|Birth: ||1659, France|
|Death: ||Dec. 22, 1739|
Saint Andrew, Jamaica
In the late 1600s, Port Royal in Jamaica was known as the 'Wickedest City on Earth'.
Built on a sandbar in one of the world's best natural harbours, Port Royal was the home of the most feared pirates in the Caribbean.
There were more taverns and brothels per square foot than anywhere else in the Caribbean, but there were also churches of every kind, as well as a synagogue. Port Royal was tolerant of just about everything!
Lewis Galdy and his brother Laurent had left France because of their religion as Louis XIV decided to force the Huguenots to convert to Catholicism.
First, the King sent out missionaries and would pay a reward to converts. When that didn't work he tried punishments. Finally, he decided to declare Protestantism illegal by the Edict of Fontainebleau.
Although emigration was prohibited, Huguenots left France in droves. Some went to England, others to Switzerland, Holland, Northern Europe, as well as what is now South Africa.
A few thousand settled in the British colonies, New York and South Carolina, which had close links with the Caribbean.
This is how Lewis and his brother ended up in Port Royal, Jamaica.
The story is that they attempted honest work, but there was not much of that, and they joined the Pirates.
At 11:43 a.m. on the 7th of June 1692 came the Great Earthquake. The quake effected the entire island of Jamaica, but Port Royal suffered the greatest damage. During the earthquake the sand on which the town was built, liquefied. Many of the buildings sank vertically, while others appeared slide into the sea.
The Earthquake was followed by a tsunami, and in an instant 1600 people were gone. After subsequent months another estimated 2000 died of disease and unsanitary conditions.
When the quake struck Lewis Galdy was in jail.
The building survived the first shock, but sank down into the sand during the second. Miraculously, he was uplifted and thrown into the sea by the third shock, where he was rescued by a ship in the harbour.
What remained of Port Royal was in absolute ruin. Many claimed it was divine judgement.
Lewis Galdy became famous for his survival and devoted the next forty seven years of his life to Good Works. He was instrumental in having the St. Peter's Church rebuilt.
He is buried there, his Huguenot ties reflected in the church's marble relief by sculptor Louis François Roubiliac.
Here lies the body of Lewis Galdy who departed this life at Port Royal on December 22, 1739 aged 80. He was born at Montpelier in France but left that country for his religion and came to settle in this island where he was swallowed up in the Great Earthquake in the year 1692 and by the providence of God was by another shock thrown into the sea and miraculously saved by swimming until a boat took him up. He lived many years after in great reputation. Beloved by all and much lamented at his Death.
Saint Peter’s Anglican Church Cemetery
Saint Andrew, Jamaica
Created by: Tony Middleton
Record added: Dec 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81606333