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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Robert Carden, Governor of Antigua in 1666

Colonel Robert Carden was appointed Governor of Antigua around 1660-1665. He was captured by the French during an invasion of the island in 1666, and was apparently murdered within a year. Robert's wife (twice widowed) and son (who died without issue in 1697 as Captain Robert Carden) continued to live on the island and several land transactions were made by them. The island was only briefly occupied by the French - it was returned to Britain at the treaty of Breda in 1668.

More information can be found in Antigua and the Antiguans: Also an Impartial View of Slavery and the Free Labour Systems; the ... by Flannigan, Lanaghan (or Mrs Lanaghan), Saunders and Otley, 1844. (Internet Archive edition digitised by Google from Harvard University collection and The History of the island of Antigua one of the Leeward Caribbees in the West Indies, from the first settlement in 1635 to the present time by Oliver, Vere Langford, Vol 1, London, 1894. (Internet Archive edition digitised by Boston Public Library).

Here is a quotation from the former -

MURDER OF COLONEL CARDEN. The fate of Colonel Carden was truly shocking. Soon after the French had abandoned Antigua, a party of Caribs landed, and cruelly treated the defenceless inhabitants. At length they proceeded to the house of the ex-governor, Colonel Carden, who treated them very kindly, and administered to their want. Upon their leaving, they requested their entertainer to accompany them to the beach, who instantly complied ; but the Caribs, more treacherous than the wild beasts that haunt the desert, had no sooner reached the place where their canoes were stationed, than they fell upon their kind host, cruelly murdered him, and broiled his head, which they afterwards carried with them to Dominica.


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