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It’s the economy, stupid

This Island of abandoned schemes…{a}

St Helena has never been economically self-sufficient; but it wasn’t for the want of trying


From the first settlement of St Helena in 1659 right up to the time of writing St Helena has never ‘paid its way’. The East India Company largely accepted this, seeing the strategic advantages of possession as outweighing the costs, though they still encouraged the island to support itself as much as possible. However by the time the Crown took over, in 1834, the strategic advantage was waning and in the intervening years many attempts have been made to generate self-sufficiency. We look below at many of these industries; successful and not so… (mostly the latter.)

St Helena in its limited circumstances is unable to produce an exportable commodity which can compete on world markets with modern production techniques in other more favoured territories.{b}

Our lack of heavy industry is a contributory factor in our exceptionally high air-quality.

In case you don’t remember, our subtitle, It’s the economy, stupid is a common variation of the phrase The economy, stupid, which James Carville had coined as a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush.

Imports: Boer Prisoners of War; Exports: None as yet{c}

East India Company

These industries were attempted while The East India Company was in charge of St Helena.

Below: 1684: Salt1690: Vin de St Helena1691: Tobacco1728: Goldfish1774: Whaling1774: Dolphin Fishing1824: Silk Production

1684: Salt

1684: Salt

The Records show a letter from The East India Company Directors in London to Governor Blackmore:

Captain Bass apparently proposed Ruperts Valley for this enterprise.

We can find no evidence that this instruction was ever acted upon.

1690: Vin de St Helena

1690: Vin de St Helena

In January 1690 several French Huguenots (Protestants), fleeing persecution at home under Louis XIV, arrived and were encourage to attempt the creation of a St Helena wine industry. The East India Company had been told tales of success in France, albeit with a little caution:

Their leader was a man by the name of Stephen Poirier, who was given the rank of Captain. The area chosen was in the area of Horse Pasture, though the exact location is not known. By June 1691 vineyard development was reported to be well under way and when Captain Dampier visited he was anxious to see the vinyards but prevented from doing so by poor weather. When one Seaman Barlow, a frequent visitor, arrived in 1694 he made no mention whatsoever of the vinyards in his Journal, though a minute of The East India Company for 1709 reports that the island produced 140 gallons of wine.

…and there the story ends. The wine production and the vinyards are never heard of again in the Records. What happened?

One theory is that, with the assassination of Governor Johnston in 1693 Captain Poirier became acting Governor. Did the vineyards fail because his attentions were directed elsewhere? The short answer is - we don’t know. No Records exist to document the industry’s fate or the reasons for its demise. Maybe an unrecorded spell of wet weather wiped out the vines; the weather on St Helena is known to be prone to bad spells. Or it could be that, coming from Northern France, the Huguenots brought vines that needed an annual frost to keep them healthy, and St Helena has never experienced frost. It would be nice to know in case anyone considers trying St Helena wine again!

Two of the Huguenots are known to have remained on St Helena. Samuel Defountain founded a family of farmers, though later disgraces brought the family name into disrepute. And Captain Poirier went on to become Governor Poirier (1697-1707).

Incidentally, Tony Thornton proposed re-starting the wine industry during his time in charge at Solomons, but nothing ever happened.

1691: Tobacco

1691: Tobacco

In 1691 The East India Company decided to turn St Helena from being supplied almost exclusively from England towards more self-sufficiency. In addition to sugar-canes, cotton and indigo, an area was set aside for growing tobacco. On maps as early as that of John Thornton (1703) can be found an area to the east of the island entitled ‘Tobacco Valley’. It appears up to the map by R. P. Read, 1817 and then vanishes. Comparison of old and new maps suggests Tobacco Valley is now Fisher’s Valley in Longwood.

It is reported that the crop failed, due to lack of proper manuring of the soil. The industry was attempted again in 1869, but abandoned when the supplied expert from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was withdrawn.

John Melliss{7} reports:

Although in one year no less than 18,207lbs of tobacco, and 1,620lbs of cigars, upon which a high duty is levied, were imported into the Island, not a single pound of native-grown tobacco is gathered either for home consumption or for exportation.

And yet wild tobacco is reported as being harvested and locally smoked as late as the early 20th Century and the report of the (original) discovery of Louden’s Ben’s cave says that a large quantity of island tobacco nicely done up in rolls was found there.

More recently, during the stay of the Boer PoWs, the industry was re-tried (again!), using the prisoners’ skills, but this did not survive their departure in 1902. With current views towards tobacco and tobacco products it is unlikely it would ever be resurrected.

1728: Goldfish

It has been proposed that Goldfish were bred here in the 18th Century, en-route from Asia to the UK. In ‘A natural history of uncommon birds and of some other rare and undescribed animals : quadrupeds fishes reptiles insects &c. by George Edwards, 1745 we read: …a large number of [Goldfish] were brought over in the Houghton Indiaman [᠁] they have been propagated and greatly increased in the Island of St. Helena, from whence they are now brought by all our India Ships that touch there.

Together, Ian Bruce and the editor of this website researched to see if we could locate supporting evidence of this trade. You can read our conclusions in detail but, in brief, they are that the story is charming but unproven, though we do hope that when the digitisation of the Archives is complete the more advanced search tools that will then become available may yield something more.

Incidentally, Napoleon tried to keep Goldfish in specially-made ponds at Longwood House during his exile here, but sadly they did not survive; and there are also some quite large ones in the Castle Gardens Fountain, descendants of fish donated in 1898 by William Alexander Thorpe.


1774: Whaling

Whaling began off St Helena after American Independence, when British whaling fleets were forced out of the Northwest Atlantic, but the industry really took off in the 19th Century. To support this flourishing industry, Governor Robert Brooke (1878-1801) proposed the creation of a whale fishing ‘depot’ on St Helena, providing transhipment for whaling products back to Britain. Two whale species were hunted: Sperm Whales, which would yield between 25 and 90 barrels of oil per whale, and Right Whales, providing useful whale bone (a component of corsets, popular at the time). Whale oil provided fuel for lighting, lubricated machines and made soap and candles. Whale oil was also popular with watchmakers, and other precision instrument manufacturers.

In 1829, 22 whaling ships were reported as visiting St Helena: two Americans and twenty British. An attempt was made to set up a whaling company in 1837, but investors declined to participate and the share offering failed. The industry declined over the following 25 years and in 1855, although a total of 46 whaling ships called at St Helena, only three were British. The industry continued to decline and when Governor Cordeaux argued upon his arrival in 1912 that the industry should be restarted he was met with indifference. The industry was finished.

You can learn more about our whaling industry on our page Whaling.

1774: Dolphin Fishing

1774: Dolphin Fishing

Incredible as it may seem, with dolphins now not only a protected species but also part of our tourism industry, until relatively recently dolphins were hunted for meat. (The same, of course, could be said for whales.)

It seems likely that dolphins were first hunted, at least in significant numbers, by the whaling fleets. John Melliss{7} reports a whaling captain describing how these creatures do exhibit prismatic colours immediately they are taken on board after capture. When the whaling industry collapsed it seems local fishermen continued to hunt dolphins, in addition to their usual catch of tuna and other fish. Fishing was manual, using a hand-thrown harpoon until the 1960s when spears became common. in 1978 the Fisheries Corporation recorded the landing of 37 dolphins, though in those days it was not required that catches were sold exclusively to Fisheries, so the actual number caught would have been higher, possibly up to 200. In the 1960s dolphin meat was sold for around 6d/lb and was very popular on St Helena.

The industry did not fail, it was prohibited. Dolphin fishing became illegal in the early 1980s and the industry ceased at that time.

1824: Silk Production

1824: Silk Production

In June 1824 Governor Walker decided that St Helena would be a suitable place to produce silk. Silkworms were ordered from India, but they died in transit. A second batch, supplied from China by one of The Chinese Labourers, arrived successfully. Mulberry bushes, the intended food for the silkworms, were planted in what is now known as Mulberry Gut near Longwood, and in mid-1827 The Briars was purchased for £6,000 to be a silk farm.

It seems some of The Chinese Labourers had silk-production experience so were engaged in the island’s silk production. But if the evidence presented in Barbara B. George BEM’s book The History of the Chinese Indentured Labourers On St Helena - 1810 to 1836 and beyond is to be believed (Chapter 6) it seems they were more disruptive than productive.

The Records show:

And then…

Actually we don’t know what happened next. Evidently the industry did not survive. John Melliss{7} reports that the Mulberry Trees remained but the silkworm has long since disappeared. The ‘Blue Book’ for 1892 reports silk being produced at Maldivia Gardens but there are no records of any sales. No reports have been found of any other income being earned, or any further silk having been produced. It is our assumption that the project was abandoned in Governor Dallas’s time before it could become established, or when control of the island moved from The East India Company to the Crown on 22nd April 1834. An attempt was made by Fr. Daine in 1892 to re-start the industry, but this too obviously failed as there is no record of any progress.

The Crown

These industries were attempted after St Helena became a Crown Colony.

Below: 1856: Postage Stamps1867: Cinchona19th Century: ‘Leaky Ships’Late 19th Century: Coal1907: Lace Making1908: Fish Processing & Canning1914: Flax1935: Lily Bulbs1984: Notes and Coins1994: Coffee ProductionOthers

1856: Postage Stamps

1856: Postage Stamps

St Helena’s first postage stamps were issued in 1856, and from the beginning our issued stamps were of interest to collectors worldwide. It was not realised at first that income could be earned from this. The sale of stamps was discovered to exceed that required for transmission of letters and packets, the balance being the demands of philatelists; The ‘Blue Book’ for 1892 reports income of £199, and this was up to £777 in 1908. The first pictorial stamps were issued in 1903 but it was the 1922 pictorials, designed by Thomas R. Bruce that first really excited the collectors and that design remained on sale for the next 15 years.

The first true commemorative set wasn’t issued until 1934, celebrating a century of Crown rule, followed by a Silver Jubilee issue in 1935. These were also considered very collectable and commemoratives have been issued ever since. In 1935 the Post Office was the island’s largest single revenue earner at £5,814 (28% of total revenue for the year; just ahead of Customs at 24%). Currently the St Helena Post Office issues on average around 2 sets per year (the recent peak was 8 in 1999), though since 2012 worldwide philatelic sales are now handled by agents in the UK due to the transport issues associated with shipping from St Helena. You can buy St Helena stamps online from the St Helena Post Office Philately Sales website. Stamps are often bought by cruise ship visitors - they are small and easily transported.

With the introduction of the Internet and email sales of stamps for the transmission of letters and packets is in decline, but sales to collectors seem to be robust (£89,000 in 2008/9).

You can learn more about our postage stamps and postal history on our page Postage Stamps.

cinchona officinalis
cinchona officinalis

1867: Cinchona

Cinchona was the source of an important product for the British Empire: Quinine, used to ward off malaria. In 1813 one Dr. Roxburgh, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, recommended the introduction of Cinchona plants, in four varieties ( cinchona calisaya, cinchona officinalis, cinchona pahudiana and cinchona succirubra) from South America, and that the young plants be raised here for later transmission to India. This was acted upon in the time of Governor Elliot. Dr. Hooker, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew also advised the culture of Cinchona plants. Governor Elliot agreed with his plan, and a skilled gardener, J. H. Chalmers, was sent out from Kew, and Cinchona planting rapidly progressed. By the end of 1869 there were around 10,000 Cinchona plants, raised from seed and cuttings in a nursery at Plantation House then planted out at the Peaks. Plants were in all stages of growth, vigorous and in good health, with many approaching a metre in height. In December, 1869 Mr Chalmers reported:

It might seem premature to offer an opinion in respect to this, at so short a time from the commencement of the experiment, but considering the progress the plants have made, the extraordinarily long period of drought to which they were subjected during the very earliest stages of their growth, and perhaps, too, at times not the most favourable treatment resulting from inexperience on my part, I can express myself well satisfied with their present promising state.

All seemed well with significant income on the horizon, but in 1870 Governor Elliot was replaced by Governor Patey. The latter did not agree that Cinchona was the way forward for St Helena and, such was the power of a Governor in those days, he directed in December 1870 that the industry be terminated. The plantation was neglected, and soon totally abandoned. As far as we can tell none of the plants was ever harvested or shipped to India and the experiment, initially so promising, ended in failure purely due to Governor Patey. John Melliss{7} reports that in 1871 around 300 plants remained, reaching heights of 1.4m, and also that by 1874 some plants were thriving in a way which proves that they have the right soil and climate. Some may remain, but are likely to have been cleared as a non-endemic species.

19th Century: ‘Leaky Ships’

19th Century: ‘Leaky Ships’

We were intrigued to read in The ‘Blue Book’ for 1887 Governor Grey-Wilson reporting the smallest ever revenue collection in the year and stating that The falling off was due to the absence of leaky ships, not one of which arrived during 1887. We explored further…

Leaky ships, it seems, referred to a significant source of revenue for the island caused by un-seaworthy ships calling in for repair on their way up or down the South Atlantic (estimated in The ‘Blue Book’ for 1880 at £1,200 per annum). In addition to income earned by fixing the ships there were customs duties collected from the ships for goods offloaded as well as spending by their crews while repairs were being effected. A tidy little business but entirely ruined by the passage of what is described in the Report as Imperial Legislation requiring all Her Majesty’s ships to be regularly inspected and carry a sea-worthiness certificate. With fewer ‘Leaky Ships’ to repair, revenues and employment fell.

It is noted that other causes exist for the reduced revenue: the opening of the Suez Canal, diverting Orient-bound ships away from the South Atlantic{2}; more steam-powered ships capable of completing the journey between the Cape and the North Atlantic without a stop-over in St Helena; and the advent of tinned-goods, reducing the need to stop for provisions for the ships’ crews. It seems St Helena’s economy was the victim of the inventions of the Victorian era!

In The ‘Blue Book’ for 1906 Governor Gallwey reported that in the four years I have been in the colony not a single leaking ship has called at the island.

Cover page advertisement, ‘Nature’s Neglected Citadel’, W. Straker, 1891
Cover page advertisement, ‘Nature’s Neglected Citadel’, W. Straker, 1891

Late 19th Century: Coal

With the rise of steamships it was considered that the island might have a future as an Atlantic coaling station. The idea might have been inspired by the emergency call of the SS Great Britain in 1852.

There were, however, some issues with this plan.

The plan never became established.

1907: Lace Making

1907: Lace Making

After experiments from the 1890s our lace making industry took off in 1907, organised by Bishop Holbech with a Government grant of £470, supported by an enthusiastic Governor Gallwey. Ms Penderel Moody arrived in May, to be followed by Helen Girdwood in 1908, establishing the first Government Lace School, based in what is now the Post Office building. Business was initially good and while the income was not enough to balance the island’s budget (from 1912-1914 the income from sales was just over £1,500), it did provide employment for many women at a time when there were few other opportunities. Sadly, like so many other industries on this page, events took a turn against it - Helen Girdwood became ill at the end of 1916 and had to leave St Helena. She was not replaced and the School closed at the beginning of 1917. But this was not the end of lace making on St Helena.

Lace training was revived in the 1940s when Nelly & Minnie Finnigan arrived. Classes moved into the island’s schools and Public Library and the craft has been handed down ever since. It is not really fair to describe it as an ‘industry’ - it provides little income for the island, though perhaps if the number of tourists dramatically increases, as has been predicted to result from the advent of the St Helena Airport, it may again grow in importance.

You can learn more about our lace industry on our page Lace Making, including an article by Ian Bruce. Locally-made Lace is sold on St Helena.

Emperor Brand Tuna
Emperor Brand Tuna

1908: Fish Processing & Canning

Attempts have been made since the late 19th Century to start an industry processing locally-caught fish for export. Despite some short-term successes - the longest lasting was Emperor Brand Tuna (photo, right) which continued for more than 25 years, but some lasted less than a year - today processed fish is not exported from St Helena. To learn more about the ups and downs of our fish-export industry, see our page Fish Processing.

1914: Flax

1914: Flax

After a few false starts from 1874 onwards, a Government flax mill at Longwood was built in 1907, funded by a grant from the Imperial Government of £4,070. Initial progress was slow but the island’s flax industry really took off with the demand for rope and fibre due to World War 1.

No industry yet attempted in the Colony has succeeded so well as the production of fibre and tow from Phormium tenax.{f}

It proceeded successfully, providing work for many and a reasonable income for the three industry owning families. At its peak flax covered over 12Km² of land and the industry directly employed up to 500 people.

However after World War 2 the industry fell into decline, partly because of competition from synthetic fibres, but partly because the delivered price of the island’s flax was, due to processing and shipping costs, substantially higher than world prices. Mills elsewhere in the world had automated the process by 1930; however the Government of St Helena imposed financial penalties on any mill owner who employed labour-saving techniques. The machinery in use here in 1965 was the same as that designed in New Zealand in 1900. The decision by the British Post Office in 1965 to switch to using synthetic fibres and the removal of the £5 per ton Government of St Helena subsidy dealt the final blow. Within the year the island’s flax mills closed, the last closing in 1966. The 54-year boom was over.

The full story of St Helena’s flax industry is told on our page The Flax Industry.

lilium longiflorum
lilium longiflorum

1935: Lily Bulbs

In 1935 the island’s Agricultural Officer, Kenneth Toms, sent some Japanese Easter Lily lilium longiflorum bulbs{3} back to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where they attracted interest. A UK firm thought the bulbs would find favour with British gardeners and so set itself up to import the bulbs for UK sale. The bulbs were found to be of high quality, and quickly became popular. They were shipped annually in the middle of the year, allowing the bulbs to be planted in time to flower at Christmas. Working with the UK Colonial Office it was planned that as many as 50,000-100,000 bulbs per annum could be sold in the UK. In 1937 5,646 bulbs were exported giving income of just over £107. In 1938 this increased to 9,250 bulbs.

Unfortunately, World War 2 intervened and severely disrupted shipping of the bulbs, though in 1940 a total of 64,000 made it successfully to the UK. But the following year shipping delays meant that more than half the 41,000 bulbs shipped arrived rotten and unusable. Exports were stopped until the end of the war.

Post-war the UK had put a ban on the only source of competing bulbs, which came from Japan, so prospects for the industry seemed bright, but as always with a St Helena industry, fate had other ideas. An infestation of ‘eelworm’ reached epidemic proportions on the island, rendering most of the bulbs un-exportable. Nothing seemed able to defeat the infestation. In one year only 1,000 bulbs were exported. By the time the plague had subsided, superior Japanese bulbs were again permitted for import to the UK and the St Helena trade never resumed. In 1959 a notice in the St Helena Wirebird{6} mentions that We are again trying to build up the export trade of these bulbs but we can find no later references to this industry.

Please Note the Japanese Easter Lily lilium longiflorum should not be confused with the Arum Lily zantedeschia aethiopica, our previous national flower. The latter is the dominant species on St Helena, growing wild across the island. The Arum Lily zantedeschia aethiopica has tubers, not bulbs.

Island coins, 1984
Island coins, 1984

1984: Notes and Coins

In the 1970s, inspired by the income earned from Postage Stamps it was suggested that, if St Helena had its own currency, money could be made by selling coin sets to numismatists. The new currency would be the St Helena Pound, ISO code ‘SHP’, and would be linked 1:1 with the British Pound, GBP. The passage of the Currency Fund Ordinance of 1975 and the Currency Regulations of 1976 established a currency board and the new St Helena pound became Legal Tender. The first St Helena banknotes were issued on 2nd February 1976 and the first coins were issued on 3rd January 1984.

Income was indeed earned from numismatists, though as with the Postage Stamps the returns made very little impact on St Helena’s budget. Income from the Currency Fund averaged £191,000 for the period 2006/07 to 2012/13 and, once costs were deducted for printing notes, minting coins and investment management charges, the averaged net income was £99,000 a year.

Recently the decision has been questioned. it has been pointed out that the income from coin sales goes to the Government of St Helena, but individuals and businesses on St Helena incur costs converting SHP into GBP to pay for goods and services sourced from overseas. It has been suggested that these costs may approach, or even exceed the profit gained, resulting in a net negative impact on the economy. At the time of writing this is still under review.

You can learn more about our notes and coins and monetary history on our page Notes and Coins of St Helena, and the article ‘St Helena’s Forgotten Currency Board’ may also be of interest.

1994: Coffee Production

1994: Coffee Production

Coffee was first introduced to St Helena in 1733 when Green Tipped Bourbon Coffee seeds were brought from Mocha in Yemen. It was grown only for local consumption until Napoleon praised it (The only good thing about St Helena is the coffee) during his exile here. St Helena grown beans were sent to London and caused a small sensation, based largely on Napoleon’s endorsement, and by 1845 it was selling in London at 1d per pound. In 1851 it won a Premiere Award at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. Any yet, in the following years export seems to have stopped. The 1900 accounts do not mention coffee production or any income from it.

The industry was revived in 1994 when David Henry, a Saint previously living in the UK, returned with plans to grow St Helena coffee in exportable quantities, using his contacts in the world coffee industry to secure overseas sales. As part of this initiative grants were offered by the Government of St Helena for others to set up coffee growing, and several new producers joined the market in the following years.

David himself ran into difficulties with his business and left St Helena, but other producers continued. In August 2015 it went on sale in Harrods (London). Volumes remain small and the income earned does not come anywhere near to funding St Helena, but it does generate an income for the producers and employment for coffee pickers and others.

You can learn more about our coffee production on our page St Helena Coffee.


We have only snippets of information about these. If you can tell us more please contact us.

Why did they fail?

Is there a common cause for why all these industries failed? It can’t be Napoleon’s Curse - many failed long before he arrived. Governor Gallwey thought it was because Saints were not industrious, writing in The ‘Blue Book’ for 1903 I am afraid that the St Helenian, so long as he can live comfortably, will not look ahead, his motto being ‘Sufficient unto the day.’ but we reject that theory - there is plenty of evidence of successful entrepreneurship amongst Saints, often despite the appearance that the Government of St Helena is deliberately putting obstacles into their path.

In our view the vast majority of the failures were due to poor planning and unrealistic aims, often caused by non-islanders with no appreciation of the dynamics of St Helena. The rest we ascribe to simple bad luck. As Napoleon said: Luck is half of everything.

Government Assistance

From 1978 until 2021 local business was supported and encouraged by a succession of government agencies. You can read about them on our page Glossary.

The Future?

Below: TourismCannabisDigital Nomads



At present St Helena is trying to develop a significant Tourist Industry. Of course, tourists have been coming here since soon after the island was discovered. One made the famous error over our discovery date, many were Famous Visitors and mass tourism began when the first Cruise Ship called in February 1930. Now the plan is to make the island financially self-sufficient due to the income gained from ‘high-value, low-volume’ tourists. To facilitate this the UK Government spent £285m building St Helena Airport, attracted by projections that this could deliver up to 30,000 tourists per annum within fifteen years of the airport opening.

The island has been developing towards this opportunity since the first airport announcement in 2005. Accommodation has and is being built; customer services training has been undertaken; tourist facilities (including signposting) have been improved; even food hygiene regulations have been tightened. Since the air service opened in 2017 St Helena has been waiting for the influx of tourists.

The scheduled commercial air service commenced on 14th October 2017. 2,365 tourists arrived by air in 2018, which is about 90% better than achieved with the RMS St Helena (1990-2018) (1,267 in the last 12 months of RMS St Helena (1990-2018)-only operation){g} but definitely not enough to significantly reduce the budget deficit. Numbers increased a little in 2019 but then Covid‑19 hit and at the time of writing everyone is waiting to see when (if?) global tourism will recover.



It has been suggested that if Cannabis production were legalised here, the island could sell its product to those States and territories that have legalised it, and hence reduce or even eliminate our budget deficit. We discuss this more on our page Cannabis.

Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads

Now St Helena has been connected to ‘The Cable’ might Digital Nomads want to relocate here? After all, St Helena is a pretty cool place to live and as long as you can get good Internet access what else do you need?

However, although the new Internet tariffs have greatly improved Internet access, the system remains slow and expensive by global standards. In particular, a maximum upload speed of ↑1Mbps would be a big disadvantage if trying to manage a news site or maintain websites from here. Direct connections to ‘The Cable’ will help this when they become available at reasonable cost, but nobody knows when this will be. In our opinion, St Helena is still not yet ready for Digital Nomads.


{a} Editorial comment in the Diocesan Magazine, February 1963{b} Governor Oates, in The ‘Blue Book’ 1970/3{c} Boer PoWs, quoted in the St Helena Magazine, January 1934{d} Robyn Sim{e} Copyright © 1962 Film Unit, used with permission{f} Governor Cordeaux, in The ‘Blue Book’ 1917{g} St Helena Statistics Office


{1} …including the Geology, Fauna, Flora and Meteorology, by John Melliss, published in 1875.{2} Though actually it seems this claim is actually a myth.{3} a.k.a. Long-Tubed White Lily, Trumpet Lily, St. Johns Lily, Liliaceae.{4} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{5} You can read an article about Mosely by Ian Bruce, published in ‘Wirebird’, the magazine of Friends of St Helena{4} 2017.{6} The Government newspaper{4}.{7} In ‘St Helena: A Physical, Historical and Topographical Description of the Island{1}’.