Edward Trelawny (governor)

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Edward Trelawny
Born 1699
Trelawne, Cornwall, England
Died 16 January 1754
London
Nationality British
Occupation Governor

Edward Trelawny (1699 – 16 January 1754) was the British governor of Jamaica from April 1738 to September 1752. He is especially known for a treaty that ended the long war that pitted white planters against the Maroons.

Biography[edit]

Edward Trelawny was born in 1699 in Trelawne, Cornwall, England. Of an ancient and well-known Cornish family, he was a younger son of Bishop Sir Jonathan Trelawny[1] and brother of Sir John Trelawny.[2]

In 1734, Trelawny left Scotland to join the British Imperial Army in his fight against the French in the war of the Polish Succession. After this, Trelawny was elected for both East Looe and West Looe.[2]

So, he returned to Parliament in this year (1734), but both elections were declared void, as he was then a commissioner of customs in Scotland and ineligible to sit in Parliament.

He was appointed Governor of Jamaica in April 1738, at a time when the colonial authorities on the island were in the midst of waging an unsuccessful war against the Jamaican Maroons. Quickly realizing that the British could not win a conflict against a group of runaway slaves who fought a successful guerrilla war, in March the following year, he offered the Maroons of Cudjoe's Town (Trelawny Town) a peace agreement. Once Cudjoe signed this treaty, Trelawny offered a similar treaty to the Windward Maroons in 1740. This overture was supported by the British settlers in the island, and the treaty officially recognized and accepted the freedom of the Maroons, and allocated them land. This treaty ended the First Maroon War, which had encompassed the 1730s, and saw the colonial militia fighting on two fronts, against the Leeward Maroons in western Jamaican, and the Windward Maroons in the eastern end of the island.[3] Trelawny left office in September 1752. Cudjoe's Town was renamed Trelawny Town in his honour.

He fought in the War of Jenkins' Ear (American phase of the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740–1748), which pitted Great Britain against Spain.[1]

In 1747, Trelawny published the pamphlet Essay concerning Slavery, a controversial pamphlet in which he spoke of his wish that slavery be abolished. As he knew that if he abolished slavery the economy of the island would be ruined (since Jamaica depended on slavery economically), and he would lose the Government of Jamaica and the possibility of joining the British Parliament, he decided to ask, simply, for abolition of the slave trade, but the slaves of Jamaica as such would remain. The slave trade was not abolished, however, until 1807.[4]

Trelawny married a widow who had a fortune of between £30,000 and £40,000 in Jamaican money. Shortly afterwards, he asked to be relieved of his post because he was in ill-health; he left Jamaica in November 1752, obtaining the thanks of the House of Assembly for his "just administration" and the "many important services" he made in the island.[2]

Edward Trelawny died on 16 January 1754, in London.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Encyclopædia Britannica. Consultado el 26 de abril de 2013, a las 0:30 pm.
  2. ^ a b c The history of Parliamentto: TRELAWNY, Edward (1699-1754)
  3. ^ Mavis Campbell, The Maroons of Jamaica 1655-1796: a History of Resistance, Collaboration & Betrayal (Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey, 1988), pp. 88-125.
  4. ^ Girlhood: A Global History. Edited by Jennifer Helgren and Colleen A. Vasconcellos. Page 325.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Delaval
Sir John Trelawny
Member of Parliament for West Looe
1724–1732
With: Sir John Trelawny 1724–1727
John Willes
Succeeded by
John Willes
Thomas Walker
Preceded by
Charles Longueville
Sir John Trelawny
Member of Parliament for East Looe
1734–1735
With: Charles Longueville
Succeeded by
Charles Longueville
Samuel Holden
Preceded by
John Willes
Thomas Walker
Member of Parliament for West Looe
1734–1735
With: John Willes
Succeeded by
John Willes
John Owen
Military offices
New regiment Colonel of 49th Regiment of Foot Succeeded by
George Walsh