Heritage & History

Since the 1655 British conquest of Jamaica, long established trade links between both sides of the Atlantic enabled colonial merchants to bring the best of the West Indies to the world.

Based in Jamaica and operating in all the British West Indies islands, British & Colonial Merchants Company has been importing and exporting goods and products from both sides of the Atlantic, from the British Isles to the tropical shores of the Caribbean islands.

British and Colonial Merchants Company is mainly operating in the Rum, Sugar and Cocoa industries as well other commodities. Our company business scopes from managing historic sugar estates and exporting typical west indian goods, to importing products for the Caribbean markets, either for large retailers and supermarkets as well for brokers and individuals.

Reassuringly Traditional, Refreshingly Modern.

British & Colonial Merchants Company is a ninth generation, family-owned business with a long history of careful stewardship and responsible management. From the early days of the 1655' English conquest of Jamaica, and later its expansion in other islands of the West Indies, our business has remained focused on delivering our customers with quality products and services to the highest standards of professional integrity.

The Heritage & Conservation Department preserves a wealth of corporate historical documents, spanning from correspondence between the proprietors and our clients, as well the day-to-day management of the estates and the sugar, rum and cocoa export trade, from 1655 to present day. Most of the documents could be accessed upon request, by appointment only.

With deep rooted values of stewardship and excellence, the firm has been driven forward and it is our express wish to carry on for the next centuries to come.

Since 1655 and counting...

British & Colonial Merchants Company' logo represents Britannia establishing the Pax Britannica throughout the Empire through trade and commercial exchanges.

Today, we remain deeply committed to recognise and respond to our responsibilities as corporate citizen in all areas of our business, especially by engaging fully in the public sphere, participating in industry and professional bodies and plays an active part in the wider communities within which we operate.

British and Colonial Merchants Company History Timeline

1655

In the aftermath of the English conquest of Jamaica led by Admiral Robert Venables and General William Penn against Spain, a group of prominent settlers of hiberno-norman descent established a partnership to export Rum and Sugar to the British Isles.

1692

After Port Royal being destroyed by the powerful 1692 earthquake, the company' business activities are relocated to newly built Kingston, on Duke Street, under the name of the Honourable Company of English Merchants of Jamaica.

1720

The company oversees the management of 18 sugar estates in Jamaica totalling over 24,000 acres and begun to be permanently represented in London by an agent established in the vicinity of St Paul Churchyard.

1844

The company is re-incorporated as a Joint Stock Partnership in London under the name British and Colonial Merchants Company. Comptoirs are opened in other West Indian islands, such as Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos and Barbados.

1907

The 1907 Earthquake which destroyed most of Kingston sees the company selling most of its jamaican assets and relocating its business in London and the British Virgin Islands as well as in Belize (British Honduras).

1950

In 1950, the company oversees the management of over 75,000 acres of sugar cane fields across the British West Indies and Central America and exports rum, sugar, coffee and cocoa worldwide.

2017

To meet 21st Century requirements, the 1844' joint stock partnership is dissolved in London and the company is re-incorporated as a jamaican company limited by shares, to focus on its traditional activity of agricultural estates management and commodities broker.

What's next ?

With over 380 years in business, we are looking forward to the next centuries with confidence. Assets are managed in a sustainable manner to be passed on to the next generation while delivering growth and income for present shareholders, always keeping in mind our core values of excellence and stewardship.