Stepping Back In Time In Grand Cayman
The year was 1794. A British convoy of ships coming from Jamaica, to points afar in America and Britiain, ran aground on shallow reef and sank off the East End of Grand Cayman. Legendary British Naval Captain John Lawford thought the fleet had successfully passed the island and outlying reef of Grand Cayman, he was dead wrong. A group of brave Caymanians living on the East End and Bodden Town came to the rescue of the ten ships, saving all the crew and passengers except only eight poor souls. Lawford proceeded to Georgetown and apprised his Commander-In-Chief based out of Port Royal (the infamous port in Jamaica) of their ill-fated journey. Within a few weeks, Lawford and much of his crew were "rescued" and brought to the British colonized Port Royal. Lawford was initially court-martialed but eventually acquitted of all charges in regards to "The Wreck of the Ten Sail." The reason this event is so poignant in history is simple: the genesis of the Cayman Island's well-known tax status. King George III heard of the Caymanian's heroic deeds and decreed all of Cayman to be free of taxation. In 1994, Queen Elizabeth bestowed a plaque and memorial near the wreckage site commemorating this historic event and its effect on the history of Britain and the world as a whole. Few people visit, and even fewer rent a boat to view the wreckage up close that still exists on the reef, and appreciate how history and present day so closely intertwine on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman.