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Montserrat Timeline

Named after a monastery in Spain by Christopher Columbus during his second great voyage in 1493, the island became a British Colony in 1632 although the first settlers were largely Irish. Montserrat was captured by the French twice for short periods but was finally restored to Britain in 1783.

Below, we provide a chronology of key historical events from 1493 to the present day.

Click to enlarge
Montserrat Policitcal Timeline from 1952 to present (click to enlarge)

1493 - Navigator Christopher Columbus sights the island which he names after a Spanish abbey.

BRITISH RULE

1632 - Montserrat becomes an English colony. Irish Catholics, who fled religious persecution or had served out their time as indentured servants in the British West Indies, began settling in Montserrat.

1664 - French took possession of Montserrat; slavery introduced

1768 Mar - A failed slave uprising took place on Montserrat on St. Patrick’s Day.

1782 - French invaders take possession, having previously captured the island for short periods in 1664 and 1667.

1783 - Under the Treaty of Versailles, Montserrat is returned to Britain.

1871 - Montserrat becomes part of the Leeward Islands colony. The federation is dissolved in 1956.

1956 - Leeward Islands Federation abolished; Montserrat became a separate colony

1958 - Montserrat is part of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies.

WILLIAM H. BRAMBLE AND MONTSERRAT LABOUR PARTY ADMINISTRATION

1961 - William H. Bramble's Montserrat Labour Party wins election

1962 - West Indies Federation abolished; Montserratians voted to remain a dependency of Great Britain

P. AUSTIN BRAMBLE AND PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ADMINISTRATION

1970 - Percival Austin Bramble's Progressive Democratic Party wins all 7 seats in election

1973 - Percival Austin Bramble's Progressive Democratic Party re-elected in snap election but with reduced majority (4 seats)

JOHN OSBORNE AND PROGRESSIVE LIBERATION MOVEMENT ADMINISTRATION

1978 - John Osborne's Progressive Liberation Movement wins all 7 seats in election

1983 - John Osborne's Progressive Liberation Movement re-elected but with reduced majority (5 seats)

1987 - John Osborne's Progressive Liberation Movement re-elected with further reduced majority (4 seats)

1989 - Hurricane Hugo causes widespread damage.

Police investigation into offshore finance industry leads to several arrests. Many banking licences are revoked.

REUBEN MEADE AND NATIONAL PROGRESSIVE PARTY ADMINISTRATION

1991 - Reuben Meade's newly formed National Progressive Party wins election.

1992 - Investigation into revived offshore finance industry results in closure of most offshore banks.

VOLCANO EMERGENCY

1995 18 July - Chances Peak volcano erupts for the first time in 350 years. Thousands are forced to evacuate. Many take up temporary residence in "safe areas" in the north; others flee to neighbouring Caribbean islands, New York and Britain.

August - Government declares a state of emergency.

December - Britain assists with rehabilitation programmes and grants millions of pounds in development aid.

1996 April - Britain announces that Montserratians will be granted residency and the right to work in the UK for up to two years.

COALITION GOVERNMENT

1996 November - Coalition government formed after indecisive election with Bertrand Osborne as Chief Minister.

1997 August - David Brandt becomes Chief Minister after Osborne's resignation.

1997 25 June - Soufriere Hills volcano erupts with devastating effects. Two-thirds of the island is left uninhabitable and 19 people are killed. Plymouth, the capital, is abandoned. Montserrat's airport is closed, the island is accessible only by helicopter or boat.

1998 - Britain announces that Montserratians can apply for permanent residency.

2000 - Montserrat is put on an international list of territories deemed to be uncooperative in the fight against money-laundering. It is removed from the list in 2002 after promising to improve transparency.

JOHN OSBORNE SECOND ADMINISTRATION

2001 April - New People's Liberation Party wins 7 of 9 seats in Legislative Council, John Osborne returns as Chief Minister.

2001 July - Eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano causes widespread disruption.

2002 May - British Overseas Territories Act grants British citizenship to Montserratians.

2003 July - Largest volcanic eruption since Chances Peak in 1995 destroys many buildings on the edge of the safe zone.

2004 August - US Department of Homeland Security revokes "temporary protected status" granted to US-based Montserratians in 1995.

2005 July - Gerald's Airport opens, replacing the W H Bramble airport which was destroyed in 1997's volcanic eruption.

LOWELL LEWIS ADMINSITRATION

2006 May/June - Elections: Lowell Lewis is sworn in as head of a coalition government after no one party gains enough seats to govern.

REUBEN MEADE SECOND ADMINISTRATION

2009 September - Reuben Meade's Movement for Change and Prosperity wins six of nine seats in parliamentary elections. Mr Meade becomes chief minister; a post he served in from 1991 - 1996.

2010 Oct – Legislative Council voted 7-2 to adopt the Montserrat Constitution Order; UK Privy Council adopted the Constitution Order 2010 as agreed upon between the people and Government of Montserrat and the FCO

2011 September - The New Constitution Order 2010 is commenced in Montserrat. Reuben Meade becomes Montserrat's first Premier.

2013 May - Montserrat, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands sign agreements on sharing tax information with Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain as part of an international drive against tax evasion.

DONALDSON ROMEO ADMINISTRATION

2014 Sep - The newly formed People's Democratic Movement (PDM) won seven of nine seats in the Legislative Assembly in the 11 September 2014 election. Donaldson Romeo becomes the second Premier.

JOSEPH FARRELL ADMINISTRATION

2019 Nov – Joseph Farrell’s Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) wins five of nine seats in parliamentary elections. Mr Farrell becomes the third Premier of Montserrat.
Key
MCAP = Movement for Change and Prosperity; MNC = Montserrat National Congress; MULP = Montserrat United Labour Party; PDM = People's Democratic Movement; IND = Independent Candidate; *incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-20257216
http://www.timelinesdb.com/listevents.php?subjid=337&title=Montserrat
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