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Irish planters & merchants: Berminghams

John Bermingham (1692-1777) of Clondargin and Dalgan married Maud Bermingham of Killbegg and had five sons, three of whom went to the Caribbean. John 'Sean Rua' Bermingham (d.1802) married Jennet Puech (d.1768), a daughter of John Puech of St Kitts. After Jennet's death, he married Dorothea Matthews of Demerara. Another son, Michael, died in St Kitts. A third son, Edward, went to Demerara where he married Anne, daughter of James Waddell. After Edward’s death, his widow Anne married Christopher Waterton. [Paul Mohr, 'The de Berminghams, Barons of Athenry: a revised and supplemented lineage' in Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 67 (2015), pp. 48-68.]

In 1759 John 'Sean Rua' Bermingham owned plantations Dalgan (2000 acres) and Lucky Hit (1000 acres), both on the east bank of the Demerary River. Lucky Hit was renamed Providence. By 1786 he had acquired plantation Rome and by 1791 plantation Belvedere, adjoining Providence. Dalgin had been abandonned. In 1790 his three plantations had 329 enslaved and 15 white residents. They were managed by Bermingham (or Birmingham) Nugent (1740-1829), from Roscommon [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette, 7 November 1829].

John Berminham was one of those accused by the Dutch governor, van ‘s Gravesande, of smuggling slaves into the colony in the 1760s. Van 's Gravesande commented that 'everyone knows that he whipped blacks in St Christoffer' [meaning, that he was an overseer and from a relatively poor background] and that it was his marriage which had brought him money. [Information from Marjoleine Kars.See also Storm van's Gravesande; the rise of British Guiana.]

In 1790 Edward Bermingham owned Haarlem on the West Coast, with 117 enslaved. It was managed by the sole white resident C Brandes.



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