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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Did Oliver Cromwell ban torture?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24158points) August 20th, 2021

While he was protector of England?
How would you rate his reign?

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5 Answers

janbb's avatar

Doesn’t look like:

“n 1652, Cromwell took over Ireland. Many historians believe that Cromwell committed an ethnic cleansing against the Irish Catholic people.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Cromwell wanted the Irish Catholics to move out of eastern Ireland into the northwest.[4] According to these historians, Cromwell and his army used massacres, starvation, and threats of execution to force the Irish to leave.[9][10][11] Historian Frances Stewart says that 600,000 Irish people – 43% of the Irish population – died from these policies.[11]” (Wikipedia)

snowberry's avatar

To answer the question if you count slavery as torture I would say yes. Answer to that is below. Read all the details in the link to find how torturous.

@janbb Your quote seemed to imply that many of the Irish “left”. OK, so where did they go? Talk about sanitizing history! This takes it to a whole new level!

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Later on the link says that Black slaves were much more expensive than Irish slaves- so much so that they were likely treated better than their Irish counterparts.

African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

Keep in mind this is all English slave trade. slaveowners eventually hit on the idea of “breeding” bi-racial slaves, which created a lighter skin tone which apparently was preferred.

This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.

OK I’m going to go throw up now.

snowberry's avatar

OK, doing more research, I realize that James 2, Charles 1 and Oliver Cromwell lived about the same time. I’m confused as to who was in charge at the time of the English slave trade.

When I searched initially using “Oliver Cromwell and torture” that link came up. My eyes are starting to blur at this point.

janbb's avatar

@snowberry The two quotes aren’t contradictory. The quote from Wikipedia clearly states that the English under Cromwell tortured and massacred the Irish. Oliver Cromwell succeeded James 1 at the end of the English Civil War. Cromwell’s rule was only for five years. It seems like the Irish being sold into slavery went on throughout a longer period and probably under Cromwell as well.

lenacooper's avatar

Cromwell was directly responsible for the deaths of 40000 Irish people, 3500 in the city of Drogheda alone. He forced some people to head west to Connaught where the land was the worst( to hell or to Connaught) A famine was caused of The crops and the live stock destroyed. Widows, orphans and sometimes priests were sent to sugar plantations. Because of this the Irish population dropped by 500000.

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