History of Roxborough

18th Century

03 1777 Sea rovers or privateers, sometimes sailing from the North American colonies, who were making a dash for freedom from British rule, sometimes struck Tobago as well. In March 1777, at Queen’s Bay, a 'private schooner came up to the bay under the cover of darkness and sent armed boats to seize whatever they could find. In this case, the raid was successful, and the surprise complete. Without meeting any resistance, they cut out a sloop belonging to a Tobago planter named Hackett, loaded with goods and having on board several sailor negroes. They captured another belonging to the Campbells, loaded with 30 hogsheads of sugar from the Betsy’s Hope Estate, various other goods with six prime sailor negroes of great value.'

19th Century

1814 Tobago became a British Colony of the English Crown. Despite battles, Tobago was prosperous until its sugar industry was weakened by the abolition of slavery, a hurricane, the decline of West Indian sugar in general, and the Belmanna riots.

07 01 1876 The Belmanna Riots. In the immediate post-emancipation era, labour shortages were quite common, but freed slaves shunned paid employment on the plantations. On 07 January 1876 the migrant workers on the Roxborough Estate demonstrated against the oppressive conditions imposed on them by the planters. This was a new type of slavery, economic slavery, where the whip was the silver of coins rather than ox hide.

Flames burst forth, fueled with the anger of oppression, and the sugar house was destroyed. As is often the case oppression’s victim often becomes the focal point for society to rally around, to express their outrage at the injustice.

In blind fury a crowd created a significant historic event using simple unfortunate characters - the man who was accused of the burning, the woman who spoke out only to meet her death at the hands of Corporal Belmanna. It is interesting to note that the labourers were denied even a semblance of justice yet the state demands that the labourers pay for their action.

21th Century

14 08 2000 Tobagonians created history when thousands of them journeyed to Castara to witness 'Just In Time' of Roxborough capture the first overall title at the first annual Tobago White Magic Great Race of 26 pirogues. Champion boat 'Just In Time' lived up to her name. Skippered by Justin Alleyne, 'Just In Time' of Roxborough swept home first in Category D and was later declared overall winner, taking the National Petroleum Challenge Trophy. And 'Just In Time' also took away most of the $7,000 prize money donated by Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Hochoy Charles, who officially launched the race. Other challengers in the category were Kenwyn Vincent who captained 'Love'; 'Big Red' skippered by Andy Johnson; 'Jenna II' captained by Derrick Tardieau - the father and son team; David McClean with his pirogue 'Predator'; while Derek Chung captained 'Under Sea Tobago' in A class category. 'Heavenly I' captained by Brandon Taylor, was adjudged the Best Boat of the race and won the Trinidad Trophies Limited trophy.

CATEGORY A: 1. Jenna 11 (Derrick Tardieu); 2. Predator (David McClean); 3. Under Sea Tobago (Derek Chung). CATEGORY C: 1. Black Fox (Lyndon George); 2. Heavenly Two (Bruce Taylor); 3. Heavenly One (Dunson Taylor). CATEGORY D: 1. Just-In-Time (Justin Alleyne); 2. Lore (Kenwyn Vincent); 3. Big Red (Andy Bowen)