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The History of Busha Browne

In 1836, Howe Peter Browne, second Marquess of Sligo, returned to Westport, Ireland, taking with him memories of the spicy and exotic dishes he had been served during his governorship of Jamaica. Known as “The Emancipator of Slaves,” the noble Marquess had earned himself a renowned place in Jamaican history for his two-year term of office. His had been the unenviable task of supervising the first stage of Emancipation, which was unpopular with the reactionary planters. In desperation, many of these planters subsequently sold their vast estates to the local managers who were known as “Bushas.”

The Marquess himself was among the first to free his slaves on his Jamaican estate, Kelly’s and Cocoa Walks Estates, which he had inherited from his ancestors, the Kellys and Brownes of Ireland, Jamaican settlers from the late 1600s. The Brownes became wealthy and were among the respected members of the plantocracy. They were famous for their entertaining and the variety of food they served.

A descendant of the family Sligo, Charles Adolphus Thorburn Browne, familiarly known as Charlie Browne, has spent most of his 75 years “cooking up a storm.” He whiled away many hours of his boyhood days in the kitchen of his family home, Tryall Estate in Hanover, Western Jamaica. Later, cooking became a hobby, and he retrieved from his family archives recipes for authentic Jamaican sauces, jams, pickles and condiments, made from the great variety of exotic Jamaican fruits and vegetables, all unique, spicy and delicious. Specially selected recipes from his treasure trove are now being prepared and bottled for Busha Browne’s Company in Jamaica, to be enjoyed today as much as they were more than 200 years ago.

For more information, visit Busha Brownes: “Fresh ingredients, artisan quality, Jamaican tradition preserved.”

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