Flag of Montserrat Coat of arms of Montserrat
(In Detail)
National motto:
Each Endeavouring, All Achieving
Official language English
Political status Non-sovereign, Overseas territory of the U.K
Capital Plymouth (abandoned)
Governor Deborah Barnes Jones
Chief Minister John Osborne
  - Total
  - % water
Ranked n/a
91 km²
  - Total (2003)
  - Density
Ranked n/a
  - 9,000
  - 102/km²
Currency East Caribbean dollar
Time zone UTC -4
National anthem God Save the Queen
Internet TLD .ms
Calling Code 1-664

Montserrat is an island in the Caribbean Sea, named after the mountain of the same name (located near Barcelona, Spain see Montserrat (mountain)) by Christopher Columbus in 1493.

Montserrat is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes Montserrat on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad due to the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano that began on July 18, 1995. Volcanic eruptions have continued, making large parts of the island uninhabitable.



Main article: History of Montserrat

Montserrat was populated by Arawak and Carib peoples when it was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain in 1493, naming the island 'Santa Mara de Montserrat'. The island fell under British control in 1632. The import of slaves, mainly from Ireland and West Africa followed, during the 17th and 18th centuries.

From 1871 to 1956 it was administed as part of the Windward Islands federation. It was a province of the short-lived West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962. It was briefly captured by France between 1782 until 1783, when it was returned under the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1995 the Soufriere Hills volcano started erupting. Volcanic activity in 1997 was to cause the evacuation of most of the island, including the capital, Plymouth, and the departure of over half the island's population, but the island remains inhabited.

The residents were granted full residency rights in the United Kingdom in 1998, and citizenship was granted in 2002.

Many famous albums were recorded in Montserrat as the isolation allows musicians to be creative. Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits is one example. Sting featured on Money for Nothing because Mark Knopfler ran into him while he was holidaying there.


Main article: Politics of Montserrat

Montserrat is a British overseas territory (formerly a crown colony). The monarch, Elizabeth II, is represented by the Governor, Deborah Barnes-Jones.

The current Chief Minister of the island is John Osborne, of the New People's Liberation Movement. Moves towards full independence have been effectively halted by the volcano and the consequent evacuation.


Main article: Geography of Montserrat


Montserrat is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

It was formerly the home of a branch of George Martin's AIR Studios (and other amenities) that made the island popular with working and vacationing musicians and other celebrities.


Main article: Demographics of Montserrat


Main article: Culture of Montserrat

Many of the last names are of Irish origin, as the Irish and African slaves intermarried. Many of the place names on the island are also Irish. Upon entry, the passport is even stamped with a green shamrock. The crest on the flag has Lady Erin (Ireland) on it as well as the ancient Irish harp.

Miscellaneous topics

Map of Montserrat


Countries in West Indies

Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | Grenada | Haiti | Jamaica | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago

Dependencies: Anguilla | Aruba | British Virgin Islands | Cayman Islands | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Montserrat | Navassa Island | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Turks and Caicos Islands | U.S. Virgin Islands

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Missing image
Flag of the Caribbean Community

Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas¹ | Barbados | Belize | Dominica | Grenada | Guyana | Haiti | Jamaica | Montserrat | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Suriname | Trinidad and Tobago
Associate members: Anguilla | Bermuda | Cayman Islands | British Virgin Islands | Turks and Caicos Islands
Observer status: Aruba | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Mexico | Netherlands Antilles | Puerto Rico | Venezuela
¹ member of the community but not the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy.
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