Transcript of the Council Minute Book for the Barbados Colony

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 900
  • Dates of Creation
      18th century
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      405 x 265 mm. 1 volume (138 folios); Vellum binding.

Scope and Content

The volume comprises an 18th-century copy of the original Minute Book of the Governor's Council during Sir Bevil Granville's governorship of Barbados. It constitutes an important source for the history of Barbados and of British colonial rule in the West Indies. Entitled Minuits of Councill for the 11th May 1703 to the 6th September 1704 - Exa.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Bevil Granville (1665-1706), army officer and colonial governor, was knighted by James II at Hounslow Heath in 1686, and promoted to major in 1687. In 1702 Granville accepted the governorship of Barbados, arriving there in March 1703. Whilst there he was accused of extortion and tyrannical behaviour by several leading Barbadian planters. After a hearing he was acquitted and recalled to England in 1706. Granville granted wider civil rights to the Jewish population of Barbados in exchange for a grant from the island's Jews. He died at sea of a fever during the voyage to England on 15 September 1706.

Source: Natalie Zacek, 'Granville , Sir Bevil (1665-1706)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from the bookseller G.H. Last of Bromley, Kent, in June 1937 (Catalogue 225, No. 539).


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan and Jo Humpleby, project archivists, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Sir Bevil Granville.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Supplementary Hand-List of Western Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1937 (English MS 900).

Custodial History

The volume was formerly in the possession of the Granville family: bookplate of the Calwich Library (the Granvilles purchased Calwich in 1738).

Related Material

The National Archives hold an entry book of Sir Bevil Granville for 1703-1705 (ref.: GB 066 PRO/30/26/90).


Geographical Names