The Greenwood Great House was built by Sir Richard Barrett early in the 18th century. Barrett was related to the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Barrett family’s history in the Caribbean began in 1655 when Hersey Barrett was sent by Cromwell to take the island of Hispaniola from Spain. Spain, however, had too strong a hold there, so Hersey and his company took Jamaica instead and was granted lands there. The family amassed great wealth over the years and owned more than 84,000 acres of land and 2,000 slaves. The Barrett family was instrumental to the growth of Falmouth. While other members of the family went to live in England in 1795, Richard remained in Jamaica, ultimately becoming Speaker of the House of Assembly, Custos of St. James, and a judge. Greenwood’s construction began in 1770 and was finished in 1800. It was spared during the Slave Rebellion of 1831 and has been occupied continuously since then.
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