Our story begins, not with the tales of pirate ships, but simply with the history of the Townsend family in the Parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica. Through extensive research of available records, we have managed to trace our family’s history in the production of Sugar Cane, Molasses, bi products, fruit and spices back to the mid 1800s just after the abolition of slavery
Our story begins, not with the tales of pirate ships, but simply with the history of the Townsend family in the Parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica.
Through extensive research of available records, we have managed to trace our family’s history in the production of Sugar Cane, Molasses, bi products, fruit and spices back to the mid 1800s just after the abolition of slavery.
The year was 1874 when our great grandfather was born. His name was James Townsend and he was the reason for our study to be written with such pride and dedication. James embarked on a career as a sugar cane farmer in 1893 at the young age of 19. He was extremely popular in those days as a producer and supplier of sugar cane and molasses which back then was called wet sugar. He sold his supplies to most of the parishes in Jamaica through the turn of the century and into the early 1900s. Sadly in 1940 James Townsend passed away aged 66 (1874 – 1940).
The late Lopez Alexander Townsend (1913-1981)
As the age old saying states like father like son, this proved to be the case as the business was taken over by one of James’s four sons namely Lopez Alexander Townsend who was grandfather to the current owners. Again Lopez picked up where his father James had left off and continued the sugar and molasses production with great success.He was also to become a highly respected justice of the peace and a prominent figure within the Westmoreland community.
With great regret, Lopez Townsend passed away in 1981 aged 68. ( 1913 – 1981 )
The late Brenton Lopez Townsend (1930-2014)
History had repeated itself once again as the business was taken over by one of Lopez’s four sons, Brenton Lopez Townsend.
The land was again, utilised, producing sugar cane, molasses fruits and botanical’s, which gave the Townsend family a valuable source of income. The business was being run by Brenton and his late wife Glenies Maud Townsend.
Between them, they acquired another section of land in Petersfield Jamaica. This property had an array of natural beauty as the main family residence was perched upon a hill giving a distant view of the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
Loaded cane trucks on their way to the Sugar Refinery in Frome, formerly ( Tate & Lyle UK )
The sugar cane is today still being farmed by the Townsend family and supplied to the sugar refinery in Frome Georges Plain (built in 1937 and owned and run by Tate and Lyle UK).
Morant Bay Distillery Co First batch development product.
At the beginning of 2012, the two sons and two daughters of Brenton and Glenies – Peter, Colleen, Juliet and Dexter, decided to expand the companies produce and looked towards becoming producers and suppliers of fine Jamaican alcoholic beverages, namely Rum.
After a long period of painstaking research and development, the signature product was created.
The company has created an extensive range of world class products to be released at specified dates following the launch of their signature edition Red which research suggests is the only true craftsman produced non-traditional Spiced Red Rum within the global market thus making the first edition to be released, a world exclusive.
After much deliberation for a name in which to christen the company the Townsend’s decided on a name taken from an iconic location within the island and the name chosen was: “MORANT BAY DISTILLERY COMPANY LTD”
Our dream is to open our own distillery in Jamaica and this still remains our goal, we are still looking into all the legalities of making this happen, however in the meantime we wanted to be able to share our creation with the world and so have been working in collaboration with a distillery in the UK in order to produce our first signature rum.
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In 2014 a red bottle washed up along Morant Bay containing a simple mess...