History of Ceylon Tea

Strange as it may seem, the story of Ceylon Tea begins with coffee. The tale begins in the early 1820s, barely five years after the surrender of Kandy, the last surviving indigenously-ruled state in Ceylon, to the British crown. By then, the rest of the island had already been a British colony for more than a generation. Its possession was considered vital to imperial interests in India and the Far East, but the cost of maintaining the military presence and infrastructure necessary to secure it was prohibitive. Attempts to raise revenue by taxation could not by themselves fill the gap; how to make the colony pay for itself and its garrison was a problem that had troubled successive governors since the first, Frederic North, took office in 1798.

This tenacity is spoken of in plantation legends and can be seen in inscriptions on gravestones of Scots and English pioneer planters - many of whom died prematurely from disease - in Ceylon’s hill country. These bear silent testimony to the harsh conditions in which the tea industry was built and most importantly, to the fearlessness and dedication of the founders of this great industry.;xNLx;;xNLx;The 'History of Ceylon Tea' project is a tribute to those courageous men of whom Conan Doyle spoke, that the memory of their sacrifice and dedication in creating a great and life-giving industry shall not be dimmed with time. The Tea Industry of Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, is the lifeblood of the country today, providing direct employment to over 500,000 people, and producing for the world a beverage that is healthy, refreshing and delicious. It is an imperative for the future of this industry that we shall not forget the past, and those that made history in creating our tea industry.

1796-02-16 15:25:00

1796 Colombo (under Dutch Rule) surrendered to the British by Capitulation, 16th February

1798-10-12 15:25:00

1798 Ceylon made a Crown Colony, 12th October

1798-12-04 15:25:00

1798-1805 Governor Hon. Frederick North

1805-04-10 15:25:00

1805-1811 Governor Hon. Thomas Maitland

1806-04-10 15:25:00

1806 The Kandyan King constructs the Kandy Lake

1811-03-07 15:25:00

1811-1812 Governor Hon. John Wilson

1812-04-15 15:25:00

1812 Potatoes first successfully cultivated in Ceylon

1812 Potatoes first successfully cultivated in Ceylon by Mr. J. F. Lorenz, Sitting Magistrate, Morowak Korale.

1812-08-06 15:25:00

1812-1820 Governor Hon. Sir Robert Brownrigg

1818-04-15 15:25:00

1818 First cargo of Coconut Oil taken from Ceylon

1818 First cargo of Coconut Oil taken from Ceylon to the United Kingdom by Capt. Boyd, of Aberdeen.

1820-01-11 15:25:00

1820-1822 Acting Governor Hon. Edward Barnes

History of Ceylon Tea

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