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By Cromwell’s death, at least 100,000 Irish men, women, and children had been sold in the West Indies, Virginia, and New England.
An Irish slave would endure such treatment as having his hands and feet set on fire or being strung up and beaten for even a small infraction.The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement along the Amazon in South America in 1612.However, before that there were probably many unofficial arrangements, since the Irish were of no importance and details of how they were dealt with were not deemed necessary. They had been practicing genocide against the Irish since the reign of Elizabeth, but they couldn’t kill them all. It’s ironic that the patron saint of Ireland was a slave. The beginning of the 17th Century, in the reign of James I of England, England faced a problem: what to do with the Irish.James I In 1625, the King issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be transported to the West Indies and sold as slave labor to the planters there.
In 1637, a census showed that 69% of the inhabitants of Monsarrat in the West Indies were Irish slaves.The Irish had a tendency to die in the heat, and were not as well suited to the work as African slaves, but African slaves had to be bought.Irish slaves could be kidnapped if there weren’t enough prisoners, and of course, it was easy enough to make Irish prisoners by manufacturing some petty crime or other.But even though it did not seem that things could get worse, with the advent of Oliver Cromwell, they did.In the 1650’s, thousands more Irish were killed, and many more were sold into slavery.The Irish refused to relocate peaceably, for the most part, since they couldn’t survive if they did.