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William BeckfordFirst Prime Minister of the London Empire$
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Perry Gauci

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300166750

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300166750.001.0001

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Transatlantic Man

Transatlantic Man

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter Two Transatlantic Man
Source:
William Beckford
Author(s):

Perry Gauci

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300166750.003.0003

This chapter discusses the experiences of Beckford and his family and why they merit great interest beyond the prominence of his family and its ultimate success in the mother country. Peter Beckford played a prominent part in extending the island's transatlantic interest, highlighted by the successful campaign for war with Spain in 1739. While elite Jamaicans could take much encouragement from these developments, the public and private challenges faced by the Beckfords demonstrate the difficulty with which “absenteeism” was achieved. Also, relocation to Britain did not preclude constant attention to the island's affairs. As scholars have pointed out, colonists could become absentee landowners for a variety of reasons, ranging from the accidents of inheritance to a disdain for colonial society, but the actual processes of removal are less clear.

Keywords:   transatlantic interest, campaign for war, Spain, elite Jamaicans, absenteeism, absentee landowners

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