The parish was situated on narrow neck of land called Palisadoes – today Kingston. By 1657 it made excellent anchorage for ships especially for the larger vessels wherein goods were loaded and unloaded with little trouble. This in turn made it desirable for trade and commerce, celebrated for its inhabitants, treasures of silver and gold. By 1672, eight hundred houses were built most of which were rented at competitive rates to houses located in the city of London of the time. By 1692 saw the housing stock increase to two thousand with inhabitants numbering around three thousand five hundred. Neighbouring parishes St Andrew and St Catherine were suppliers of goods and materials such as timber (for buliding), bricks, fire-wood, vegetable provisions. The merchant and planter were mutually dependent each other.
Prior to 1692 large scale pirateering activities were well supported particulary by buccaneers retailers of alcohol who dissipated goods and products retrieved from the Spanish. The parish inhabitants also included merchants, warehousekeepers and vintners.
On 7th June 1692 saw the beginning of the reversal of fortunes for Port Royal. Earthquake violently struck the parish killing thousands if inhabitants. It was estimated that around two thousand inhabitants lost their lives. Documentations including vital records were lost also. Long (1790) describes the parish as “declining very fast, and perhaps irreparably”
©Sharon Tomlin 2011