THE DEPENDENCY QUESTION
by (Mrs.) Mary Erna
George Stephenson Shirt
Hirst Commissioner of the Cayman Islands from 1907 to 1912 is widely
acknowledged as the first person to have written a history of these
Islands. It is also thought that a fair amount of the information in
his book was obtained from the local inhabitants by word of mouth;
many of the written records lay in what was then the Colonial Office
in London. Hirst himself was painfully aware of the sparseness of the
On the surface Hirst's
information seems reliable, but when confronted by a careful study of
material unearthed from the Public Record Office in London during
recent research by the Cayman Islands National Archive it is shown to
contain some anomalies. Had he been able to access official records
in his own time, Hirst would most likely have written his books
differently making more transparent some of the details that
continued to be obscure.
Question" serves to correct many misunderstandings and none more
than those of many Anglicans and others who have assumed that the
Anglican Church in these Islands is in its essence and root a mission
of the Church in Jamaica because the Cayman Islands are said to have
been a Dependency of that Island from long ago.
should have been resolved years ago, since members of the Cayman
Church of England have always acknowledged their Sovereign to be the
Supreme Governor (on earth) of the Church of England within Her
Colony. What is written and confirmed in this book should convince
even the most ardent dissenter of the force of that affirmation.
"If ye continue in my
word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free."