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History is more or less bunk.{a}

A selectable subset of the island’s chronology, dating back to our discovery

Linschoten ’s ‘History’, 1596
Linschoten’s ‘History’, 1596

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‘What the Saints did next…’

(What’s happening inside St Helena)

The history of St Helena and its people is continuing. This website can’t provide up-to-the-minute news about what’s happening inside St Helena, and there is no need for us to do so because sources of St Helena news are readily available on the Internet:

By the time the future is easy to predict it’s history!{b}

Events Database Statistics

The chart below shows the number of items in our Events Database for each decade since 1500 (decades with no events are omitted). Unsurprisingly, there are more events for more-recent years.

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Article: Flashback

Published in the St Helena News 3rd July 1987{1}{2}

If you ever need to, or are urged to visit the Public Library with the intention of reading a general history of St Helena, the following books may be recommended:

BROOK T.H. (1808) A History of The Island of St Helena.

JACKSON E.L. (1903) St Helena: The Historic Island.

JANISCH H.R. (1908) Extracts from St Helena Records.

GOSSE P. (1938) St Helena 1502-1938

Another renowned history but more concerned with geology, flora and fauna and meteorology of the Island is ‘St Helena’ by Melliss (1875).

Among these historians, is a woman, who is described by Gosse himself as a real ‘live wire’. E.L. or Emily Louise Jackson nee Warren, wrote of the island’s history and made history herself. She first came to St Helena as a contract teacher to be headmistress of the Girls’ School. She sang well and was said to have been a born organizer.

Emily introduced Maypole dances, organized school plays and the occasional adult performance whenever a ship called - raising much money for charity. She later married Thomas Jackson, Island Chemist, a Dentist and Chemist.

Another marked contribution to St Helena still survives today. During one of her visits home to Devon, Emily conceived the idea of starting a Lace Industry on St Helena. For 8 months she herself learnt the art of Honiton, Torchon and Bucks.

On returning to St Helena, and finding a helper in Mrs McArthur, wife of the Police Sergeant at the time, it was not difficult to teach the Art to the Islanders. The first Lace School was said to have been at what is now the ‘Polytechnic’{3}.

After subsequent visits to England, Emily introduced other varieties: Chinese, Indian and Madagascan. Pupils gradually became teachers, classes increased and country classes were established.

Whilst awaiting a grant from Government, Emily set up a Boys Industrial Institute on self-made funds. Using a donated lathe, the boys made bobbins and fillets for the girls to work on.

A Miss Moody and her weaving loom, sent by British Government, were not well received. Instead a preference for hand lace and standards of lace making improved greatly.

The late Mrs Pritchard of Cambrian House, who was one of the finest lace makers, was a pupil of Mrs Emily Jackson.

All the books listed above are discussed on our page Historians of St Helena.


{a} Henry Ford{b} Peter de Jager


{1} @@RepDis@@{2} The St Helena News in 1987 was a typed, duplicated publication. We have not attempted to correct the typographical errors or improve the layout of this item.{3} In 1987 a shop in upper Jamestown but we are not sure exactly where.


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