Filed under slavery

The Young need their Butterflies

It is often hard to make sense of how children fitted into society inthe past – we are told that teenagers were invented in the late 1950s, we are told that children were not valued or loved because they often died young, they are often depicted as little adults. But this story shows something else: … Continue reading

A Flogging In Jamaica

At times the stories of Silas Told seems to be over romanticised, but this account is one of the most realistic seeming parts of the book. It also sheds light on the sort of people who were involved in the trade – in his instance, he had no choice in it. This is from his … Continue reading

A Hurricane in Jamaica

This is from The Life of Silas Told, his first job on a sailing ship as cabin boy: “As we were riding at anchor in Kingston harbour, the capital of Jamaica, waiting for a freight to England, a very great noise was heard in the atmosphere, similar to that of splitting wood, and the elements … Continue reading

Old Blind School, Liverpool

Old Blind School, Liverpool

This huge building was funded by blind poet, republican & antislavery campaigner Edward Rushton in 1791. He was blinded helping infected slaves on board a ship. The blind were taught brush making, basket weaving, piano tuning & reading Braille. The kids used to slide down the bannisters. It has since been police HQ& Trade union … Continue reading

St Georges Gardens

St Georges Gardens

This green space is tucked away behind the Foundling Hospital in London’s Bloomsbury, and was one of the first burial grounds in the city to be built at a distance from a parish church. It was opened in 1715, and served the parishes of St George the Martyr Holborn and St Georges’ Bloomsbury. It covered … Continue reading

The End of a Pirate

I found this small article on one of my flashdrives.I have no idea where it’s from – possibly one of the London  papers probably a few weeks after the event. It is odd as it makes no mention of anyone else involved on board the ship, but he cannot have acted alone. This must have … Continue reading

Water and Freedom

Water and Freedom

Just outside the houses of Parliament in London is this ornate Gothic drinking fountain for humans and dogs. It was built in 1835 by Charles Buxton, MP in commemoration of the passing of the Emancipation of Slaves in British colonies the previous year. It is also in memory of his father Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, … Continue reading

Coffee, Railways and Football in Brazil

I have long been fascinated by Britain’s involvement in South America – I think it started with the discovery of the Welsh speaking colony in Patagonia. So here’s another strange tale, about the railway built from Sao Paulo in Brazil, to the town of Paranapiacuba, which meant where you can behold the sea, in the local … Continue reading

The Better Invaders

“We were your Romans, you know. We might have been your Normans” This is from Tom Stoppard’s Play, Indian Ink,  a comment from a former memsahib to an Indian. It is an intriguing idea, not least because  I wonder how many people would know what she was talking about. Britain has been invaded twice: by the … Continue reading