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Sir Thomas Picton was acquitted, a fact embarrassingly and conveniently not mentioned by his present day accusers. One could say that what we are witnessing is tantamount to a kangaroo court. The maligning of a Great Welsh Hero.
At no time was Sir Thomas Picton accused of ‘killing slaves’ – he approved the execution of 35 people for appropriate crimes to maintain law and order on the island of Trinidad. The idea that Sir Thomas Picton was behaving like some kind of sadistic murderer is complete nonsense. In all cases the Spanish courts of Trinidad were involved, and it was the courts which passed sentence. In all these cases the individuals involved were murderers, thieves, rapists, criminals or insurrectionists’.
In one case a British soldier the ring leader of a gang of British soldiers, had raped a mulatto girl. The ring leader was hanged and the other soldiers imprisoned, under military law. This is hardly the act of a racist, which other sources accuse Picton.
Sir Thomas Picton also married a mulatto women, (mixed race) during his time as Governor of Trinidad, hardly the actions of a racist. Sir Thomas Picton returned to Wales and later he went off to war to give his life at the Battle of Waterloo, to free Europe, and inadvertently to help abolish slavery.
Other accusations by other sources call Sir Thomas Picton a brutal slave owner and slave trader which he certainly was not.
Sir Thomas Picton’s accusers are mesmerised by one or two accusations (which is all they were) which suits their agenda! The accusations were part of Fullarton’s report, and Sir Thomas Picton was never charged with them.
Sir Thomas Picton was only charged with allowing the ‘torture’ of a mulatto girl (mixed race) who was not a slave at all and who was accused of a crime. This punishment was awarded by the Spanish courts in Trinidad which still operated according to Spanish Law.
Sir Thomas Picton was vindicated and acquitted by a British court which his accusers fail to mention in their misinformed maligning of Wales’s most famous veteran and soldier.
John Wynne Hopkins
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