British Windward Islands

The British Windward Islands was a British colony in the Windward Islands of the West Indies, existing between 1833 and 1960 and consisting of the islands of Grenada, St Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Barbados (the seat of the governor until 1885, when it returned to its former status of a completely separate colony), Tobago (until 1889, when it was joined to Trinidad), and (from 1940) Dominica, previously included in the British Leeward Islands.

British Windward Islands

Motto: I pede fausto
(Latin: Go with a lucky foot)
StatusBritish colony
CapitalBridgetown, Barbados (1871–1885)
St George's, Grenada (1885–1958)
Common languagesEnglish
English-based creole languages
Dominican Creole French
Saint Lucian Creole French
Christianity (Anglican, Catholic, Methodist)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 1952–1960 (last)
Elizabeth II
 1958–1960 (last)
Sir Colville Deverell
 British Tobago left
 British Dominica joined
 West Indies Federation
 Federation dissolved
31 May 1962
19582,100 km2 (810 sq mi)
CurrencyPound sterling (official)
Spanish dollar, Mexican peso also used
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Colony of Barbados
British Dominica
British Grenada
British Saint Lucia
British St. Vincent and the Grenadines
British Tobago
British Trinidad and Tobago
West Indies Federation
Today part of Barbados
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 Trinidad and Tobago

The colony was known as the Federal Colony of the Windward Islands from 1871 to June 1956, and then as the Territory of the Windward Islands until its dissolution in 1960.


The capital was Bridgetown on Barbados, from 1871 to 1885, and thereafter St. George's on Grenada. The islands were not a single colony, but a confederation of separate colonies with a common governor-in-chief, while each island retained its own institutions. The Windward Islands had neither legislature, laws, revenue nor tariff in common. There was, however, a common court of appeal for the group as well as for Barbados, composed of the chief justices of the respective islands, and there was also a common audit system, while the islands united in maintaining certain institutions of general utility.

In 1939 the Windward and Leeward Islands Supreme Court and the Windward and Leeward Islands Court of Appeal were established, which was replaced in 1967 by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court which provides both functions.[1]

Chief Justices of the Windward and Leeward Islands
  • 1940–1942 James Henry Jarrett[2]
  • 1943–1950 Sir Clement Malone[3]
  • 1950–1957 Sir Donald Jackson[4]
  • 1958–1963 Sir Cyril George Xavier Henriques[5][6][7]
  • 1963–?1967 Frank E. Field[8]

See also

Further reading

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Windward Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 716.

Sources and references

  1. Joseph, Lawrence A. "The Origin of the Supreme Court of Grenada". The Barnacle. Granada: The Barnacle News. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015.
  2. "Named Chief Justice. London, Feb. 5". The Ottawa Journal. Ottawa, Canada. 6 February 1940. p. 3 via The Colonial Office tonight announced appointment of J. H. Jarrett, now Colonial Secretary of the Bahamas, as chief justice of the Windward and Leeward islands.
  4. "No. 39904". The London Gazette. 3 July 1953. p. 3677.
  5. Chief Secretary's Office (5 February 1959). "Ref. No. P.F. 770". The Antigua, Montserrat and Virgin Islands Gazette. 4 (8). by Authority. p. 1. Mr. Henrique's appointment became effective on 24th December, 1958.
  6. "No. 41534". The London Gazette. 28 October 1958. p. 6590. The Queen has been pleased to give directions for the appointment of Cyril George Xavier Henriques, Esq., (Commissioner for Law Revision, British Honduras) to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Windward and Leeward Islands.
  7. "No. 42870". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1963. p. 2.
  8. Government House (23 January 1964). "Appointment of Chief Justice of the Windward and Leeward Islands". The Antigua, Montserrat and Virgin Islands Gazette. 9 (5). by Authority. p. 21. The Secretary of State for the Colonies ... has appointed Mr. Justice Frank E. Field to the office of Chief Justice of the Windward and Leeward Islands with effect from 2nd December, 1963.

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