Richard Pennant was an absentee plantation owner who wrote hundreds of letters to his Jamaican agents. These and other documents, now held in Bangor University Archives, provide a fascinating insight into this important yet difficult part of British history. By examining them in this talk we will gain an understanding not only of how the planter elite lived but also of how they dealt with the challenges of wars with France and America, natural disasters, international trade and coerced labour. Through this we can contextualise Georgian Jamaica and explore how this contributes to our comprehension of the modern world.
Dr Marian Gwyn specialises in Wales’s historical links to early modern colonial expansion in the Atlantic. Her interest in this grew from her near twenty-year career with the National Trust, which led her to question the ways in which Britain’s historic sites engage with their colonial past. She completed her doctorate on this subject and now works with heritage organisations to help them engage with the sometimes difficult histories of their properties and artefacts. She speaks at conferences in the UK, Europe and beyond, teaches courses on the history and heritage of Wales, and sits on several boards and committees. She is currently Head of Learning and Heritage for Race Council Cymru, an organisation dedicated to tackling racial discrimination in Wales.