Tom Adams (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Right Honourable
Tom Adams
2nd Prime Minister of Barbados
In office
September 8, 1976 – March 11, 1985
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralDeighton Lisle Ward
Hugh Springer
DeputyBernard St. John
Preceded byErrol Barrow
Succeeded byBernard St. John
Personal details
Born(1931-09-24)September 24, 1931
DiedMarch 11, 1985(1985-03-11) (aged 53)
Political partyBarbados Labour Party
Spouse(s)Genevieve Adams
ResidenceIlaro Court 1984–1985

Jon Michael Geoffrey Manningham "Tom" Adams (September 24, 1931 – March 11, 1985) was a Barbadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Barbados from 1976 until 1985.[1]


Personal life[edit]

He was the only son of Grantley Adams (a lawyer and the only Premier of the West Indies Federation) and Grace Adams, née Thorne.

Adams was educated at Harrison College, from which he won a Barbados Scholarship to Magdalen College of the University of Oxford.

Prime Minister[edit]

He served as the second Prime Minister of Barbados between 1976 and 1985. His party, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), had capitalized on the population's desire for a change from Errol Barrow's Democratic Labour Party, which had governed the island since independence in 1966.

Adams moved the country in the direction of Margaret Thatcher's Britain and Ronald Reagan's United States, reflecting the conservatism of the early 1980s. This alliance found its greatest expression when Tom Adams was the leading proponent in the grouping of Eastern Caribbean states that asked Reagan to intervene in overthrowing the Cuban-backed communist regime of Bernard Coard, who had toppled Maurice Bishop, who was later murdered, in Grenada. Barbados was used as a staging point for some of the U.S. forces, and a nominal contingent of the Barbados Defence Force accompanied in the invasion force's wake, not least to allow (as Barrow claimed) Reagan to gild the statistics. The Barbadian population was of two minds about Adams' move, generally conceding that Bishop's murder had moved Grenada too far, but being uneasy with Reagan's US heavy-handedness. Nevertheless, Adams' BLP was tipped to win the upcoming elections at the time.

Adams died of a heart attack at Ilaro Court, the Prime Minister's official residence, on March 11, 1985. He was the first sitting Prime Minister of Barbados to die in office.[2] He was buried in Bridgetown, Barbados, at the churchyard of the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Saint Michael's Row.[3]

Adams' deputy Prime Minister, Bernard St. John, succeeded him but the Barbadian electorate turned back to the other political party, voting in Errol Barrow, and his Democratic Labour Party in the subsequent election in 1986. Barrow also died in office in 1987 shortly after his election victory.[2]

The ten-story building in Bridgetown which houses the Central Bank of Barbados is today known as the Tom Adams Financial Centre in his honour. He is also one of the namesakes of the island's ABC Highway.


  1. ^ [1], New York Times
  2. ^ a b Singh, Rickey (2010-10-24). "Barbados PM David Thompson is dead - Freundel Stuart sworn in as new leader". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  3. ^ "John Michael Geoffrey Manningham". Barbadian Head of Government. Find a Grave. April 14, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Errol Barrow
Prime Minister of Barbados
Succeeded by
Harold Bernard St. John