It set a precedent for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, which was created by the Tourism Law of 1974.The country's successful offshore financial services industry dates back to 1966 when the first banking and trust laws were passed, laying the foundation for the modern banking and financial services industry which exists today.Sir Francis Drake visited the islands during a voyage between 1585-86 and reported sighting "great serpents called Caymanas, like large lizards, which are edible." An anonymous author in Drake's fleet also described 10-foot long crocodiles.According to the Cayman Islands National Archive, there are written accounts of Cayman dating back to the 1830's which describe the shooting of crocodiles as a Sunday sport.Old Isaac Bodden, his grandson, a native of the Island, now upwards of 70 years of age, remembers when there were only five families; but at this time, there are 21 at the South Side, which we have called Bodden Town, 13 at the West End, commonly called the Hogsties, 3 at the East End and 2 at Spot's Bay; in all 39 families, consisting of at least 200 white people and above same number of Negroes and Mulattoes." "The Island produces a great quantity of cotton, which is their principle article of export besides Turtle; but for their own consumption, and to supply the vessels that pass by, they raise Indian corn, yams, sweet potatoes, pompions, plantains, melons, limes, oranges and most kinds of the fruits and vegetables that are to be found in Jamaica. There are plenty of goats on the Islands, but neither sheep nor black cattle, and only two horses, which were lately brought there from Jamaica by accident." The first royal land grant in Grand Cayman, signalling the beginning of permanent settlement, was recorded around 1700, covering 3000 acres between Prospect and North Sound, and others followed until 1742.These settlements included the use of slaves, although slavery was limited and never reached the harsh and oppressive conditions which existed in plantocracy societies elsewhere in the Caribbean.The islands were later renamed Lagartos, meaning alligator or large lizard and finally, the name Caymanas was applied around 1540, derived from the Carib word for marine crocodile.
Much important research has been conducted in the last five years, specifically through the dedicated efforts of the staff of the Cayman Islands National Archive.
An interesting historic reference provided by the C. National Archive confirms details of the earliest settlers of Grand Cayman and their lifestyle.
The following is an excerpt from a transcript of George Gauld's remarks, contained in a H. Royal Navy survey dated 1773, on the Island of Grand Cayman : "The Island was originally settled by one of Oliver Cromwell's soldiers named Bodden, who had been at the taking of Jamaica.
About this time the population of Grand Cayman was around 400.
Legends of Cayman's occupation by pirates during the 18th century, including treasure caches left behind by Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, Neal Walker (in Little Cayman) and Henry Morgan, continue to be a romantic but historically questionable part of the folklore of this Western Caribbean country.