During Trinidad’s Spanish occupation, an area east of the present Lapeyrouse Cemetery was used as a burial ground and known as the “Old Cemetery”. The oldest headstone was that of Jean Creteau, dated 1745. The date that the Port of Spain’s Cabildo purchased the land containing the “New Cemetery” is not known.
The new cemetery was thought to be part of the sugar estate owned by Picot de la Perouse. It can be assumed that the Lapeyrouse Cemetery, as it became known, officially came into being by 1813. As early as 1823, there were dedications of sections by different religious denominations.
Gerald Besson states: Lapeyrouse cemetery in Port of Spain is one of the best examples of this country’s cosmopolitan population…. there are rows of graves with Chinese inscriptions as well as small mansions for the French aristocratic dead. Elegant monuments commemorate the more conservative British and imposing rotundas and tall obelisks eminent Freemasons of a different century.
Among those buried in the Lapeyrouse Cemetery was Perry Gate, Hero of Lake Erie, in the defeat of the British in the American War of Independence, who died in 1819 from Malaria in Venezuela en route to Trinidad. Governor Sir Ralph Woodford honoured him with a hero’s funeral. Trinidad’s great nineteenth century artist, Michel-Jean Cazabon, who died in 1888, is also buried here.
Address: Phillip Street
Town/City: Port of Spain
Region: Port of Spain
Site Type: Cultural Heritage
Listing Status: Stage 2 – Identification & Inclusion of Heritage Site on Inventory of Properties
Site Features: Tombs & Burial Grounds
Phillit Street, Port of Spain