Demerara and Essequibo refer to two British colonial possessions in northeastern South America, in what is today the country of Guyana. They were originally founded by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, mainly as cash crop plantations, but were occupied by the British during the Napoleonic Wars, after which they were officially seceded to the British in 1814. They were combined into one administrative colony in 1815. Coinage was issued in the old Dutch denominations between 1809 and 1832; In 1831 the colony was united with the neighbouring colony of Berbice (also seceded to the British by the Dutch in 1815), to form the colony of British Guyana, which would achieve independence as Guyana in 1966.
See also: Guyana
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