This is a timeline of Barbadian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Barbados and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Barbados and History of the Caribbean. See also the list of governors and prime ministers of Barbados.
|Barbados first appears on Spanish maps and is referred to by King Ferdinand of Spain as Los Barbudos (Barbados), along with Cobaco (Tobago), and Mayo (unknown).
|King Ferdinand mentions that on the islands of Los Barbudos, Dominica, Martino (Martinique), Santa Lucia, San Vincente, La Asunción (Grenada), and Tavaco (Tobago), certain Indians called Caribs be captured due to their resistance towards Christianity.
|The Spanish crown ordered Judge Rodrigo de Figueroa to determine which areas of the region were populated by Caribs. He reported 'Indians have been taken from Los Barbudos, the Gigantes (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) and elsewhere who are not Caribs nor proper to be slaves. Thereafter, the isles deemed to be non-Carib were: Trinidad, the Lucayas (Bahamas), Barbados, Gigantes and Margarita.
|Portuguese explorer Pedro A. Campos discovers Barbados completely uninhabited, the island is claimed for the Portuguese.
|Spanish commentator Alonza de Santa Cruz speaks of inhabitants of Barbados in the past-tense.
|English Captain Simon Gordon may have first made a brief landing on Barbados. The Portuguese abandon Barbados.
|Courteen dispatched Captain John Powell for the purpose of establishing a permanent settlement on the island, but the ship returned to England having not been able to locate the island. (to 1627)
|Courteen dispatched a second envoy from England, led by Captain Henry Powell (brother of John Powell), on the ship known as the William and John.
|The passing trade ship, "Olive Blossom" owned by English merchant William Courteen (and led by Chief Captain John Powell), landed at St. James Town and erect a cross with the inscription "for James K. of E. and this island", other personal items are left behind prior to departing for England.
|Eighty English settlers, with ten African slaves (captured-at-sea) aboard the ship William and John land at St. James Town. (to 20 February)
|English king Charles I gave Courten by Royal Letters Patent the proprietary ownership and title to various lands in the Southern Americas (which Courten applies towards claim of Barbados).
|Charles gave James Hay, the 1st Earl of Carlisle by Royal Letters Patent the proprietary ownership to Caribbee islands lying between ten and twenty degrees of latitude.
|Lord Carlisle as represented by Governor Charles Wolferstone (of Bermuda) establishes a settlement and the capital moves from Courteen's settlement at St. James Town to present location of Bridgetown. Under the authority of the Wolverstone the Governor appoints a Council composed of the main landowners to assist him in the governance of the island.
|Forces of Carlisle's employ arrived in Barbados and arrested Courten's governor.
|The colony became divided into six original parishes. A vestry framework for local government is devised, and parishes are administered by elected landowners who had the powers to tax and carry out basic municipal functions, such as road maintenance.
|The parliament, (the House of Assembly then known as the House of Burgesses), held its first meeting. It was composed of sixteen landowners chosen by the Governor.
|Sugar cultivation begins on the island.
|English Civil War: Large influx of both English Parliamentarians, and Royalists to island. (to 1651)
|The British Parliament sends a fleet to blockade ports of Barbados, the island surrenders in December and agrees to recognise Charles II as King. (to 1651)
|The colony became re subdivided into eleven parishes, each sending two representatives to the House of Assembly.
|The Barbados Charter (Treaty of Oistins) is signed between locals and The Crown, of which articles of agreement confirm the Assembly, and liberty of conscience.
|The House and the Legislative Council (executive arm of government) began to hold separate sessions.
|The Bridgetown Magazine explodes, 80 Percent of Bridgetown (800 homes), are razed in a great fire.
|Quaker leader George Fox visits island.
|First slave rebellion.
|Charles II knights eleven gentlemen of Barbados. White indentured labourers (small-holders) are largely replaced by black slaves from West Africa (many from today's Ghana). (to 1680)
|White labourers mostly leave, to Carolinas, (Charleston, South Carolina); and to other West Indian islands, especially Jamaica.
|The sugar-producing planter class becomes dominant. They inter-marry with British aristocracy, and buy seats in the Parliament.
|Harrison College (formerly Harrison's Free School), is established by Bridgetown-merchant Thomas Harrison.
|The Codrington College (grammar school), named after the late Christopher Codrington is established by the Anglican Church.
|The Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi), then known as the "Forbidden Fruit Tree" is (for the first time), recorded through illustration in The Natural History of Barbados by Welshman, The Reverend Griffith Hughes.
|George Washington visits, making his only journey outside the American mainland. (to December)
|British government establishes a permanent land force in the eastern Caribbean, based in Barbados.
|Bussa's Rebellion, the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history.
|Free coloured men who meet the property requirements, are given the right to vote for members of Parliament.
|The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 is passed, ending the practice of slavery throughout the British Empire.
|Slavery itself is abolished, and the descendants of enslaved and liberated Africans, which form the bulk of Barbados population begin a process of making inroads in society. Samuel Jackman Prescod becomes the first person of (partial) African descent to be elected to Parliament.
|The Police Force is established.
|The introduction of piped water in Bridgetown.
|The Harbour Police Force is established.
|Uprisings (now known as the "Confederation riots") occurred due to efforts by the Imperial Crown to establish a Crown Colony government consisting of Barbados and the Windward Islands. (to 1876)
|The Executive Council is created separate of the Upper House by an Act of local Parliament.
|The Harbour Police Force is merged into the land-based Police Force.
|Moves to Confederate isle with the Windward Islands is abandoned, the capital of the Windward Islands shifts to St. George, Grenada; and the island restores self-government as before.
|The introduction of The St. Michael Girls School.
|Grantley Adams is elected to the House of Assembly.
|Riots occur in Bridgetown.
|The formation of the Barbados Progressive League-BPL. (The precursor of the Barbados Labour Party.)
|Women secure the right to vote.
|Election: The Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Grantley Adams becomes majority leader.
|Election: The first election with universal adult suffrage.
|Establishment of the "ministerial" system, with a cabinet, and the office of the Premier. Grantley Adams was appointed as the colony's first Premier.
|The Democratic Labour Party-DLP (led by Errol Barrow), was formed as a breakaway element from the Barbados Labour Party.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Grantley Adams.
|Barbados joined ten other British West Indian territories to form the West Indies Federation, led by Grantley Adams as the Prime Minister.
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Errol Barrow who becomes Premier.
|Barbados achieves full internal self-government.
|The EC$28,000,000 Deep Water Harbour in Bridgetown is completed and officially opened. Construction commenced in 1956.
|The West Indies Federation government collapses due to internal conflicts, Barbados reverts to internal self-governance.
|The University of the West Indies opens a local campus at the Deep Water Harbour before moving to Cave Hill.
|The Legislative Council is replaced by the Senate.
|Voting age was reduced to 18.
|Barbados ends its usage of the British West Indies dollar ("WID$"), it is replaced by the Eastern Caribbean Dollar ("XCD$") at par.
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Errol Barrow and is the last election before independence.
|Barbados, (led by Errol Barrow as Prime Minister) received its independence from the United Kingdom
|Barbados via United Nations Security Council Resolution 230 , is admitted to the United Nations.
|Barbados Community College (BCC) is established by the government of Barbados.
|ANGLICAN CHURCH is disestablished by the ANGLICAN CHURCH (DATE OF DISESTABLISHMENT) ORDER, 1969, by the Minister under section 2 of the Anglican Church Act, Cap. 375.
|House of Assembly changes to 24 single member constituencies.
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Errol Barrow
|The local Central Bank was established by Act of parliament.
|The Treaty of Chaguaramas is signed by Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana to form CARICOM.
|The initial Barbados dollar ("BBD$") notes are issued for circulation by the Central Bank of Barbados ending the relationship with the Eastern Caribbean dollar.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by J.M.G.M "Tom" Adams
|Cubana Flight 455 is bombed shortly after taking off from the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport.
|At the end of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Concorde (G-BOAE) made its maiden voyage to Barbados; with Queen Elizabeth II experiencing her first supersonic flight to the United Kingdom.
|The United States Naval Facility (NAVFAC) officially closes at Harrison's Point, St. Lucy after being commissioned on 1 October 1957.
|House of Assembly changes to 27 single member constituencies.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP led by J.M.G.M "Tom" Adams
|Operation Urgent Fury begins. The United States, along with Barbados and other Caribbean nations forming the Caribbean Peace Force, invade Grenada removing the communist regime in power in mere days.
|On the death of J.M.G.M. "Tom" Adams, Harold Bernard St. John becomes 3rd Prime Minister.
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Errol Barrow
|On the death of Errol Barrow, Erskine Sandiford becomes 4th Prime Minister.
|The Queen marked the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the Barbados Parliament. (to 11 March)
|Elections: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Erskine Sandiford
|House of Assembly changes to 28 single member constituencies.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Owen Arthur
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Owen Arthur
|House of Assembly changes to 30 single member constituencies.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Owen Arthur
|The British Airways Concorde makes last commercial flight from Barbados to London.
|A riot and fire breaks out at HM Glendairy Prison causing military personnel to be drawn from surrounding islands to put down the uprising. (to 30 March)
|The Caribbean Single Market and Economy comes into being and is implemented.
|The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) renders its first judgement, covering a libel case from Barbados –Rediffusion Service Ltd v. Asha Mirchandani Ram Mirchandani (McDonald Farms Ltd). The case is a formal end of Barbados' 170+ year long relationship with the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).
|The Cricket World Cup is held in the West Indies region. Barbados hosts several of the Warm Up and Super 8 matches along with the Final. (to 28 April)
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by David Thompson
|UK's Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho hosted the Sentebale Charity Polo Event in Barbados.
|Several nations in the region, host the ICC World Twenty20 event, this included the finals held in Barbados. (to 16 May)
|The Tudor Street store, Campus Trendz is razed in a brazen robbery. Leading to a national day of mourning on 10 September.
|On the death of David Thompson, Freundel Stuart becomes 7th Prime Minister.
|Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison were added as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
|The introduction of Sixth Form into The St. Michael School and The Christ Church Foundation School.
|Election: Won by Democratic Labour Party-DLP, led by Freundel Stuart
|The EU publishes a blacklist of 17 Non-EU jurisdictions, Barbados included, who are accused of offering tax avoidance schemes. Barbados would be later removed.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Mia Mottley, party won all 30 seats of Parliament. Mottley becomes the first female Prime Minister of Barbados.
|The SARS-CoV2 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Barbados with the announcement of the first two cases.
|Governor General Sandra Mason announces Barbados's intent to remove the Monarchy of Barbados and to become a republic.
|La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent begins erupting, leading to two weeks of ash fall over Barbados followed by gov't led national cleanup.
|Sandra Mason is elected by both houses of parliament to become the first President of Barbados.
|Barbados transitions from a Commonwealth realm to a Commonwealth republic after abolishing the Monarchy of Barbados.The position of Governor-General is replaced by the President.
|Election: Won by Barbados Labour Party-BLP, led by Mia Mottley, party won all 30 seats of Parliament for a consecutive time.
|Santia Bradshaw is made the first deputy prime minister after a 12-year vacancy of the position.
|A review commission is formed and sworn in by the acting President Jeffrey Gibson to begin the process of drafting a new constitution and is to be completed by the end of 2024.
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of the Americas, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It occupies an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi) and has a population of about 287,000. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The successor to the British West Indies dollar, it has existed since 1965, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 7 July 1976, at the exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.
Barbados is an island country in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, situated about 100 miles (160 km) east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Roughly triangular in shape, the island measures some 21 miles (34 km) from northwest to southeast and about 14 miles (23 km) from east to west at its widest point. The capital and largest town is Bridgetown, which is also the main seaport.
Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh,, is a member of the British royal family. He is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the youngest sibling of King Charles III. He is currently 14th in the line of succession to the British throne.
Owen Seymour Arthur, PC was a Barbadian politician who served as the fifth prime minister of Barbados from 6 September 1994 to 15 January 2008. He is the longest-serving Barbadian prime minister to date. He also served as Leader of the Opposition from 1 August 1993 to 6 September 1994 and from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013.
Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) is an international airport at Seawell, Christ Church, Barbados, serving as the country's only port of entry by air.
George William Lamming OCC was a Barbadian novelist, essayist, and poet. He first won critical acclaim for In the Castle of My Skin, his 1953 debut novel. He also held academic posts, including as a distinguished visiting professor at Duke University and a visiting professor in the Africana Studies Department of Brown University, and lectured extensively worldwide.
The monarchy of Jamaica is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Jamaica. The current Jamaican monarch and head of state, since 8 September 2022, is King Charles III. As sovereign, he is the personal embodiment of the Jamaican Crown. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 14 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled King of Jamaica and, in this capacity, he and other members of the royal family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Jamaican state. However, the monarch is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role.
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On 30 November 2021, Barbados transitioned from a parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the hereditary monarch of Barbados to a parliamentary republic with a ceremonial indirectly elected president as head of state. The prime minister remained head of government while the last governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, was elected as the country's first president on 20 October 2021, and took office on 30 November 2021.
The monarchy of Barbados was a system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign and head of state of Barbados from 1966 to 2021. Barbados shared the sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms, with the country's monarchy being separate and legally distinct. The monarch's operational and ceremonial duties were mostly delegated to her representative, the governor-general of Barbados.
David John Howard Thompson was the sixth prime minister of Barbados from 15 January 2008 until his death from pancreatic cancer on 23 October 2010.
Mia Amor Mottley, is a Barbadian politician and attorney who has served as the eighth prime minister of Barbados since 2018 and as Leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) since 2008. Mottley is the first woman to hold either position. She is also Barbados' first prime minister under its republican system, following constitutional changes she introduced that abolished the country's constitutional monarchy.
This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Barbados.
Barbados–Canada relations are the bilateral relations between Canada and Barbados. In 1907, the Government of Canada opened a Trade Commissioner Service to the Caribbean region located in Bridgetown, Barbados. Following Barbadian independence from the United Kingdom in November 1966, the Canadian High Commission was established in Bridgetown, Barbados on 27 September 1973. There is a High Commission of Barbados in Ottawa and a Barbadian Consulate in Toronto. The relationship between both nations today partly falls under the larger gambit of Canada–Caribbean relations. As of 2014 it is estimated that as much as 8% of Canadian foreign investments in Barbados.
The historical ties between the governments of Barbados and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) are long and complex, including settlement, post-colonialism and modern bilateral relations. The two countries are related through common history spanning 339 years (1627–1966). Since the Barbadian date of political independence, these nations continue to share ties through the Commonwealth of Nations. Until becoming a Commonwealth republic in 2021, Barbados also shared the same Head of State, with Queen Elizabeth II as their Monarch.
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Freundel Jerome Stuart, OR, PC, SC is a Barbadian politician who served as seventh Prime Minister of Barbados and the leader of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013; and from 21 February 2013 to 25 May 2018. He succeeded David Thompson, who had died in office on 23 October 2010 from pancreatic cancer.
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason is a Barbadian politician, lawyer, and diplomat who is serving as the first president of Barbados since 2021. She was previously the eighth and final governor-general of Barbados from 2018 to 2021, the second woman to hold the office. On 20 October 2021, Mason was elected by the Parliament of Barbados to become the country's first president, and took office on 30 November 2021, when Barbados ceased to be a constitutional monarchy and became a republic.
Events in the year 2021 in Barbados.