In 1636 a ship sailed out of Kinsale bound for Barbados. Its cargo? Sixty-one Irish people destined to join thousands of others as indentured servants.
An estimated 50,000 “white slaves” were transported from Ireland to Barbados between 1652 and 1657. Having succeeded in recruiting Irish men to die in the services of France, Spain, Poland and Italy, Cromwell turned his attention to others – men and women press-ganged by soldiers, taken to Cork and shipped to Bristol where they were sold as slaves and transported to Barbados.
This included the landlords who refused to transplant and whose properties had been confiscated by Cromwellian settlers, men who refused to join foreign armies, children from hospitals and workhouses and many prisoners. It was a lucrative business. About The Invisible Irish in Barbados