by ANNE CHAMBERS
From Westport to the West Indies, and everywhere in between, Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, 1788–1845 (an 8th great grandson in descent from Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s ‘Pirate Queen’) lived life to the absolute limits.
Privileged, compassionate, charismatic and flawed, intrepid traveller, intimate of kings, emperors and despots, father of fourteen children, the range and diversity of Sligo’s life is truly breathtaking.
From a youth of hedonistic self-indulgence in Regency England Sligo matured into a reforming, enlightened legislator and landlord in Ireland. On his appointment in 1834 as Governor General of Jamaica he took the side of the black population against their masters becoming enshrined in the history of Jamaica as ‘Champion of the Slaves’ and where the first free slave village in the world, Sligoville, still bears his name. On his recall he became actively involved in the emancipation struggle in Britain.
Sourced from over 15,000 primary contemporary manuscripts and letters FROM RAKE TO RADICAL: An Irish Abolitionist, the life and times of Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo from Westport House, 1788-1845 (book cover designed by his great-great-great grand-daughter, artist Sheelyn Browne) introduces one of the 19th century’s most interesting characters and also sheds new light on significant historical events and on the people who shaped them in Ireland, England, Europe and the West Indies during a period of momentous political turbulence and change.
‘A vivid and picturesque study ’ The Irish Times
Paperback | 440pp | ISBN 9781848408777 New Island Books available in bookshops and via www.amazonbooks.com