Definitions

Berbice

Berbice

[bur-bees]
Berbice: see Guyana.

Berbice is a region in Guyana, sometimes known as the "ancient county." The Berbice River runs through it. It is a former Dutch colony, as is evidenced by the existence of the nearly extinct Berbice Creole Dutch (based on lexicon and grammar on the West African language of Ijo).

Colonial history

Berbice was settled in 1627 by the Dutchman Abraham van Peere. A few years later Suriname was settled by Lord Willoughby and Lawrence Hyde under a grant from the English King, Charles II. In the beginning, therefore, Suriname was a British and Berbice a Dutch possession.

In November 1712 Berbice was briefly occupied by the French under Baron de Mouans. From 27 Feb 1781 to Feb 1782 British forces occupied Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice (subordinated to Barbados). From February 1782 to 1784 the French occupied Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo. In 1784 Berbice was restored to the Netherlands.

On 22 April 1796 the British occupied the territory. On 27 March 1802 Berbice was restored to the Batavian Republic (the then-current name of the Netherlands). In September 1803 the British occupied the territory again. On 13 August 1814 Berbice became a British colony. The colony was formally ceded to Britain by the Netherlands on 20 November 1815. On 21 July 1831 Berbice was united with Demerara-Essequibo as British Guiana.

Commanders in the Dutch era

Lieutenant governors in the British era

See also

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