Barbados rebellion 1816
The rebellion often referred to as the “Bussa Rebellion” which began on Sunday, 14 April 1816. Was led by a free West African man name Bussa from an Igbo or of Akan descent and was captured by African slave merchants, sold to the British, and brought to Barbados in the late !8th century as a slave. Not much is known about him and there are no records of him prior to this date. Since slave owners almost never bothered to keep detailed records about the lives of their slaves named “Bussa” worked as arranger on ‘Bayley’s Plantation’ in the parish of St.Philip around the time of the rebellion. This privileged position would have given Bussa much more freedom of movement than the average slave and would have made it easier for him to plan and coordinate the rebellion.
Barbados 1816 Rebellion
One of the leaders of the revolt was called bussa, another was nanny Grigg, a domestic servant Bussa planned the uprising with people from the different estates. This also included Jackey, the driver at the Simmons estate, King Wiltshire and , a carpenter at Bayley’s. the uprising started at Bayley’s estate. It was an attempt by the enslaved people to change the society on Barbados. They believed that Barbados belonged to them and wanted their freedom when Governor Leith returned from Guadeloupe, another Caribbean Island. They believed that he was bringing a ‘free paper’ with him to set them free. Bussa commanded about 400 men and women against the troops. These included the West India Regiment, an all black branch of the British Army.
He was killed in battle and his troops continued to fight until they were defeated by superior firepower. One white civilian and one black soldier were killed in during the fighting. Compared to this, 50 enslaved people died in battle and 70 were executed in the field. Another 300 were taken to Bridgetown for trial, of which 144 were executed and 132 sent away to another island. Bussa’s rebellions that took place in the Caribbean over the centuries, showing black people’s determination to gain their freedom. Rebellion was their attempt to influence the abolition movement.
Pictures of Barbados 1816 Rebellion