British Windward Islands

The British Windward Islands was an administrative grouping of British colonies in the Windward Islands of the West Indies, existing from 1833 until 31 December 1959 and consisting of the islands of Grenada, St Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Barbados (the seat of the governor until 1885, when it returned to its former status of a completely separate colony), Tobago (until 1889, when it was joined to Trinidad), and (from 1940) Dominica, previously included in the British Leeward Islands.

British Windward Islands
Motto: I pede fausto
(Latin: Go with a lucky foot)
Anthem: "God Save the Queen/King"
StatusBritish colony
CapitalBridgetown, Barbados (1871–1885)
St George's, Grenada (1885–1959)
Common languagesEnglish
English-based creole languages
Dominican Creole French
Saint Lucian Creole French
Christianity (Anglican, Catholic, Methodist)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 1833-1837 (first)
William IV
 1952–1959 (last)
Elizabeth II
 1958–1959 (first)
Lionel Smith
 1958–1959 (last)
Colville Deverell
 Colony of Tobago left
 Colony of Dominica joined
 Federation dissolved
31 May 1962
CurrencyPound sterling (official)
Spanish dollar, Mexican peso also used
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Colony of Barbados
Colony of Dominica
Colony of Grenada
Colony of Saint Lucia
Colony of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
British Tobago
British Trinidad and Tobago
West Indies Federation

Administrative history

The seat of government was Bridgetown on Barbados, from 1871 to 1885, and thereafter St. George's on Grenada. The islands were not a single colony, but a confederation of separate colonies with a common governor-in-chief, while each island retained its own institutions. The Windward Islands had neither legislature, laws, revenue nor tariff in common. However, there was a common audit system, while the islands united in maintaining certain institutions of general utility.

Judicial history

In 1859 a common court of appeal for the group was established, composed of the chief justices of the respective island colonies. Under the West Indian Court of Appeal Act 1919 this court was replaced by the West Indian Court of Appeal, responsible for appeals from not only the Windward Islands but also the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and British Guiana.

In 1939 the Windward and Leeward Islands Supreme Court and the Windward and Leeward Islands Court of Appeal were established, which was replaced in 1967 by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court which provides both functions.[1]

Chief Justices of the Windward and Leeward Islands
  • 1940–1942 James Henry Jarrett[2]
  • 1943–1950 Sir Clement Malone[3]
  • 1950–1957 Sir Donald Jackson[4]
  • 1958–1963 Sir Cyril George Xavier Henriques[5][6][7]
  • 1963–?1967 Frank E. Field[8]

See also


  1. Lawrence Albert Joseph. "The Origin of the Supreme Court of Grenada". The Barnacle. Granada: The Barnacle News. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015.
  2. "Named Chief Justice. London, Feb. 5". The Ottawa Journal. Ottawa, Canada. 6 February 1940. p. 3 via The Colonial Office tonight announced appointment of J. H. Jarrett, now Colonial Secretary of the Bahamas, as chief justice of the Windward and Leeward islands.
  3. "No. 36056". The London Gazette. 15 June 1943. p. 2739.
  4. "No. 39904". The London Gazette. 3 July 1953. p. 3677.
  5. Chief Secretary's Office (5 February 1959). "Ref. No. P.F. 770". The Antigua, Montserrat and Virgin Islands Gazette. Vol. 4, no. 8. by Authority. p. 1. Mr. Henrique's appointment became effective on 24th December, 1958.
  6. "No. 41534". The London Gazette. 28 October 1958. p. 6590. The Queen has been pleased to give directions for the appointment of Cyril George Xavier Henriques, Esq., (Commissioner for Law Revision, British Honduras) to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Windward and Leeward Islands.
  7. "No. 42870". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1963. p. 2.
  8. Government House (23 January 1964). "Appointment of Chief Justice of the Windward and Leeward Islands". The Antigua, Montserrat and Virgin Islands Gazette. Vol. 9, no. 5. by Authority. p. 21. The Secretary of State for the Colonies ... has appointed Mr. Justice Frank E. Field to the office of Chief Justice of the Windward and Leeward Islands with effect from 2nd December, 1963.


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