Friday, 26 October 2012


The Irish Slave Trade began when King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His proclamation of 1625 require Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English Settlers in the West Indies. By mid 1600s, the Irish were the main Slaves sold into Antigua and Montserrat. From 1641 to 1852 over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and over 300,000 were sold as Slaves.

Ireland population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one decade, during the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 to 14 were taken rom their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies , Barbados and Virginia, while 30,000 Irish men were sold to the highest bidder.

In 1656 Oliver Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers. African slaves cost 50 sterling, very expensive, Irish Slaves cost 5 sterling, so Irish Slaves could be worked to death,whipped or branded without it been a crime . Many, many times they were beaten to death, while the death of an Irish Slave is a monetary setback, it was cheaper than the death of an expensive African Slave. Therefore African Slaves were treated much better in Colonial America.

The importance of Irish Slaves continued well into the 18th century, long after the importation of African Slaves became the norm. Records state after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousand of Irish were sold to both America and Australia. Irish Slavery didn't end till Britain decided to end slavery in 1839 and stop transporting slaves.