and along the North Coast. But where did this local classical tradition begin? Was it borrowed from colonial North America, or imported, as some have suggested, from British India?
My research over the past six or seven years, during which I have studied the correspondence and other writings of early visitors to the island, pored over the business accounts, wills and inventories of the pioneer settlers, studied estate maps, contemporary sketches and drawings, visited countless early buildings throughout Jamaica and made detailed surveys of dozens of them - all this suggests to me that the classical vernacular of the British Caribbean not only forms part of a worldwide Colonial Georgian style but is actually the root and fountainhead of it.
In other words, it is my considered view that the plantation houses of Georgia and Alabama, the ‘raised cottages’ of Carolina and Louisiana, the shady homesteads of outback Australia and the early bungalows of British India, all owe their origin to the earlier and much more prosperous colonists of Jamaica, and, to a lesser extent, Barbados and Antigua. It is these pioneers who, in the second half of the 17th century, first began to adapt the classical renaissance idiom of their native country to an alien environment. Why did they do it? In my view, it was out of necessity; in the hurricane-prone, earthquake-ridden West Indian climate, they found they had to adapt or perish.
Later on I hope to show that it was by drawing on the experience of their Spanish predecessors that our forebears, whether as financiers or as artisans, created a unique language - a dialect, if you like, of Palladianism, but so soundly based that is still endures.
Article courtesy of the Friends of Georgian Society