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Probyn Ellsworth Inniss was born on the 18th November 1936 and received his early and secondary education on St. Kitts. He attended the University of the West Indies graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1961. He later studies law and was called to the Bar at Middle Temple.

Inniss was employed as a teacher at the St- Kitts-Nevis Grammar School but by 1966 he had risen to the post of Permanent Secretary in Establishments and External Affaris

In 1975 he succeeded Sir Milton Allen as Governor of the State. He was only 39 years old. His sense of calm  lent dignity to the office that he held. In 1976 he was created Knight Batchelor in 1976.

Inniss found himself in the middle of a political controversy in 1980. In the election of that year the Labour Party won four of the seven seats in St. Kitts. The People’s Action Movement won three seats and formed a coalitions with the Nevis Reformations Party which had won two seats. This was a completely new development for St. Kitts-Nevis. Some felt that Labour should have been allowed to form the Government as it had a majority of seats in St. Kitts and the majority of votes overall. However constitutionally it was the number of seats won that mattered and the Coalition had a majority of one seat. Inniss recognized Kennedy Simmonds new government. Later an argument over whether Anguilla was to be included in the title of a law brought his term of office to an end.in 1981.

This was the beginning of his legal practice which was to evolve in a short time into the firm of Inniss and Inniss with his daughter Angela as his partner.

Sir Probyn’s biggest contribution was in the field of heritage. Making use of his quite time when he was Governor he wrote and self-published Historic Basseterre The story of a West Indian Town. It was a popular book and he republished it a number of times. Other books followed. Whither Bound St. Kitts-Nevis examined the political and constitutional l links between the two islands and was very popular in the period leading up to Independence. He also wrote Forty Years of Struggle: the Birth the St. Kitts Labour Party and Methodism in St. Kitts 1787-2006

Sir Probyn served for several years as President of the Brimstone Hill National Park Society and initiated the History and Heritage Week, later History and Heritage Month.  He was very active in the Methodist Church and firm supporter of the 4 H club.

He died on the 12th March 2017.


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National Archives
Government Headquarters
Church Street
St. Kitts, West Indies

Tel: 869-467-1422 | 869-467-1208
Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.kn
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