Chronology of Catholic Dioceses:The Erection of the Apostolic Vicariate of Trinidad, 1818

In 1797, the Island of Trinidad was surrendered by Spain to Great Britain. The status of the Catholic religion underwent no change, as stipulated in the terms of capitulation granted by Sir Ralph Abercrombie. The new authorities undertook to contribute to the maintenance of the clergy and continue to do so. On 23 February 1818, an Apostolic Vicariate was erected, covering Trinidad and all the British and Danish islands of the Lesser Antilles (vic. apost. insularum Americae septentr. tum Angliae, tum Bataviae Daniaeque ditioni subiectarum). The jurisdiction also included - although maybe only in theory - the Dutch Leeward Islands of the Antilles (Sint Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius), but it did not include the Dutch Windward Islands (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire), nor the French Antilles.

Thus the Trinidad Catholics were withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Guayana (or Santo Tomas de Guayana), Venezuela.

As the first appointee as Apostolic Vicar declined the post for health reasons, it took a while before the Apostolic Vicariate became a reality on the ground. It took a year before a second Apostolic Vicar was appointed (Mgr. James Buckley, in early 1819), and then maybe yet another year before he was in place and could start to organize the new Apostolic Vicariate.

(Based on input from Charles N. Bransom [based on HC] and from Bob Hilkens [based on DHGE and Hartog 1961])

- CT

av Webmaster publisert 08.09.2004, sist endret 08.09.2004 - 12:10