Essequibo (colony)

Essequibo (also: Essequibo ) was from 1616 to 1814 a Dutch colony on the northern coast of South America, in the region of the Essequibo and the Demeraraflusses. Essequibo was part of the colonies, which are also known under the collective term Dutch Guiana.


Dutch colonization

Although the first European to the Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda explored the coast of present-day Guyana and over here reported was - about individual forays to explore the hinterland beyond - no real seizure and colonization. Because this land appeared to the Spaniards far less profit auspiciously than other parts of South America and Central America.

Thus, the Dutch were able to in the area, which ( in the west) and the Portuguese had not yet been taken (to the east ) in the fitting of the Spaniards, found colonies, including - according to a first branch in 1581 at Pomeroon - as a second colony in 1616, the colony Essequibo.

The first points of the merchants of Zeeland at the mouths of the Essequibo Pomeroon and served to barter with the indigenous peoples. But soon, plantations were established for the cultivation of coffee, tobacco, indigo plants, cocoa, cotton and especially sugar. To manage this, African slaves were "imported" that had to toil in the fields in deplorable conditions for the profit of their masters.

Changes in ownership

The Dutch rule, which was applied from 1621 by the West India Company (WIC ) ( monopoly ) was, from 1665 to 1666 and from 1781 to 1782 by the British interrupted as the Berbice and Essequibo colonies were conquered (including Demerara ). The English rule was replaced by the French from 1782 to 1784. After the French colony had 1784 ceded again, Essequibo remained until 1796, again in Dutch-owned, as it was again, and thus almost certainly occupied by the British. After the Peace of Amiens it came from 1802 to 1803 briefly back in Dutch hands, after which it was taken over by the British again. Through the British -Dutch Treaty of 1814 Essequibo officially fell on August 13, 1814 then to the United Kingdom. On July 21, 1831 was then assembled together with Demerara and Berbice as British Guiana, before the area in 1966 as Guyana became independent.


The most important defense system was the Fort Kijkoveral ( figuratively: see all ) on a river island in the Essequibo, at the confluence with the Cuyuni and Mazaruni. The Fort Island was also the administrative center of the colony and the seat of the governor.


From 1745 on, the number of plantations took along the Demerara and its tributaries to increase. Especially the influence of the British by the colonists coming from Barbados settled here, always took more. By appointing a Kommandantes in 1750, this area was an independent character. Around 1780 a small capital was founded at the mouth of the Demerara, 1784 the name Stabroek was named after one of the directors of the WIC. 1812, the city got its present name Georgetown.

In 1800, in Essequibo and Demerara were a total of around 380 sugar plantations in operation.


The German explorer Robert Hermann Schomburgk undertook from 1835 to 1839 a scientific expedition to British Guiana and 1840-1844 he toured the border rivers on behalf of the British Government to determine the boundaries with neighboring Venezuela and Suriname.

Angola | Berbice | Ceylon | Dejima ( leasehold ) | Demerara | Essequibo | Formosa | Fort Amsterdam | Fort Batensteyn | Fort Lydsaamheid | Fort Nassau | Cape Colony | Capes Verde (Senegal ) | Maldives | Mauritius | New Amstel | Dutch Brazil | Dutch Guiana | Dutch East Indies | Dutch Virgin Islands | New Netherland | Sao Tome | St. Helena | Suriname | bases on the Gold coast | Dutch possessions in South Asia | Tobago

Former colonies, today part of the Netherlands: Aruba | Curacao | Sint Maarten | Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba ( the BES islands )

  • Dutch colonial history
  • History ( Guyana)
  • Historical overseas territory
  • Historical territory ( America)