Hanover-History

The parish was born out of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland on November 12, 1793. It was named for George 1, the reigning monarch on the British throne who was from the House of Hanover in Germany. He had the dubious distinction of being the first King of England who could not speak English. In fact, there was talk of naming the parish after the King’s mother. However the council would not hear of it, so Hanover barely missed being called St. Sophia. The capital town on the other hand has been known by many names – Sant Lucea, St. Lucia, St. Lucea and today, as Lucea.

In the centre of Lucea, as with all other capital towns in Jamaica, stands a clock tower. This clock was not originally intended for Lucea, however. The story is told that the clock was intended for the island of St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean. However, the captain of the ship confused both places and “landed” the clock – a gift from Germany for the people of St. Lucia – in Hanover. The townsfolk refused to let go of the clock. They had ordered a more modest version, however they made up the difference through public subscription. A German landowner in the parish offered to erect the tower, provided he had a free hand in its design.  The clock was installed in 1817. Today, the clock, with the top of its tower in the shape of the helmet worn by the German Royal Guard, remains a landmark in Lucea.

The story is told of a Frenchman named Martin Rusea who willed all of his estate for the establishment of a “free school” in Hanover. This was done in appreciation for the hospitality shown to him by the people of Hanover when he was shipwrecked and washed ashore while fleeing religious persecution in his homeland. Today, Rusea’s school is the pillar of education in the parish. The school was expanded when it was joined with Hanover Secondary.