Throughout the twisted corridors of human history, the abomination known as slavery has worn myriad masks, each more ghastly than the last. It seems that the very essence of our species harbors a perverse inclination for the privileged to prey upon the less fortunate, perpetuating a neverending cycle of horror and despair.
Join us as we peel back the veil and peer into the abyss that engulfed those ill-fated souls, enslaved under the dominion of one of the most savage and depraved slave owners to ever step foot onto a plantation. Below we present to you, Thomas Thistlewood, One of Histories Most Brutal Slave Owners.
Thomas Thistlewood (16 March 1721 ‒ 30 November 1786)
In the abyssal depths of colonial Jamaica, a figure emerged, bearing a name that would be etched in infamy: Thomas Thistlewood. With a sinister air about him, he assumed the role of overseer at the accursed sugar plantation known as Egypt in 1751. Little did the enslaved inhabitants know that their descent into a harrowing nightmare had just begun.
It took mere days for Thistlewood to unleash the darkness within his soul upon the hapless women held in bondage. Like a predator stalking its prey, he systematically violated their bodies, their dignity shattered with each perverse act. The pages of his diary bore witness to 3,852 monstrous deeds of rape, a grotesque tally etched upon his twisted conscience. One hundred and thirty-eight black women, forever scarred by his unspeakable depravity.
But his insidious reign did not stop there. Those who dared to resist, to seek escape from his clutches, were met with lashings and chains, their spirits crushed beneath the weight of his cruelty. Thistlewood reveled in his sadistic conquests, often defiling more than one woman in a single night. And when the depravity had run its course, he callously tossed them a few meager coins, as if to mock their torment.
Yet, it was his penchant for macabre displays that truly unveiled the depths of his malevolence. In 1753, a runaway slave met a grisly fate, his severed head presented to Thistlewood as a trophy. With a perverse sense of satisfaction, he adorned a pole on the nearby road with this haunting visage, a warning to all who dared challenge his dominion.
But it was the invention of his own twisted brand of torture, Derby’s Dose, that solidified his status as a true harbinger of terror. The During the Derby Dose floggings would rain down upon the unfortunate victim, their flesh shredded and raw. Then, lime juice would be poured like acid upon open wounds, added agony upon agony. And then, in a perverse display of degradation, a fellow slave would be forced into defecating into the mouth of the victim. If the pain wasn’t enough, their dignity would surely be extinguished by this vile act of humiliation.
In colonial Jamaica, the settlers turned a blind eye to Thistlewood’s heinous acts. Rather than condemnation, his brutality seemed to be a chilling reflection of the dark underbelly of British slaveholders. And so, the legacy of Thomas Thistlewood’s unspeakable cruelty lives on, preserved within the damning pages of his meticulously kept diary—a testament to the depths of human wickedness that lurk within the shadows of history.