Bartica, Guyana

UK Flag
Nation: Great Britain
Region: Guyana
Info: Conquerable Port
Resources: Forest (Oak)
Abundant Game
Guano Caves
Gold Deposits
NPC Level: 10


The history of Guyana or British Guiana began before the arrival of Europeans, when the region of present-day Guyana was inhabited by Carib, Arawak, and Warao peoples. The word Guiana probably comes from the Arawak words wai ana which means "(land of) many waters". Guyana's first sighting by Europeans was by Alonzo de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci in 1499. Some state that Christopher Columbus may have sighted Guyana during his third voyage (1498) but this is disputed by other historians. In 1595 the area was explored by English explorers under Sir Walter Raleigh.

Guyana's past is punctuated by battles fought and won, possessions lost and regained as the Spanish, French, Dutch and British wrangled for centuries to own and exploit the country. Although claimed by Spain the Dutch were first to establish permanent colonies: Essequibo (1616), Berbice (1627), and Demerara (1752). The first English attempt at settlement in this area was made in 1604 by Captain Charles Leigh on the Oyapock River (in what is now French Guiana). The effort failed. A fresh attempt was made by Robert Harcourt in 1609.

Lord Willoughby, famous in the early history of Barbados, also turned his attention to Guiana, and founded a settlement in Suriname in 1651. This was captured by the Dutch in 1667, and though later recaptured by the British, it was ceded to the Dutch at the Peace of Breda (1667). Britain again took the region from the Dutch in 1796. The Dutch took it back in 1802, before being ousted again by the British in 1803. Immediately after the British took possession of Essequibo-Demerara and Berbice they began to implement changes in the administration of the colonies with the aim of removing the strong Dutch influence. in 1806 the slave trade was abolished in the two colonies, as well as in Trinidad & Tobago; final abolition occurred in other British territories during the following year. Regulations were put in place to prevent transfer of slaves from one colony to another, but this did not prevent trafficking in slaves from the Caribbean islands to Berbice and Demerara-Essequibo.

The colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice were officially ceded to the United Kingdom in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 and at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In 1831 they were consolidated as British Guiana. Bartica stands on the left bank of the Essequibo River in Region 7, at the confluence of the Mazaruni and Cuyuni Rivers with the Essequibo. Considered the "Gateway to the Interior", the modern town has a population of about 15,000 and is the launching point for people who work in the bush mining gold and diamonds.

Bartica developed from an Anglican missionary settlement, established in 1842. The name 'Bartica' comes from an Amerindian word meaning 'red earth', abundant in the area.

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