A Limerick based historian has revealed how prominent Irish families cashed in on the abolishment of slavery.
Liam Hogan is currently working on his first book, a study of the historical relationship between Limerick and slavery.
In an article for the website TheJournal.ie he explains how over 100 Irish families were financially rewarded when the British government finally abolished slavery in most of its colonies 1834.
Hogan writes that the British paid slave owners over $30 million in compensation for the loss of their ‘property.’
Anti-slavery advocate Daniel O’Connell protested against this compensation payment and requested that the names of those receiving this money be made public, according to Hogan.
He adds that the Parliamentary return (1837-8) lists the basic information about those who received compensation.
A new online database now reveals that nearly 100 different individuals, either born or based in Ireland, benefited directly from this slave compensation.
Peter and William Diggs La Touche, private bankers in Dublin, received a payment of nearly £7,000 (approximately $1 million at today's values) for their 396 slaves on two plantations in Jamaica.
Howe Peter Browne, the 2nd Marquis of Sligo, of Westport House, Co Mayo, inherited slave plantations in Jamaica in 1809 from his father.
The report says he submitted a claim for 286 slaves and was awarded almost £5,525 ($745,000 today).
Hogan’s fascinating article includes a full list of all the Irish families who received compensation when slavery was finally abolished.
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