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by a group led by John Powell's younger brother, Henry, consisting of 80 settlers and 10 English laborers.The latter were young indentured laborers who according to some sources had been abducted, effectively making them slaves.Around the same time, fighting during the War of the Three Kingdoms and the Interregnum spilled over into Barbados and Barbadian territorial waters.The island was not involved in the war until after the execution of Charles I, when the island's government fell under the control of Royalists (ironically the Governor, Philip Bell, remained loyal to Parliament while the Barbadian House of Assembly, under the influence of Humphrey Walrond, supported Charles II).There were earlier English settlements in The Americas (1607: Jamestown, 1609: Bermuda, and 1620: Plymouth Colony), and several islands in the Leeward Islands were claimed by the English at about the same time as Barbados (1623: St Kitts, 1628: Nevis, 1632: Montserrat, 1632: Antigua).Nevertheless, Barbados quickly grew to become the third major English settlement in the Americas due to its prime eastern location.Fully documented Amerindian settlement dates to between about 350 and 650 AD.
To work the plantations, black Africans – primarily from West Africa – were imported as slaves in such numbers that there were three for every one planter.
Barbados was inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs at the time of European colonization of the Americas in the 16th century.
The island was an English and later British colony from 1625 until 1966.
Courten's title was transferred to James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, in what was called the "Great Barbados Robbery." Carlisle then chose as governor Henry Hawley, who established the House of Assembly in 1639, in an effort to appease the planters, who might otherwise have opposed his controversial appointment.
In the period 1640–60, the West Indies attracted over two-thirds of the total number of English emigrants to the Americas.