By Robert Hermann Schomburgk
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:October 2011
Original Publication Year:1848
Subjects: Regional history after 1500
Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk (1804–1865) was a German-born surveyor and traveller. In 1835–1839 he explored British Guiana for the Royal Geographical Society, and in 1840 he was appointed to define its boundaries with Brazil. Knighted for his work, he then visited Barbados for the Barbados General Railway Company, publishing The History of Barbados in 1848. This substantial work contains - unsurprisingly given his background - a great deal more than a chronological narrative of the settlement and history of the island. He begins with a geographical analysis, statistical information, and an examination of the political and sociological state of Barbados. The third part is on the geology, mineral resources, and natural history of the colony. Although physically small, Barbados was extremely important both to British imperial policies and to her economy, playing a key role in the Atlantic trade routes, particularly for sugar.