on port royal street


1765-1795 - a 'Merchant Prince of Port Royal Street'

'along with other merchants, [he] favoured accommodation near the waterfront, for his lively-hood depended on the port.'


   Alexandre Lindo was born in 1742, probably in Paris or Bordeaux, France. He arrived in Jamaica probably in 1765, and rented a property on Port Royal Street, becoming one of the earliest 'Merchant Princes of Port Royal street'.

   As a merchant he purchased and distributed the whole cargoes of ships, operating a credit business with the local merchants. He acquired large properties, including a coffee estate; he also bought valuable property in Kingston. On the waterfront he had his own wharf - 'Lindo's wharf'. Part of his business involved goods from ships captured in the Caribbean. From 1775 he was involved in the importation of slaves, his company, Lindo and Lake, becoming the largest slave-importing company in the island, by the mid-1790s. He owned two ships which operated across the Atlantic.

   His house on Tower Street was the biggest in Kingston, with 30 servants and 12 vehicles of various types.

   He left Jamaica in 1795, and died in London in 1812. He had revisited Jamaica in 1802-3, trying to restore his business fortunes, which had suffered from his partner's debts, and his own attempts to support the French efforts to hold onto St Domingue. In 1805, however, his property still included his large commercial establishment on the waterfront, including a wharf, crane, scale, cooperage, and several large warehouses, some two storeys high. At his death his wealth was a fraction of what it had been at the height of his career.


 A sketch of the customs and society of Mexico: in a series of familiar letters and a journal of travels in the interior, during the years 1824, 1825, 1826,
Edward B. Penny, 1828 

Kingston, Jamaica, 1st May, 1824.
'We landed at a wooden wharf, alongside of which we were moored, the property of our consignee, whose warehouses and offices are quite contiguous. All this side of the harbour is occupied by similar wharfs and the shipping; the fronts of the warehouses are in Port Royal-street, the principal street for business both of import and export; it is very narrow, and, certainly, not what a stranger would expect to find as the emporium of West Indian commerce. This defect, however, is found to be necessary, and suited to the climate, and the situation, close to the harbour, is at once the most convenient, and admits the luxury of a sea breeze. Most of the stores are fire proof, and consist of only the ground floor; they are large and airy, and the merchants generally contrive to sit in a strong current of air, which makes the heat tolerable.'


'All who have been at Kingston will know who are the inhabitants of Port Royal Street; and those who have not, must be informed that this street is extensive, reaching completely along one portion of the harbour, where all the most extensive wharfs are situated, at the back of one range of the houses in Port Royal Street. Jews and christians indiscriminately occupy stores in this mercantile part of Kingston; and indeed many who have removed to a much finer street and situation, have deemed it expedient to return, from the apparently simple circumstance, that the Spaniards, or other traders from the main, will not take the trouble to travel beyond this point in search of piece goods, and other articles they require.'


6 & 8 Port Royal Street, Kingston, Jamaica

importers of Irish Linens, Lawns, Sheetings, Drills, Hollands, Damasks, Diapers, Woollen cloths, Flannels, Prints, Muslins, Calicoes, French silks, Shawls, Scarfs, Fancy dresses & Mourning of all description, Bonnets, Hats, Boots and Shoes, Hosiery, Haberdashery & Lace, Ready made clothing, and every article of wearing apparel adapted for the West Indies climate

Ladies & Gentlemen's Saddles, Carriage and Gig harnesses, Mule collars, Whips, Heads & Reins,

Also Manufacturers of Saddlery in all its branches.


 Tanners and Leather cutters

NB. Hunts Celebrated Port Wine always on hand


The Jamaica movement for promoting the enforcement of the slave-trade treaties and the suppression of the slave-trade, David Turnbull, 1850

Mr Edward Jordon member of Assembly for Kingston and one of the editors of the Morning Journal newspaper said -

  ' . . . . In this city great distress prevails, and I believe this to be the case in the other towns in the island. Desolation was to be seen in the number of the untenanted stores and houses. It is only necessary to walk along Port Royal street, where our great commercial establishments are situated, to be satisfied of the state of things there; and if we go into the other streets, and the upper part of the town, the number of unoccupied houses is enough to alarm us. Some few years ago it was difficult to procure a decent residence. The late fire [1843] destroyed a portion of the city, and increased the demand for habitations. The inquiry which had suggested itself to him was - what had become of the people who formerly inhabited these houses? The population of the city was not less, he believed, than it was, and there was no other conclusion left, than that two or three families, from their altered circumstances, were now forced to occupy the same premises. With regard to Port Royal street, he believed that but for the continued drought - the absence of all moisture - that moisture which was essential to vegetation - Rippinham's prediction, that grass would grow in that street, would long since have been verified. . . . .'