Scotlands hidden involvement in the slave trade
I was quite shocked, when I read the article below. I was aware that many people of Jamaican descent, had Scottish surnames. But was unaware of the major part Scotland played in the slave trade. I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on the matter.
Why Are So Many of Our Surnames Scottish?
BLACK PEOPLE with Scottish surnames, as a result of their ancestors being enslaved by Scots, should be on the guest list of next year’s 250th birthday party for Scots’ hero Robert Burns, says a leading academic.
Geoff Palmer, professor emeritus of Heriot-Watt University, has hit out at Scotland’s government for failing to include the descendants of Scottish slave owners in the planned celebrations.
He is now urging ministers to spend part of Homecoming Scotland’s £5 million budget on wooing African Caribbean people with Scottish heritage to the huge event of more than 200 shows.
‘I have a Jamaican telephone directory and I would say about 60 per cent of the names in it are Scottish,’ says Prof Palmer, who was born in a tough downtown district in Kingston, Jamaica.
Prof Palmer said his mother’s maiden name was Lamond and added many West Indians wanted to know more about their Scottish heritage.
He said Article 4 of the 25 Articles of the Union of 1707 gave Scotland permission to trade not only with the rest of Britain but with the ‘dominions and plantations’.
By 1800, Scots dominated the physical and financial management of slavery in British slave islands such as Jamaica.
In 1786, Burns brought his ticket to sail to Jamaica to be, in his own words, a ‘slave driver’. In addition, he wrote: ‘Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary’ to Highland Mary and ‘Ae fond kiss’ to cheer up his other lady friend Clarinda as she sailed to visit her slave-master husband in Jamaica.
‘Burns is part of Jamaica’s history: we are part of the Scottish Diaspora,’ said Prof Palmer. ‘They cannot change history and we might not like
what they have done to us, but we cannot change history either.
‘This event is being marketed in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Why are they not inviting people from Jamaica with Scottish names?