The University’s first known connections with the islands were made through the sugar merchant and plantation owner Thomas Jarvis who sent his sons here in the 1730s. The Jarvis brothers, Thomas and William, became politicians in Antigua but it was in the medical profession that the strongest early connections were established.

Of the 23 Antigua connections so far discovered, the majority were the sons of medical doctors following in their father’s footsteps.

Prominent medical links with Antigua

It was in the field of Medicine and Botany that the strongest early connections with Antigua and Barbuda were established

These graduates were to have an impact not just on their Caribbean homelands, but they sent their knowledge of local plants and methods, introducing important medicinal concepts into Europe. Dr Thomas Fraser of Antigua wrote in 1768 of the laxative effects of castor oil and Dr James Farley was a proponent of the success of the quassia root in curing different fevers.

In the 1800s, another 8 students with Antiguan links came to Glasgow. Of the five who graduated in Medicine, only one remained in the UK after qualification, the others practised in Antigua.

From 1900 until 1965, a further 7 students born in Antigua registered at the University. By this time their range of subjects was broader with Medicine, Arts, Science and Engineering all being represented.