Kolonie Demerary
Dutch colony



The Demarara colony in 1759
(Note this map has East at its top.)
See here for its exact location (6° 48' N 58° 10' W).
Capital Stabroek
Language(s) Dutch
Political structure Colony
 - Established 1745
 - Ceded to the United Kingdom November 20, 1815

Demerara (Dutch: Demerary) was a region in South America in what is now Guyana that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British invaded and captured the area in 1796. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara River, and its main town was Georgetown.

Demerara sugar is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara.



In 1781 the American revolution induced the Dutch Republic to join with the Bourbon side against the British, a large fleet under Admiral Lord Rodney's was sent to the West Indies, and after having made some seizures in the Caribbean Islands, a squadron was detached to take possession of the colonies of Essequebo and Demerara, which was accomplished without much difficulty.[1] In 1782 the French took possession of the whole Dutch settlements compelling Gov. Robert Kinston to surrender.[2] The peace of Paris, which occurred in 1783 restored these territories to the Dutch.

The British returned the colony to the Dutch in 1802 under the terms of the Peace of Amiens, but re-took control of it a year later. On 13 August 1814 the British combined the colonies of Demerara and Essequibo into the colony of Demerara-Essequibo. On 20 November 1815 the colony was formally ceded to Britain by the Netherlands. On 21 July 1831 Demerara-Essequibo united with Berbice as British Guiana, now Guyana. Demerara is now one of three counties of Guyana, the other two being Berbice and Essequibo.

The name "Demerara" comes from a variant of the Arawak word "Immenary" or "Dumaruni" which means "river of the letter wood".[3]

Large slave rebellions broke out in West Demerara in 1795 and on the East Coast of Demerara in 1823.[4] Although these rebellions were easily and bloodily crushed, according to Winston McGowan, they may have had a long-term impact in ending slavery:

The 1823 revolt had a special significance not matched by the earlier Berbice uprising. It attracted attention in Britain inside and outside Parliament to the terrible evil slavery and the need to abolish it. This played a part, along with other humanitarian, political and economic factors, in causing the British parliament ten years later in 1833 to take the momentous decision to abolish slavery in British Guiana and elsewhere in the British Empire with effect from 1 August 1834. After serving four years of a modified form of slavery euphemistically called apprenticeship, the slaves were finally freed on 1 August 1838.

Notable Demerarans

Commanders of Demerara

  • Jonathan Samuel Storm van 's Gravesende (d. 1761) (1752–1761)
  • Laurens Lodewijk van Bercheijk (d. 1765) (1761–1765)
  • Jan Cornelis van den Heuvel (1765–1770)
  • Paulus van Schuylenburgh (1772–1781)
  • Antony Beaujon (22 April 1796 – 27 March 1802)

Governors of Demerara

  • Robert Kingston (27 February 1781 – 1782)
  • Louis Antoine Dazemard de Lusignan (1782)
  • Armand Guy Simon de Coëtnempren, comte de Kersaint (b. 1742 – d. 1793) (1782)
  • Georges Manganon de la Perrière (1783–1784)


  • Joseph Bourda (acting) (6 March 1784 – February 1785)
  • Jan L'Éspinasse (February 1785 – 18 August 1789)
  • Albertus Backer (18 August 1789 – 31 March 1793)
  • Willem August van Sirtema, baron van Grovestins (31 March 1793 – May 1795)
  • Antony Beaujon (b. 17... – d. 1805) (1795 – 22 April 1796)
  • Antony Meertens (27 March 1802 – September 1803)

Lieutenant governors

  • Robert Nicholson (September 1803 – 18 August 1804)
  • Antony Beaujon (18 August 1804 – 19 October 1805)
  • James Montgomery (acting) (19 October 1805 – 8 May 1806)
  • Count Henri Guillaume (Henry William) Bentinck (b. 1765 – d. 1821) (8 May 1806 – February 1812)
  • Hugh Lyle Carmichael (b. 1764 – d. 1813) (February 1812 – 11 May 1813)
  • E. Codd (acting) (11 May 1813 – 23 May 1813)
  • John Murray (23 May 1813 – 26 April 1824)
  • Sir Benjamin d'Urban (26 April 1824 – 21 July 1831)


Leaders of rebellions

  • 1823: Jack Gladstone of Plantation Success
  • 1823: Quamina of Plantation Success

See also


  1. ^ Hadden p.64
  2. ^ Dalton p.239
  3. ^ Guyana the Name
  4. ^ McGowan, Winston (2006). "The 1763 and 1823 slave rebellions". Starbroeck News. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 
  5. ^ McGowan, Winston (2006). "The 1763 and 1823 slave rebellions (Part 2)". Starbroeck News. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Demerāra — Demerāra, 1) Fluß in Britisch Guayana, entspringt im Maccarigebirge, hat einige bedeutende Katarakte und mündet bei Georgetown in den Atlantischen Ozean. Er ist 300 km lang und 120 km weit für kleine Seeschiffe, für Boote bis über die Katarakte… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Demerara —   [demə rɑːrə] die, Fluss in Guyana (das früher auch Demerara genannt wurde), mündet bei der Hauptstadt Georgetown in den Atlantischen Ozean; 240 km lang.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Demerara — (Demerary, spr. Demmerärri), 1) Fluß im britischen Antheil von Guayana (Südamerika), entspringt im südlichen Theile der Colonie, fließt, anfangs mit zahlreichen Wasserfällen, in nördlicher Richtung u. mündet, über 1/3 Meile breit, in den… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Demerara — Demerāra, Grafschaft von Brit. Guayana, (1891) 173.898 E., mit dem Flusse D., der, 300 km lg., bei der Hauptstadt Georgetown in den Atlant. Ozean geht …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Demerara — Karte mit dem Gebiet, 1888 Demerara war von 1752 bis 1814 der Name einer niederländischen Kolonie in Südamerika. Sie war Bestandteil von Essequibo, auch Essequibo und Demerara genannt. Als Sammelbegriff für die niederländischen Kolonien an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Démérara — Carte des colonies néerlandaises de la Côte Sauvage (Amérique du Sud) autour de 1800. De gauche à droite : Pomeroon, Essequibo, Démérara et Berbice. Démérara était une colonie néerlandaise d Amérique du Sud située sur les rives de l estuaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Demerara — Sp Demerarà Ap Demerara L u. ŠR Gajanoje …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Demerara — n. light brown cane sugar coming orig. and chiefly from Demerara. Etymology: Demerara in Guyana …   Useful english dictionary

  • demerara — demeraran, adj. /dem euh rahr euh, rair euh/, n. (often cap.) a light brown raw sugar grown in Guyana and used esp. in the country s rum making industry. [after the DEMERARA River] * * * …   Universalium

  • demerara — dem•e•ra•ra [[t]ˌdɛm əˈrɑr ə, ˈrɛər ə[/t]] n. (often cap.) vin a light brown raw sugar grown in Guyana and used esp. in the country s rum making industry • Etymology: after the Demerara River dem e•ra′ran, adj …   From formal English to slang

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