The Caribbean area had come to prominence during the 18th century after initial exploration by the Spanish and Portuguese. During the various wars with the French some of the islands changed hands a number of times, but the British were able to retain a number of key locations.
Guiana was taken over by the British in 1796 and officially ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814. Georgetown was the Capital and some rudimentary defences were establisher here, but British Guiana was never was never regarded as a military or commercial priority. British Guiana obtain independence in 1962 as Guyana.