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Holidays for the
Independent traveler

Travelers Insights...

Holidays for the Independent traveler

In·de·pend·ent Tra.vel.er - A person who is traveling or who often travels; free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority.
Todays savvy travellers are looking for an authentic and personal experience, one that is uniquely their own!

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contents
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St. Nicholas Abbey & The Yeamans Saga

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The British Take Barbados

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See the horses swim

11 A Barbados afternoon adventure
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Settlers Beach

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Vacation package

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Information at Travelers Insights

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PHOTOGRAPHY
Kristine Dear © 2012
Axses © 2012
AUTHOR
Ian R. Clayton © 2012
available on itunes.travelersinsights.com

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St.Nicholas
Abbey
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& The Yeamans Saga

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Further along the road is the village of
Bathseba and the small round house that
John Yeamans built. It stands on the corner
at the foot of the big hill, just as it has for
over 200 years. John – later Sir John – Yeamans built the house before he shot Colonel
Benjamin Berringer, who lived in the abbey,
and fled to Carolina. The exact details of the
whole affair are a bit vague, but it is clear that
Yeamans had an affair with Colonel Benjamin
Berringer’s wife Margaret, and the rest, as
they say, is history.
It’s about an hour’s horse ride from Bathsheba
to St. Nicholas Abbey in St Peter where the
Berringer’s lived. Yeamans rode there quite
often from the Round House. During the
day, Yeamans visited to organize workers
with his friend and business partner Col.
Berringer.
Berringer and Yeamans were real estate
speculators and planters. They were clearing
the densely wooded area of Cherry Tree Hill
and planning to sell the land to the new
arrivals coming to Barbados. Besides being
close to Bathsheba, the land was fertile,
ideal for agriculture and boasted spectacular
views of Cherry Tree Hill. At dinners, the
Berringers and John talked of dreams, life,
ambition, the military, adventure and power.
The Berringers loved his visits, especially
Mrs. Berringer, who considered John
Yeamans to be her saviour. She was lost in
long, lonely days in a rambling mansion,
tucked away in a wilderness of mahogany
trees, far away from like minds and interest.
Her husband did not understand her
loneliness. He was content with his life as it
presently stood: the business, the military
reserves, the plantation and the stately home.

Home was a magnificent mansion that
Benjamin had built and decorated, sparing
no expenses. It was built in the classic
style of a Jacobean mansion, complete
with four chimneys and filled with tasteful
antiques. Outside, the lawn stretched 100
feet to the great garden wall. Oleander,
hibiscus, Ixora and tropical flowers grew,
almost wild, in the formal beds. Royal
palms lined the long drive. The Berringer’s
were an established family living in
luxury.

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Black slaves and a few white men, who
had come to Barbados as indentured
labourers, manned the plantation. Sugar,
which was introduced to Barbados in the
1630s, was very labor-intensive and in
the early days, indentured labourers were
recruited from England. They agreed to
work for seven years without pay in exchange for their passage and keep. But
this labour source proved inadequate
for the sugar trade’s growing demands.
Young Englishmen were kidnapped and
shipped along with convicted criminals
to Barbados. Some, like Henry Morgan,
escaped the tyranny of this system and
lived as buccaneers, raiding Spanish
galleons as they carted cargo between
Europe and the new world. Later, African
slaves from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana,
the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon
replaced indentured servants and forced
white labour.

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Margaret Berringer felt lost and alone.

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Just up the road from Six Men’s Bay and
Speighstown is St. Nicholas Abbey and the
rugged, wild Atlantic Coast on the east side
of Barbados. You can drive to St. Nicholas
Abbey and Cherry Tree Hill driving more or
less straight up the into the interior
from Speightstown.

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She was uncomfortable with the workers
and the slaves. One white worker, now a
foreman, had been a convicted criminal. He
was crude and frightening. Often she stayed
indoors just to avoid his stare and uncouth
manner. “I am a prisoner in paradise,” she
thought.

overheard workers talking, he saw secrets in faces, and he was aware of an
abrupt silence when he happened on
plantation gossip.

One day, as Benjamin walked through
the grounds, he saw Nyala, a leader
amongst the slaves, crushing cane in the
Margaret was an ambitious and determined windmill grinder.
woman who struggled with the prejudices
of the day. Her father was Reverend John “What you know of the missus and Mr.
Forester, and her upbringing was strict and Yeamans?” he asked point blank.
conservative. Margaret had always felt like a
prisoner of some sort, hiding her emotions, “Some boys done see them together. He
and pretending to be demure and ladylike to don’t got no respect, that Mr. Yeamans.”
please her parents and live up to the expectations that were smothering her.
Nyala never minced words. Yeamans
had become careless with his affections
She married Berringer because it was some- and Colonel Berringer, a military man of
how expected. Women had no say; they were honour, had only one recourse.
like property to be traded between rich families for the creation of governing alliances. To The duel was a spontaneous affair,
be fair, Berringer was wealthy and powerful arranged with the best British manners.
and the idea of living in his castle-like home
was intriguing. The intrigue did not last. “You know what this means, John. You
Cherry Tree was a deserted forest where she can’t be with another man’s wife and not
remained hidden from everyone. Bridgetown expect him to do something about it.”
was over two hours away by carriage; Speightstown
was closer, but people were moving to the “But I love her,” Yeamans said. “These
south. They had few friends and no one just things happen. It’s not personal, Benjamin.”
popped in as they did in Bridgetown.
“All the same, no one makes a fool of me
Yeamans’ visits brought relief, laughter and in my house and gets away with it. What
excitement. Margaret laughed at his jokes will it be, pistols or sabers?”
and loved his keen sense of the world. He understood so much; he understood her. They “Why not just a good punch up, old boy,
talked sometimes with little need for words, there is no need for anything fatal,
sensing thoughts, emotions and intentions. It Benjamin.”
seemed that they had known each other forever, even when they first met. Secretly they “Pistols then, and may the best man win.”
walked in the woods. Sometimes they rode
their horses to Bathsheba and strolled along Yeamans did not want to kill Colonel
the deserted beach at Cattlewash. They found Benjamin, but he did not want to die. In
pretexts to meet whenever they could.
a duel, you can shoot to kill, to maim or
miss. He was sure that Benjamin would
Benjamin was an old fashioned man. Honour aim to kill and that left no choice. From
and respect were the foundations of his a distance, the body is like a dartboard;
morality. He did not want to believe his wife aim for the middle and you have a
was unfaithful, but there were rumours. He chance of hitting somewhere. Miss and

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Yeamans married Mrs. Berringer and
moved into the Abbey shortly after they
buried Benjamin. But life was not easy.
Friends and family turned against them.
The 1660s were hard times for Barbados.
In 1663, a locust plague destroyed crops
across the island. A fire had burned
Bridgetown to the ground and provisions
were scarce. A major hurricane in 1667
blew down sheds and uprooted trees on
the plantation, and the drought of 1668
just about ruined them. The final blow
came when the Barbados court ruled that
the Abbey be returned to Berringer’s
children.

This story is based on fact, but the
account in Campbell’s History of
Barbados indicates that Berringer was
poisoned and not shot. Whichever the
case, it is thought that Yeamans killed
Berringer or had him killed so that he
could inherit his estate and his wife.
The estate was eventually sold to the
Cumberbatch brothers for payment of
back taxes.

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you will certainly be hit in the return
volley. The two men stood back-to-back
and, on command, walked the 20 paces
away from each other. They turned
together and fired.

In 1669, the couple packed their bags
and moved to Carolina. John Yeamans
became a leading figure in the founding
colony. He was appointed Governor after
just three years. He died a few years later
and Margaret, once again lost and alone,
fell into the arms of a new man and
remarried.
Today, the two great homes of these men
still stand as icons of a different age.
The Abbey, now called St. Nicholos Abbey,
was named after Berringer’s granddaughter
who married George Nicholas. It is now a
designated historic property and a working
plantation and rum distillery that is open
for public viewing.
Yeamans’ legacy in Barbados ended with
John. There were no more deaths from
duels in Barbados. Round House, built of
solid coral with walls that are several feet
thick, has survived its rugged environment.
Today the Round House is a fine guesthouse and restaurant.

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The British Take Barbados
iT sat like a coral rock, thick with
woods, sticking out of the sea and
miles away from anywhere, standing
lost, forgotten and unwanted.
It had been home to tribes from the Amazon who paddled all the way there.
God only knows why. Can you imagine leaving South America in a canoe to
go to Barbados when it had no roads, no electricity, no tourists even? You had
to be mad. The seas are raging around the dragon mouth in the first pariah
off Venezuela. The tides run faster than an army could paddle. The waves are
mountainous at times. Why would anyone want to paddle over 500 miles to an
island they don’t even know exists?
The Spanish were not mad; they knew a thing or two about value and Barbados
did not shine like an emerald way back then. The Spaniards, along with the
Portuguese, raided the island and captured the original settlers, taking them
home as slaves. Some Arawaks and Carib settlers left of their own accord to
avoid capture. By the time the British ships landed, the island appeared to be
uninhabited and unwanted.
Only years later did it get called the Gem of the Caribbean, and that was by the
Merrymen who had a vested interest. For all intents and purposes, it was just
a scrap of land set apart from other scraps of islands in the Caribbean with no
earthly use except maybe as a port. Even that was miserable. St. Lucia had the
Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay, and lots of shelters where a whole navy could
hide away from an enemy or a storm.
Barbados had none of that. But still Sir William Courten’s advisors said to him,

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Barbados may have seemed to have no earthly use even as a
port, but still Sir William Courten’s advisors said to him,
“Sir William, you should consider a bit of an investment in
the Caribbean. It’s going to be an important trade route to
South America.”
Now that was bad advice if you ever heard it. Trade routes
my foot! Barbados was way out of the way. The ships that
sailed from Europe could make it to South America all on
their own with no help from any island.
Sir William took the gamble on Barbados by accident really.
His fleet of some 20 ships and 5000 men traded with Guinea,
Portugal and Spain. They successfully traded silks and linen
from his hometown of London. “Why not add the Caribbean?”
he thought. After all, his advisors thought it was a good idea.
So he dispatched Captain John Powell to scout the area and
bring back news of opportunities.
Well, the rest is history. John Powell found Barbados,
uninhabited and unwanted. Sir William sent a petition to
King James right away. The King owed him a bit of money.
Things were a bit tight for the royals right then and Sir
William Courten was one of those gentry and successful
businessmen who could help out the Crown with the
occasional loan. King James now returned the favour by
granting him the right to colonize the island. It was something kings did back then, quite often it seems. Not that
Parliament cared much for it.
In fact, they very much disapproved of royalty behaving like
feudal landlords, making money on customs and excise and
favours for all sorts of things that they in Parliament knew
nothing of. “You can’t run a country like that,” they thought.
So they had a war, appointing young firebrand Oliver Cromwell as commander of all, and said “No Way” to the King.
A few years after, Charles I, James’ son, took over and carried on the family business so to speak. But never mind all
that. The point is that Willy got his island and promptly sent
two ships with1850 persons - friends and businessmen along
with young blooded youths who would work the land for
them. Slaves they were, and they knew it; mostly Irish and
Scottish.

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Sir William could have been sitting pretty, because
Barbados was set to become the world’s largest producer
of sugar and he and his company would have a bit of all of
that action. Well, it did not turn out quite that way. King
James had already given away most of the Caribbean to
someone else. The Earl of Carlisle, as it turned out, got all
islands between 10 degrees and 20 degrees longitude. Unfortunately for Sir William, that included Barbados sitting
at 13 degrees. Seems King James forgot, or just did not
check the geography. Easy to do when you are a king and
have bigger things to worry about.
Sir William took it to the courts but things did not go his
way, and then all hell broke loose when the civil war began
and Oliver Cromwell demanded King Charles I be tried
for treason.
It took a few years to settle that score. First they thought all
was settled, as Oliver said it would be, when they chopped
off the King’s head. Nasty spectacle that was. I suppose the
crowd thought it would never really happen and that the
axe man would stop on his swing or miss or something.
Several axe men refused the job and the one who took it
on insisted on wearing a mask so no one would know who
he was. So when Charles lost his head, the crowd wailed
and wept and went funny. It was then that the English tide
turned against the Parliamentarians and a new civil war
began. There were still camps on one side or the other, but
it was the beginning of the end for an England without its
royal head.
For all of the war up until Charles I was executed,
Barbados remained neutral. It was decreed by the Governor that any man who was overheard talking about the
war and voicing any sort of opinion on Royalists and Parliament would have to hold a big party for everyone in
earshot and a few others besides. They had to put on a
roast turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings and plenty to drink.
That is really all it took to keep Barbados neutral for most of
the time.
All through the British civil war, both sides sent their
prisoners of war to Barbados. “Being Barbadosed” was
what they called it. Seeing as Cromwell was winning most
of the time, the men that were Barbadosed were mostly
Royalists. Still, the island developed distinct groups; the
Roundheads of James Drax and the Royalists of Hum-

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phrey and Edward Waldron. Differences of opinion were
buried in plantation soil and the families married and engaged socially with good humour right up until Charles’
execution.
The Waldron brothers, enraged at the execution of the
King, gathered the Royalist cavaliers to the cause and
began to take control of the island. A declaration of
loyalty to Charles II was made on May 3rd, 1650. There
were skirmishes and manoeuvres by both sides, but the
fact was that Royalists were now the majority of British
on the island. James Drax was put under house arrest and
later fined 80,000 pounds of sugar. He left for England
shortly after. Many of his fellow Roundhead plantation
owners suffered far worse. Tongues were cut and cheeks
branded with a “T” for traitor. Then again, Barbados
settled into living with Roundheads and Royalists as
neighbour and friend, but under a Royal flag.

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For Something
Completely Different
See The Horses Swim...

There are many ways to spend your days on holiday in Barbados. For the
independent minded traveller, renting a car and driving around the island
is often the preferred vacation transport. Taxis are good for private and
independent tours, and the buses give a very local experience of the
people and the island. ZR vans are loud, fast and sometimes reckless and
are not for the faint at heart. They are a unique and inexpensive way to get
around and fun if you have the right attitude. ZRs are taxi vans licensed
for specific routes. At a rate of two dollars a trip they aim to maximize their
revenues by speed and by never missing an opportunity to add a passenger
even if full, it seems. They race the traffic, pass cars impatiently and stop
abruptly to pick up a new fare, whenever and wherever they can.
If you are staying at Settlers Beach on their special Heritage Holiday Package, after you have taken the Abbey tour, rent a car or get your taxi to take
you south to Carlisle Bay to see the Savannah Race Horses running on the
beach and swimming in the early morning. Get there early at about 7 am
and check with your hotel when are the best days. It’s not a perfectly planned
affair as horses and trainers set the agenda on whim, need and weather.
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The horses are a historic heritage of the island dating back hundreds of years. The race
track at the Garrison Savannah is part of the UNESCO world heritage site that covers
the capital city Bridgetown and its Garrison. The track is the oldest racetrack in the
western hemisphere and horses from all over the world come here for the renowned Sandy
Lane Gold Cup Races run annually in late February/early March since 1982.
You don’t have to love horse racing to
enjoy the beauty and majesty of these
wonderful animals. The owners and
handlers walk the horses down to
the beach many mornings to exercise
them on the sand and in the water.
The BBC did an entire series on this
and other aspects of the Barbados race
horse heritage.
The area has excellent restaurants,
museums, beaches and duty free
shopping. You can walk to Bridgetown
and its duty free shopping from here.
It’s a bit of a zig zag but a fun walk
along the beach to the careenage
(http://barbados.org/maps_google.
htm?mapPoint=165) and over the
bridge into town.
Hang out on the beach, watch the
horses, swim and have breakfast at the
hotels in the area. The Hilton and Radisson are the largest and both are just a short beach
walk south of Carlisle Bay. Radisson, just past the Barbados Yacht Club serves breakfast on
the pier. It is a picturesque place to watch the day start.
While in this area (Hastings) visit the museums, and have a fish cutter at Cuz on Pebbles
Beach right beside the Radisson. Cuz is a shack on the beach that is listed in Zagat’s popular
restaurant guide as one of the best deals in the land.

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Six Men’s Bay is just a short drive from St.
Nicholas Abbey. You can visit both the
Abbey and drive by Six Men’s to pickup
fresh catch for dinner, all in a single afternoon. Or you can do a trip around the area
and drive into the interior, to the rainforestlike area of Flower Forest, Hunte’s Garden,
Harrison’s Cave, Welshman Hall Gully,
Turners Hall Woods and even Andromeda.

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Here is an account of a rather distinctively charming
adventure that ended up doing just that. We took the
ABC highway to Warrens, then drove North-East past
Lion Castle Polo Estate in St. Thomas and on to Flower
Forest. From there we drove around St. Andrew and got
a little lost. But you are never far away from a main road
or beach and there are always friendly Bajans around to
give you directions.
The landscape is hilly and in some places very much like
a rainforest. We passed rainbows and streams in lush
wooded areas and headed down to Belleplaine, picking
up some delicious home grown, bright red and plumlike tomatoes for dinner. Eleven plum fruit for $5.00
US. We would pass by Six Men’s
Bay later and meet up with the
fishermen bringing in their catch
in the afternoon.

cause I never let anyone “tek” pictures of me.”
Sarge, like many Bajans, is wary of having his picture seen all
over the world, especially if someone else is making money
off of it. It’s important that you ask if it’s OK and be sure to
explain what you are going to do with the images. In our case
we try to give local artisans, vendors and small scale entrepreneurs free exposure on our Barbados Encyclopedia. We know
that visitors to Barbados enjoy meeting real local people and
getting insights into their very special way of life. As they say,
“life was not invented in Barbados, it was just perfected here”.
In many cases guests will seek out the people we feature and
some will do business with them.

Six Men’s Bay is a picturesque
fishing village. In the old days,
men built boats here and there
are still a few boats built along
the shores just up toward the
Fish Pot Restaurant.
We stopped and talked to Sarge
who was cleaning fish. He arranged
for us to buy some cook; a red
snapper type reef fish. We paid
$9 US for two pounds of fish and
Sarge cleaned and scaled them
for $2.50 US.
Sarge allowed us to take some
video of his deft work on the
fish. “I don’t normally let
anyone take pictures,” he reminded, after I got the camera
out of the car. I had asked him
if we could take some shots and he immediately asked,
“Why?” “I would like to put them on our website at
Barbados.org,” I said. “So the whole world can see me?”
he replied. I had to agree that many people might see
the photos and video; it’s a very popular website and it is
seen all over the world, but it could be good for business
and good for Barbados. Sarge did not like the idea at all,
so we dropped it. Later he agreed and added: “How you
come by here? Must be you are angels and God sent you

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Stop by Six Men’s Bay, have a beer at “Man’s Beer Bar” and get
some delicious fruit at the stand opposite. If you are staying
in a self-catering villa or apartment, pick up some fish and
cook it.
Pot fish cleaned by Sarge is ready to dip in flour and fry in a little
butter and oil. It’s delicious. Cook is a solid fish that is chewy the other pot fish was softer and we liked it better. For a small
fish for frying, it’s hard to beat flying fish.

fresh fish

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Vacation Package for the Independent Traveler
Why Settlers Beach?
Settlers Beach Villa Hotel is the perfect pick
for an independent-minded traveler such as
you.
Unlike a traditional hotel, accommodation at
Settlers Beach is in the form of separate villas,
giving you lots of space and privacy.

>

special offer!
BOOK IT, HOLD IT NOW!
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http://barbados.org/
IndependentHolidays

You have total freedom to plan the holiday of
your dreams, exploring the island, meeting the
locals and enjoying new adventures &
experiences

Independent Holiday Living

Enjoy St. Nicholas Abbey Tour and

Luxury Living....

Almost 50% Discount on
luxury accommodation

Your own 2 Bedroom Villa

Tour to historic St. Nicholas Abbey
Sugar Plantation and rum factory
- film, refinery tour and tasting
- taxi transport included

Ready to plan your escape?
Excited about traveling to Barbados, staying at Settlers Beach and having an incredible time? Start planning your escape right away, we’re
thrilled to have you stay wih us. Don’t delay, get your FREE Travelers Insights magazine on independent holiday living in Barbados.

Historic St. Nicholas Abbey

15

Settler’s Beach

Island living holidays.....

... for the Independent minded traveler

17

TravelersInsights
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Independent Travel &Tourism Marketing
Advertising and sponsorship opportunities
are available for brands, packages, destinations
and associations.
Contact us to discuss your own personal magazine.
AUTHOR
Ian R. Clayton © 2012 available on itunes.travelersinsights.com
Photography Ian Clayton & Kristine Dear ©

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