The city of Kingston had its origin in the aftermath of the 1692 earthquake which destroyed Port Royal, many of whose inhabitants moved to the newly established settlement across the harbour. Over three centuries Kingston itself has suffered many hardships caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, epidemics and fires. This site looks briefly at the major fires which devastated the city, at a time when virtually all its citizens, of all colours and classes, lived closely together below North Street.

Kidd's mid-19th century map of Kingston