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Kingston, Jamaica

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, the capital and chief port of Jamaica, West Indies. Pop. (1901), 46,542, mostly negroes. It is situated in the county of Surrey, in the south-east of the island, standing on the north shore of a land-locked harbour for its size one of the finest in the world and with its suburbs occupying an area of 1080 acres. The town contains the principal government offices. It has a good water supply, a telephone service and a supply of both gas and electric light, while electric trams ply between the town and its suburbs. The Institute of Jamaica maintains a public library, museum and art gallery especially devoted to local interests. The old parish church in King Street, dating probably from 1692 was the burial-place of William Hall (1699) and Admiral Benbow (1702). The suburbs are remarkable for their beauty. The climate is dry and healthy, and the temperature ranges from 93 to 66 F. Kingston was founded in 1693, after the neighbouring town of Port Royal had been ruined by an earthquake in 1692. In 1703, Port Royal having been again laid waste by fire, Kingston became the commercial, and in 1872 the political, capital of the island. On several occasions Kingston was almost entirely consumed by fire, the conflagrations of 1780, 1843, X 862 and 1882 being particularly severe. On the 14th of January 1907 it was devastated by a terrible earthquake. A long immunity had led to the erection of many buildings not specially designed to withstand such shocks, and these and the fire which followed were so destructive that practically the whole town had to be rebuilt. (See Jamaica.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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