chapter  2
26 Pages

‘Planting is My Trade’: The Shapers of Colonial Urban Landscapes

Planting is my trade and I think I may without vanity say I understand it as well as most men. Sir Peter Colleton to John Locke, 28 May 1673, quoted by De Beer, 1976

Sir Peter Colleton, quoted above, was an experienced old salt active in the Caribbean region during the turbulent years of the Protectorate and the Restoration. He regularly corresponded with Shaftesbury and Locke, sharing his hard-won knowledge of the business of planting new colonies with those Londonbased servants of the Crown. To Colleton managing colonial settlements was a job of work, a trade or profession, requiring special knowledge and skills. Such a man learned ‘on the job’.