Good Hope was the hub for the Parish of Trelawny. It was at this center that all planters met to discuss the economy of the sugar industry and cogent matters. It was the meeting place for hospitality. The primary reason was due to the fact that John Tharpe and Sons owned more estates than any other in the Parish.
These were Good Hope, Covey, Lansquinet, Merrywood, Pantrepant, Potosi, Top Hill, Wales and Windsor. He also owned more slaves than any other one proprietor in Jamaica, in the year 1829.
Good Hope was the residence of the Tharpes, on a Tablet thereat is the following inscription “Colonel Thomas Williams, jnr. from the Parish of Westmoreland began to settle this estate April 7, 1774, and named it “Good Hope”. The Great House was built in 1755. This was then a part of St. James; Trelawny Parish came into being in the year 1770.
In an Almanac for the year 1828, several William’s as proprietors for estates in Westmoreland were found. Among them are the Honourable Martin Williams as owner of “Old Hope”; John Williams, the owner of “John’s Hope”, and Joseph Williams owning “Long Pond”, “Anglesea, “Cairucurran”, “Carawiba.
It is quite evident that the Honourable Martin Williams may have been related to the Colonel, the then owner of “Good Hope”, in Trelawny. The names of the properties have classic soundings.
Tharpe had four legitimate sons, John, William, Joseph, Thomas, and one daughter Eliza. Five years after the death of his wife, Tharpe had a daughter by one of his slaves, and she became his favourite child.
She later married well in England bringing with her an income of six hundred pounds a year given to her by her father. By 1788 Tharpe was spending most of his time in England where he married again.
This marriage, however, did not work out well for him. He was so discouraged by the scandal of his wife’s affair with his daughter’s husband, an Anglican minister that he returned to Good Hope, where he remained for the rest of his life. His property was valued at over 4.5 million pounds after his death.
In addition, Tharpe owned much of the prime waterfront property in Falmouth, and his townhouse, now the Falmouth branch of the government tax office, is still one of the most elegant structures in the town.
The small village has some of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the island, and the churchyard has many old and interesting tombstones. At dawn, the Cockpit Country comes alive, and the energetic songs of wild birds float gently on the morning mists.
Good Hope Plantation in Falmouth has been lovingly restored as a fabulous estate which has its history recorded from the 18thCentury, absolute gracious surroundings with today’s contemporary comfort and conveniences.
Built in 1755 in classic Georgian style, the Great House was owned by the Tharpe and Tenison families in past centuries.
Its current owners have lovingly updated the buildings while retaining many of its original features, including the first hot water bath in the Caribbean made in late 1700’s and 14′ tall Palladian windows trimmed with plantation shutters.