By Professor of History Donald Harman Akenson
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Additional resources for If the Irish Ran the World: Montserrat, 1630-1730
79 Thus, by the time the Rev. Father White saw Montserrat in early 1634, it was a composite community made up mostly of Irish Catholics. That the governor was a Protestant Irishman of Italian background was not something Father White could have been expected to dwell on. He saw what a Catholic priest in the colonies would wish 34 If the Irish Ran the World to see. 80 That the main harbour on Montserrat soon was named "Kingsale" (the most common seventeenthcentury form of "Kinsale") was an indication of the only thing this diverse collection of Irish colonists had in common: for most of them, Kinsale harbour had been their gateway out of Ireland.
Who can say whether Lodowick Briskett was Italian, English, New Irish, or, since he probably was all three, in what manner the strands wove round? And how does one characterize his son, Anthony Briskett, the chief colonizer and first governor of Montserrat? 77 Perhaps: at least he must have understood their response to arbitrary government. Anthony Briskett, however, received another grant of land, quite unlike the truly dispossessed. And Briskett was Protestant and, whatever his frustrations, he had access to people in power in London, because of connections made by his father and even his grandfather.
Its founder was Thomas Warner, a Suffolk man who had spent time in one of the Amazon settlements and learned that farming tobacco was potentially highly rewarding, and that being surrounded by Spanish and Portuguese was not. In 1622, he had made his way home from the Amazon and on his way had seen St Christopher and was impressed. It seemed to him a perfect tobacco garden, having deep 22 If the Irish Ran the World soil, plenty of fresh water, and a safe anchorage. 35 According to Captain John Smith, Warner managed to interest fifteen associates in this secluded tobacco garden and in late 1622 or early 1623, these sixteen men bought passage on a ship bound for Virginia.