The exploited of Jamaica and Wales

Exploited in the sugar plantation and the slate quarries

The introduction to a “special report” on racism in Britain today Sky news sat a reporter before Penrhyn Castle (North Wales) who told of the wealth of a family built on exploitation, Jamaican sugar fortunes and the transatlantic slave trade.

Research would have revealed this “home” of the Lords Penrhyn the part played by the exploited native Welsh quarrymen suffering and dying in the often Bethesda quarries ice bound Snowdonia mountain sides.

The Pennant family were into the slave trade early and big time when Gifford Pennant by the latter half of the 17th century had sugar plantations “twenty times the average.”

This lasted until the abolition of slavery, opposed by Richard Pennent MP. The Pennants received £14,683 17s 2d (around £1,3million today) for the freeing of 764 enslaved people in Jamaica.

Under the management of Lord George Douglas-Pennant from in 1886 the Penrhyn Estate 26,278 acres, with a rent-roll of £67,000, the Bethesda quarries in good times produced £150,000 a year.

On the 22nd November 1900, 2,800 men at the Penrhyn quarries began a three-year-long strike when Penrhyn workers saud their union dues could not be collected.

Three years of action included clashes with police and troops on horse back met with support and assistance from trade unionist from throughout Britain before starved out and threats of losing their company homes before being starved bak to work,

the National Trust now owning Penrhyn Castle and other such sites are the telling of their history.m

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