Miss Margaret Mary MacDermot (184?-1917). Spinster sister of the Rev. H.M.F. MacDermot, Anglican Clergyman, of Arthur's Seat, Clarendon, Jamaica and Aunt of Thomas Henry "Tom Redcam" MacDermot (1870-1903), first Poet Laureate of Jamaica from 1910 to 1933. From a Photograph by Russell Bros & Moncrieff, Kingston, Jamaica. c. 1870.
Collection: Raymond Brandon
Thomas Henry MacDermot (1870-1903). Jamaican Poet, Novelist and Editor.
Born in Arthurs Seat, Clarendon, Jamaica on 26 June 1870 to the Reverend H. M. F. MacDermot (1832-1875) and his wife Mary Windsor Rutty. (1824-1917), daughter of Thomas Twinnie Rutty (1800-1883), Planter. He was of Irish descent. He married Kathleen O'Connell.
Thomas Henry MacDermot promoted Jamaican literature through his writing and started a weekly short story contest in the Jamaica Times in 1899. Notable among the young writers he helped and encouraged was Claude McKay. In 1903, he launched the All Jamaica Library, a series of novellas and short stories written by Jamaicans about Jamaica that were reasonably priced to encourage local readers. MacDermot also published under the pseudonym Tom Redcam. In addition to his work as a journalist, he wrote two novels. The first, "Becka’s Buckra Baby", published in 1903, marked the beginning of modern Caribbean writing. He was Editor of the Jamaica Times for over 20 years. MacDermot retired because of illness in 1922. He died in a Nursing Home in London, England on 8 October 1933. He was posthumously proclaimed Jamaica's first Poet Laureate for the period 1910-33 by the Poetry League of Jamaica. MacDermot's poems were not collected into a single volume until 1951, when "Orange Valley and Other Poems" was finally published in Kingston, Jamaica by the Pioneer Press.
From a Photograph by an Unknown Photographer. No Date. Private Collection.