On 15 August 1649 Oliver Cromwell landed in Ireland, besieging the town of Drogheda before he rampaged through the country. Much has been written about Cromwell, but what of his son, Henry, and his connection with Ireland? Here the Irish Press in March 1982 reports on Cromwell’s son:
Window on the Past Son of Cromwell
HENRY, Oliver Cromwell s fourth son, had much of his father in him. He learned his soldiering under his parent in the Civil War in England and later in Ireland, and by the time peace returned to both countries he was an important figure as much because of his own abilities as of his name.
He returned to Ireland as his father's emissary to the army and be found himself shortly in charge of the entire administration. With typical efficiency he accelerated the export of Irish women and children as slaves to the West lndies where they and their descendants would be of some value to English commercial interests.
To the entire question of the transportation of Catholics he gave very great attention and at one time he proposed sending one large batch of nearly two thousand boys of between ten and fourteen, presumably on the theory that they would at that age adapt easily to slavery. At the same time, however, he was impatient of some of the petty restrictions imposed on Irish Catholics…
He was well rewarded for his work in Ireland with substantial estates in Meath and Galway and even after England had decided that it bad had enough of his seed and breed he was confirmed by the new royalist government in his Irish possessions. However, sometime after his death on March 23rd, 1674, these estates passed out of his family's ownership. SJ.L.