The author describes his Burt and Berridge ancestors and how they helped run St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and parts of the British Empire for over 300 years. Extensive quotations from contemporary official correspondence give a flavour of the times and illustrate the difficulties experienced by the British government ruling the Empire in the days before air transport, radio and telephones. More
William Burt was one of the earliest English settlers in what became the British West Indies. He was a wealthy slave-owning sugar planter and became Deputy Governor of Nevis before he died there in 1686.
His descendants helped to govern St Kitts and Nevis for the next 300 years. They also included a Chaplain to the Prince of Wales, a High Sheriff of Staffordshire and two Chief Justices of Western Australia.
James Berridge did not arrive in St Kitts until 1794, but he and his family also played their parts in British colonial history. The author of this book is descended from both families and has written a history of the two islands and the part played in that history by his ancestors. It is based on family papers and three years’ research at the National Archives. Extensive quotations from contemporary official correspondence give a strong flavour of the times and bring home forcibly the difficulties experienced by the British government in running the British Empire in the days before air transport, radio and telephones, when it could take a couple of months for letters to get from London to the West Indies if they were not lost at sea.The Milk Jug was a Goat is comparable with Richard Pares’s A West-India Fortune, published in 1950 and generally regarded as a classic of socio-economic British colonial history, but it covers a much longer period.