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- Torres: "So many churches in Kingston. Have the English at last taken to converting their slaves to the Christian faith?"
- Prins: "Ha! Convert them? God knows, Torres, there's none here so foolish as that!"
- ―Torres and Prins discussing Kingston's practice of slavery, 1717.[src]
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island.
Founded in 1692 after an earthquake had largely destroyed Port Royal, the British colony gradually became a major center of trade. Benefitting from its natural harbor and fortified defenses, Kingston forged an important connection between the British Empire, the Caribbean and West Africa.
Founding and developmentEdit
On 7 June 1692, Port Royal, then Jamaica's commercial center, was struck by an earthquake and two thirds of the city sank into the sea, killing half of the population. Survivors sought refuge in a tent city that was to become Kingston, though it only really began to develop after a fire destroyed what was left of Port Royal in 1703.
One of the driving forces behind Kingston's economic growth was the slave trade; shortly after the city was founded, a large number of people were imported, mostly to work on sugar plantations. Traffickers like Laurens Prins would build their fortune on the practice, living like kings in grand manors. However, rebellion was not uncommon, with many slaves escaping their masters and joining the Maroon communities in the mountains.
Golden Age of PiracyEdit
Following the War of the Spanish Succession, Kingston attracted a number of unemployed sailors, some of which would eventually turn to piracy for a living. Charles Vane in particular was known for roaming the docks, looking for work, until he was hired by Henry Jennings.
In 1717, the search for the Sage Bartholomew Roberts led Templar Laureano de Torres y Ayala to travel to Kingston, where he met with Laurens Prins, who had captured Roberts and was willing to hand him over in exchange for monetary compensation. The arrangement went awry, however, when Prins realized they were being spied upon by the pirate Edward Kenway and the Assassin James Kidd. Calling on his guards, Prins retreated to his manor, where he was later assassinated by Kenway, though Roberts managed to escape.
That same year, the conflict between the Maroons, supported by local Master Assassin and bureau leader Antó, and the Templar Kenneth Abraham was coming to a head. Antó managed to recruit Kenway to his cause, in exchange for Abraham's Templar key, allowing them to turn the tables. The pair then tracked down and assassinated Abraham, securing a temporary victory for the Maroons.
In 1721, Kenway, having officially allied with the Assassins, returned to Kingston to pursue the Templar Woodes Rogers, who was set to attend a local party celebrating the end of his tenure as Governor of the Bahamas and his recall to London. Assuming the identity of an Italian diplomat, Kenway infiltrated the feast and assassinated Rogers.
In 2013, Kingston was used as a simulated location created by Abstergo Industries' entertainment branch, in order to influence the general public through the console stage of their Animus technology.
- "How preposterous this city is! All straight lines and rigid blocks, and still no sense of order!"
- ―Ruggiero Ferraro complaining about Kingston, 1721.[src]
A busy, flourishing port city during the early 18th century, Kingston's concentration of residences tended to vary strongly, with some areas being noticeably open and untouched by civilization, while others were more densely populated. Similarly, it possessed both wide streets that allowed for a lot of traffic, as well as narrower alleyways; roads generally were unpaved, signalling the youth of the city.
As slavery was an important component of Kingston's economy, plantation fields and their respective sugar mills were common both within the city and outside of it, with some of them encompassing large amounts of land. A select few grew rich from the practice and built themselves imposing and luxurious manors. By contrast, the rest of the city's residences mostly shared the same plain outlook, being two-storey buildings constructed out of wood.
Most of Kingston's citizens were of an English persuasion, though due the slave trade, the city also housed a large amount of people of color, many of which walked the streets freely. While the wealthy could afford fancy dresses and coats, the other residents' attire tended towards the plain and practical; slaves, especially those that worked the fields, were usually dressed in rags.
Notable landmarks in Kingston included Laurens Prins' manor, the parish church and a large windmill located on a hill overlooking the city. The city also featured several watchtowers to detect potential piratical activity as soon as possible.