Sir John Gay Alleyne: Barrister, Politician & Rum Maker

Lawyers Make History: Sir John Gay Alleyne, a barrister, had a hand in developing what became Mount Gay rum distillery. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.
Sir John Gay Alleyne, a barrister, had a hand in developing what became Mount Gay rum distillery. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.

Alternative Legal Careers, 1700s Caribbean Edition

As one who most definitely chose an unconventional path for the use of my law degree, I tend to collect the stories of others who have done the same. So while vacationing in Barbados and touring the Mount Gay rum distillery there, I learn that one of the rum maker’s founders, from back in the 1700s, is Sir John Gay Alleyne (1724–1801).

Who Was Sir John Gay Alleyne?

Alleyne’s resume, in addition to his jobs as barrister and rum maker, includes stints as a member of parliament in Barbados and as speaker of the assembly.

Sadly, it also seems that Sir John Gay Alleyne was a slave owner and that slaves also worked on what became known as the Mount Gay plantation, formerly belonging to John Sober, whom Alleyne helped to improve the rum production process in Barbados.

Lawyers Make History: Sir John Gay Alleyne's influence on the rum-making process in Barbados was so significant that the place where he made the rum was renamed 'Mount Gay.' Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.

Sir John Gay Alleyne’s influence on the rum-making process in Barbados was so significant that the place where he made the rum was renamed ‘Mount Gay.’ Photo credit: M. Ciavardini.

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Do you know of any other rum-making lawyers?

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