Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
It is currently Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:08 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Nelson and William Wilberforce
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 145
Recently I watched the film Amazing Grace, about William Wilberforce and his struggle in parliament to end the slave trade.

Looking for more information about Wilberforce, I came upon this site
http://www.tearfund.org/News/World+news ... o+know.htm

By fact nr. 5, is a quotation from Nelson about him, it says: “Nelson did not like “the damnable doctrines of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies”. I remember reading a letter in Nicolas 2, I cannot remember which page, in which Nelson expressed the same opinion.

Knowing his humane attitude towards his officers, sailors and prisoners of war, I cannot see, why he could not agree with Wilberforce’s “damnable doctrine” to end the slave trade, and why he thought Wilberforce’s allies hypocritical?

Sylvia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 1376
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Sylvia,

Today most people, I should hope, would think slavery in any form despicable. Therefore it strikes us as harsh and cruel when we read of it in the past. However, back in Nelson's day this was considered the norm and the way it was, not only in the colonies, but even in England where many homes had black servants.

For most, to change this way of thinking would have been difficult to understand and accept, particularly when the production of cotton from the American colonies (before 1782) and from the West Indian sugar plantations, relied heavily on slave labour. Particularly strong opposition would also have come from those merchants and the aristocracy who had vested interests in those trades, especially sugar production which I believe was one of the the cornerstones of British prosperity.

Although a christian, Nelson would have probably thought the same as most people of his period in this regard, irrespective of how he would have treated individuals. The crews on his ships, be they black or white, would have received the same consideration. Therefore, to Nelson and others of his persuasion, Wilberforce stood for the upsetting of the status quo and thus perhaps the downfall of Britain's standing in the world. I don't know much about this, but perhaps he meant that Wilberforce and his followers were being hypocritical, in that some of them actually had slaves of their own, or had had them at one time. Does anyone know any more?

_________________
Kester.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:52 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
It is difficult to justify Nelson’s support of slavery, even though he was not alone in holding such views, and even though his theoretical stance was offset by much personal kindness and consideration to individual black people he encountered. Politically, Nelson was always conservative, a defender of the imperialistic principle, on which he believed the prosperity of the nation depended, and ruthless in the face of any political agitation or change that threatened the peace and order of the state or the navy. These views were shared by many of his countrymen; they feared the total collapse of prosperity and the social order if the slave trade, on which the wealth of many depended, were abolished. It seems illogical and hypocritical that a nation so wedded to liberty at home was prepared to build prosperity on such foundations. Yet we should remember that it was not a singular mindset: slavery existed in French dominions, despite ‘liberté, egalité, fraternité’ (though it was ended much earlier than elsewhere); it existed in the United States, despite the ‘self-evident truths’ about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’; and Ancient Athens, the source and inspiration of modern democracy, was also dependant on a slave caste. So liberty was often championed by those who trampled on the freedoms of others. It is unsurprising that the campaign against the transatlantic slave trade was such a long hard road.

I wonder – and I speculate here – whether Nelson’s views were not also coloured by his experience. He must have been aware that slavery was a two-way trade, and that North African pirates carried away hundreds of thousands of Europeans into slavery in North Africa. (I have a hazy memory of reading that Nelson went in hot pursuit of a ship of white captives – can someone confirm?) Maybe he regarded focusing on one side of a foul trade while ignoring the other was hypocritical? Moroever, I wonder what his experience of slavery was in the West Indies. There was a huge divergence in the treatment of slaves, from horrendous barbarity to, in some cases, civilised kindness. If, as is possible, he encountered only ‘indoor servants’, and freed slaves like Couba Cornwallis who nursed him in sickness, who were treated well, he might not have seen much difference between an indoor servant in England (where child servants were, in effect, slaves, receiving only board and lodging, and no pay) and a well-treated slave in the West Indies. He might too, have compared favourably the lot of a well-treated slave with the downtrodden peasants of Norfolk whose appalling hardships he had drawn to the attention of Prince William (with little luck.)

His accusation that Wilberforce was a hypocrite could have had several causes. Wilberforce had been a rake, living a wild and spendthrift life in his youth. He then became an evangelical Christian who devoted himself to many good causes, but also became a bit of a prig. He became involved with many philanthropic causes, but, like many ‘born-again’ converts, was also keen to improve the manners and morals of society, and set up an organisation to these ends, the pre-cursor of many created by self-righteous busy-bodies in Victorian times. Nelson was not alone in catching a whiff of sanctimony in the reformed rake, and must have been mindful of the irregularities in his own private life.

Another reason why Wilberforce was regarded as a hypocrite, and was condemned as such by Cobbett and others, was that he was a staunch ally of William Pitt, and supported him when political necessity forced him to suspend Habeas Corpus. [Sylvia – Habeas Corpus is an Act of Parliament much valued by the British. It forbids the state to hold anyone without charge beyond a very limited period allowed for questioning a criminal suspect. Since there is no written constitution, the Act is considered the foundation of British liberty and any attempt to interfere with it is regarded with suspicion and alarm.]
Pitt himself was accused of hypocrisy when he suspended Habeas Corpus. He had, after all, said: ‘Necessity is the plea for the infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves’. So these words were later, unsurprisingly, thrown back at him by his opponents. Wilberforce, being his ally, was similarly tainted with the charge of hypocrisy for criticising the slave trade while content to see his own countrymen thrown into prison without charge.

But he did great good, and fought nobly for a noble cause. He was right and Nelson was wrong.

We should remember, though, that Wilberforce's Act abolished only the slave trade in the British Empire. It continued elsewhere, much hampered, it should be said, by the Royal Navy whose ships intercepted many a slave ship and prevented the loading of many more - a campaign of great humanity which is not always sufficiently recognised.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 1376
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Tycho,

In 1808 the Royal Navy set up a special West Africa Squadron, especially to deal with slavery and the collection and shipping of slaves. As time went on and with the ending of the Napoleanic Wars, this was further developed with success and by the early Victorian period had been joined by the US navy.

I found this wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Africa_Squadron

_________________
Kester.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:20 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
Thanks for the link, Kester.

I thought I would post this extract from a letter by Laurence Sterne, the eighteenth century writer, that reveals an anti-slavery viewpoint. Sterne is writing to a freed slave, Sancho, who made a good life for himself in England when he had gained his freedom:
'
It is by the finest tints and most sensible gradations that Nature descends from the fairest face about St James's to the sootiest complexion in Africa. At which tint of these is it that the ties of blood are to cease? And how many shades are we to descend lower in the scale ere mercy is to vanish with them? But 'tis no uncommon thing, my good Sancho, for one half of the world to use the other like brutes, and then endeavour to make 'em so.'


Laurence Sterne in a letter dated 27 July 1766, quoted in 'Laurence Sterne: The Later Years' by Arthur Hill Cash (Methuen 1986)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:11 pm
Posts: 1258
Location: England
Nelson wrote the ‘damnable doctrines’ letter on June 10 1805 to Mr Simon Taylor, a plantation owner (I believe) in Jamaica.

I believe the letter was quoted in parliament by supporters of the slave trade, and it was printed in the Annual Register and in Cobbett's Weekly Political Register in 1807, but with Wilberforce’s name blanked out.

Clarke & M’Arthur published the letter in their Life of Nelson in 1809, but it was heavily edited to create a more favourable impression, and all reference to Wilberforce and his damnable doctrines was removed. Nicolas printed their version in Dispatches and Letters vol 6 p.450.

The relevant section in the full letter was as follows:
Quote:
"...I have ever been and shall die a firm friend to our colonial system. I was bred as you know in the good old school, and taught to appreciate the value of our West India possessions, and neither in the field nor in the senate, shall their interest be infringed while I have an arm to fight in their defence or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable and cursed doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies, and I hope my berth in heaven will be as exalted as his, who would certainly cause the murder of all our friends and fellow subjects in the colonies; however, I did not intend to go so far, but the sentiments are full in my heart, and the pen would write them. .—I shall as soon as I have done with this fleet go to England for a few months, and if you have time and inclination, I shall be glad to hear from you; we are near thirty years acquainted, and I am as ever, &c"

The same section in Nicolas and Clarke & M’Arthur is as follows:
Quote:
"... I ever have been, and shall die, a firm friend to our present Colonial system. I was bred, as you know, in the good old school, and taught to appreciate the value of our West India possessions; and neither in the field, nor in the senate, shall their just rights be infringed, whilst I have an arm to fight in their defence, or a tongue to launch my voice. We are nearly, my dear Mr. Taylor, thirty years' acquaintance; and I am, as ever, your faithful and obliged friend,"

_________________
Tony


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 145
Kester and Tycho, thank you for your information.

Tony, thank you for taking the trouble looking up the letter in the right Nicolas edition. You obviously have a better memory then I have, I admire your skill to find letters in all these books. Usually I only remember faintly in which book I may have read it.

Sylvia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:53 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
It is perhaps wise to remember that the Royal Navy's campaign against the trans-Atlantic slave trade not only gave them the moral high ground, but also a luxurious lining for their pockets. From the London Gazette: Prizes, payable 16 December 1833:

'Penha de Franca' 184 slaves on board, captured 1828, bounty money awarded - £1750. 1s.0d

'El Huan', 407 slaves on board, awarded - £3871.6s.6d

'Triumpho', 127 slaves on board, awarded - £1207.16s.6d

'Bella Eliza' - £2315.7s.4d

It is recorded that Admiral Suckling, a relation of Nelson's who had served as midshipman under him at Trafalgar, received a share of the prize money to the tune of £3104.18s.11d

This information is from a Nelson Society booklet published in 1989. It is a reprint of A booklet 'Notices of Nelson extracted from Norfolk and Norwich Notes and Queries' by R. C. Fiske. The original Notes and Queries was first begun in 1849 and continued in various guises until 1910. The aim was to provide a 'medium of inter-communication for literary men, antiquaries, genealogists, etc.' and to make prompt note of any useful information. The editor noted that 'half the lies that are current in the world owe their origin to misplaced confidence in memory, rather than to intentional falsehood. '

I shall refer to it again, no doubt, and will give the source, for brevity's sake, as 'Fiske'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:11 pm
Posts: 1258
Location: England
Image
Nelson's support for slavery still continues to generate debate about the presence of his statue in Barbados, where it remains in the National Heroes Square in Bridgetown, formerly 'Trafalgar Square' and renamed almost 10 years ago.

http://www.nationnews.com/story/292981600485739.php
Quote:
Nelson's "historic support for slavery marked him as an individual who had a very narrow sense of freedom and one who never thought about the underclass except as hewers of wood and drawers of water".
While the intention of those who erected it was to commemorate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the professor said the statue had become "the focus of contestation between those who see it as an unworthy relic of our slavery past, and those who view it as an important landmark in the history of the great European struggles for Empire and colonial supremacy".

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/320447823298691.php
Quote:
To tell it just like it is, the Nelson statue is a gross historical irrelevance and an affront to independent Barbados and Barbadians emancipated from mental and physical slavery.
How strange that a significant number of vocal colonials-to-the-bone would keep Nelson at the top of Broad Street when we have nothing to commemorate our emergence as a nation state and the break with a painful past of exploitation and dehumanisation dominated by what Eric Williams called "the unholy trinity of colonialism, slavery and the plantation system".

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/294454401797699.php: Just Like It is – Nelson in town too long

http://bararchive.bits.baseview.com/arc ... A%09%09%09
Quote:
... the statue was NOT a colonial imposition, a diktat forced on Barbados from London.
Rather, it was an entirely local decision, taken by native Barbadians and rooted in the world view and political realities then current. Nelson may not be a hero to us today, since he is, correctly or incorrectly, viewed as "a slave owning hero of the colonizing power who opposed our emancipation."

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/298188512687340.php : What about empathy?

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/308712546826992.php
Quote:
... in 2008 it is politically, historically, and morally incorrect and an anachronistic aberration to have a statue of an English Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson, an anti-emancipation, non-Barbadian, unnamed among our National Heroes, occupying a space designated in 1999 as the National Heroes Square of Barbados, a sovereign state.
In short, in 2008, Lord Nelson's statue pits the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/306123939970464.php : Where's evidence?

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/308457716269054.php
Quote:
You must be aware of the whipping Nelson's unwanted and despicable presence is inflicting on the collective psyche of all black Barbadians, and this on a daily basis.
My God! Not even slaves were subjected to this perpetual devastation.
Remove the sea dog, I say!
We could melt him down and distribute his vile carcass to all those who love him so much.

http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/311219508146327.php
Quote:
For Barbadians, it was at "a moment of unparalleled danger", that Nelson's victory took place.
To heap scorn on these views of people long dead, however modishly revisionist it may be, is arrogant and is nothing short of cultural imperialism.
Eyewitness accounts of the time speak of the relief and jubilation of the entire populace of Barbados.

To be continued...

_________________
Tony


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:09 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
What an interesting post, Tony.

Far be it from me to tell Barbadians what to do with their statue of Nelson, though I am always wary of those who would, as a matter of considered policy, obliterate the past, however unsavoury or unpalatable these symbols of it may be to modern sensibilities. Statues are evolutionary landmarks and I think there is something rather totalitarian in towing away images of past ‘heroes’, even those with feet of clay. (I exclude statues erected by tyrants themselves to their own glorification that are removed in rage by their victims, once liberated.)

Public statuary is a narrative, an unfolding story. To remove those whose achievements no longer appeal to the contemporary mindset is to erase memory, understanding, and significant cultural reference points that silently underscore what we were; it is to signal an attempt to re-write, obliterate or deny the past. This is a form of cultural control that is the mark of tyranny, and all the more sinister for masquerading as the voice of the abused and oppressed, and for aiming to confine history to one perspective, to dam the ebb and flow, the cross-currents and complexities of navigation that make history an exploratory adventure. To leave historical statuary in situ, on the other hand, is a mark of intellectual freedom and fearlessness; it allows us to question, criticise, re-evaluate and, sometimes - why not? - to celebrate our history, as healthy democracies should.

It is interesting that the period of our history when public statuary, religious and secular, was ritualistically destroyed by government decree was during the Cromwellian period. Cromwell overthrew an overweening monarchy – and replaced it with a joyless, brutal, repressive, desolate regime. Cromwell’s statue stands outside Parliament today, a symbol of the complexity of humanity, of historical paradox, of political experiment, of a turbulent century in our history. Is it there as celebration? Commemoration? A boost to regicides or an offence to monarchists? Personally, I can’t find much good to say about the man who banned Christmas pudding, never mind Charles I, but I’m glad he’s there, along with Nelson, Napier, Churchill, Richard the Lionheart, Monty…. all heroic, all flawed, sometimes adored, sometimes reviled, but reflecting a connection with the past that may be strewn with the accretions of memory, lies, distortions, confusions, but a connection, nonetheless, not a sanitised, deprived, mono-visioned, repressive, unadventurous, isolated present that never looks over the ramparts of its own cultural mindset ( prejudices?) to view the wider landscape with an open, receptive, enquiring mind.

Oh, and before I go ….if we got rid of statues, what would happen to the long-established tradition of attacking them as a political gesture? Billy Pitt was nearly brought down soon after he was put up, Churchill was given a Mohican hairdo, ‘Bomber’ Harris got a pounding from pacifists. I’m not advocating vandalism but I can’t help thinking that lobbing something at a statue that symbolises something you loathe is perhaps more healthy than government officials with clipboards ticking it off for removal and quietly towing it away? I don’t know…. But I think I’d rather see the Barbadians chucking a few rotten bananas at Nelson’s statue than see it taken off to the breaker’s yard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Nathaniel Wells
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:30 pm
Posts: 284
Location: England
Whilst following up information on the Rev. Charles Este, his son Michael Lambton and their connections with Nelson and the Hamiltons, I came across the interesting story of Nathaniel Wells, owner of Piercefield House at Chepstow, which the Nelson/Hamilton party purportedly visited on the long and winding road to Monmouth in 1802.

Nathaniel Wells had firstly married Harriet Este, daughter of the Rev. Charles Este and sister of Lambton, and the story of his life is quite extraordinary. Here is summary of information to be found online:

Quote:
"In 1800 there is little doubt that Nathaniel Wells was the richest black man in Britain. Latterly he became Sheriff of Monmouthshire and Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

Nathaniel was the son of a Negro house-slave and the Cardiff-born plantation owner William Wells who, in 1749, had left England for the island of St Kitts to seek his fortune in the sugar trade.

Five years later, Wells was become wealthy and was satisfactorily married, but, before long, tragedy struck when his wife and small children, including his son and heir, died. William didn't marry again. But he did have at least six more children by various house-slaves.

Nathaniel's first years were lived as a slave, but when he was four years old, his father had him baptised, effectively freeing him from slavery, and when he was 10, William sent him to school in London. Just five years later, William died. He chose one of these children as his heir - "my natural and dear son Nathaniel Wells, whose mother is my woman Juggy". William's will also freed Nathaniel's mother Juggy and three other house-slaves and they all received financial bequests.

Nathaniel remained in England to continue his schooling and social education and when he reached 21 he inherited the bulk of his father's estate. He moved to Pall Mall, and married 20-year old Harriet Este, whose well-conected father is thought to have been chaplain to King George III. By the year of his marriage in 1801, Wells had property worth an estimated £200,000.

At this time, he bought Piercefield House from Colonel Mark Wood, after agreeing to buy it for £90,000 over dinner. Piercefield, a famous and elegant estate, attracted visitors from all over the country and put Nathaniel at the centre of fashionable society. A letter from Wells' great grandson (Country Life, April 6, 1956) accompanied by a picture of the house as rebuilt by Soane relates how the deal was concluded over dinner 'after which the host and his guest changed places, and the new owner then invited his former host to take port'.

NB: This is possibly the ideal property transaction that Nelson refers to, and desired to emulate, in his letters when purchasing Merton in 1801.

Nathaniel added to Piercefield until it reached almost 3,000 acres. Wood stated :- "Mr Wells is a West Indian of large fortune, a man of very gentlemanly manners, but so much a man of colour as to be little removed from a Negro". His colour was well documented at the time - "a Creole of very deep colour" - but the comments were not derogatory - he was considered different, but not inferior - as he would have been just half a century later. Had he returned to St Kitts, however, he wouldn't even have had a vote because of his colour.

Nathaniel continued to own slaves even after abolition in 1833 - to qualify for reparation for loss of "property" he held on to his slaves for another four years. But by that time he had sold off two of his three plantations, due to the decline in the Caribbean sugar industry. In Britain his fortunes were changing, too. After Piercefield was found to have dry rot, he rented out the house and moved to Bath, where in 1851 he died of a fever in old age. Piercefield was eventually sold to the Clay family, who owned it until 1921.

On the death of Harriet, Nathaniel married the Esther (listed in the Memorial below.) In his lifetime he fathered 22 children. Nathaniel Wells' memorial relates the following:

"Sacred to the memory of Nathaniel Wells of Piercefield, Esq, a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Monmouth,
who died at Bath May 13th, 1852, aged 72 years.

Also of Esther, widow of the above, who died on the 1st day of June, 1871, aged 67 years.

R.I.P."


What a fascinating life, and what contrasting and contradictory sentiments it arouses.

Incidentally, the information above comes entirely from online resources, and although I've made a couple of easy to check corrections here, may be subject to revision. The voracity of Wiki and other online resources (mentioned on another thread) is interesting. Personally, I find the web an incredibly useful and fruitful place to begin when researching some of the more obscure, difficult to trace characters. Many a Google has led to a journey of confirmation or otherwise, and fine-tuning at the British Library etc. Google Books in particular has proved to be a revelatory resource and a joy to explore.

Having said that, the Rev. Charles Este, described by Nelson to Lambton as 'your worthy good father', remains a little too obscure for my liking. Any further information or pointers on the life and works of this esteemed gentleman would be gratefully received.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:57 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
What a fascinating post, Mira.

Nathaniel wasn’t unique, however, in having carved out for himself a prosperous life in England. I recollected a portrait of a successful black man in England that I had seen at the wonderful Gainsborough exhibition at Tate Britain a few years ago, and on checking, discover it was none other than Ignatius Sancho, the man to whom Sterne addressed the letter I quote in the thread above.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid ... ait+sancho

Another portrait, now thought to be of Sancho, and attributed to Alan Ramsay can be seen here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/content/arti ... ture.shtml

Dr Johnson also had a much-loved black servant (not slave) Francis, or Frank Barber. He left Johnson’s’s service for a time to go to sea, ‘not pressed, as has been supposed, but with his own consent’, notes Boswell, Johnson’s biographer; and ‘it appears from a letter to John Wilkes Esq to Dr Smollet, that his master kindly interested himself in procuring his release from a state of life of which Johnson himself always expressed the utmost abhorrence.’ A brief extract from Smollet’s letter reads:

‘His black servant, whose name is Francis Barber, has been pressed' [not true as Boswell observes] 'on board the Stag frigate, Captain Angel, and our lexicographer is in great distress. He says the boy is a sickly lad of a delicate frame, and particularly subject to a malady of the throat, which renders him unfit for His Majesty’s Service.’

It was at this time that Dr Johnson made his famous observation that ‘No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned’. And at another time, ‘A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company’.

Dr Johnson, having had Frank in his service from an early age, sent him to school and left him an annuity of £70. As a cat lover, I was amused to note that Johnson never sent Frank, or any of the other servants, to buy oysters, then a cheap food, for his cat Hodge (‘a very fine cat indeed’) lest they ‘take against the creature’.

(Quotations are from ‘Boswell’s Life of Johnson’ ed. R.W. Chapman, OUP 1953 – falling to bits and in need of replacement)

Here is a link to a portrait and information about Frank:

http://jamaicanhistorymonth2007.moonfru ... 4519580602

Nelson though a supporter of the slave trade was, nevertheless, one who was unfailingly kind and helpful to individual black men he encountered. He took care of William Price on the death of his uncle, whose servant he had been. ‘As good a man as ever stood,’ wrote Nelson, ‘and while I have a house he shall not want a corner of it.’ He was also helpful to a black visitor to London and equipped him with letters to avert any possible suspicion or hostility. He and Lady Hamilton were very kind to the black common law wife of Colonel Despard after he was executed for treason. It is a very strange phenomenon, this personal kindness to immediate black acquaintances, coupled with a lack of imagination of what slavery entailed for its victims. I wonder if any historian/psychologist has explored this contradiction.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Este, Wells and Nelson
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:58 am
Posts: 1
Hi -- just found your site. It is a year later, but if Mira is still interested, there are lots of good sources out there concerning Rev Charles Este, father in law of Nathaniel Wells. Do a search at Googlebooks for "Charles Este" and you'll find a very fulsome obit in the Gentleman's Magazine as well as some substantial references in books (now digitized) written by Este's contemporaries, and a downloadable copy by one of the two books that Este wrote. There is also a portrait of Charles Este dated 1793 in the National Portrait Gallery, and this can be viewed online. Just be careful to get the RIGHT Charles Este (he had a famous uncle of the same name who was also a "Reverend"; there is much written on him and, I believe, at least one portrait as well). Charles Este's Will is also a fun read -- it can be downloaded for a small fee from Documents Online at the UK National Archives.
I am a descendent of Charles Este, via Nathaniel Wells and Harriet Este Well's daughter Grace Emily Georgiana, which is why I've taken an interest in the Este family.
There are also some interesting references out there on Michael Lambton Este as well. Not least is a law case concerning his marriage to one of Robert Smythe's daughters -- who left Michael for his brother Thomas. The other Smythe daughter also married an Este brother -- Charles -- who later took to calling himself Baron d'Este, for no apparent reason that I've yet found!
As for Nathaniel -- there are a couple of excellent academic articles available on him: a very lengthy and in-depth one by JAH Evans, published in the 2002 Monmouthshire Antiquary and a more recent one by Anne Rainsbury, published in the Spring 2007 issue of Heritage in Wales. Many of Nathaniel's descendents had NO IDEA he was black until Evans and Rainsbury started their research.
Regards
Lesley

_________________
Lesley Wood
Canada


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:55 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
Welcome to the forum, Lesley, and many thanks for your post.

Re: the slave trade and the Royal Navy:

as well as battling against the trans-Atlantic trade, the Royal Navy was also involved in fighting the capture of Europeans who were carried off to slavery in North Africa. I've just come across a book by Tom Pocock on this subject:

Breaking the Chains: the Royal Navy's war against white slavery
(Chatham publishing 2006 ISBN 1-86716-275-5) The list price is £19.99 but is £13+ on Amazon, and many used copies are available for under a tenner on www.abebooks.com

Tom Pocock's writing style is always lively and engaging so I'm sure this will be an informative read.

_________________
Anna


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:50 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 am
Posts: 2813
Location: mid-Wales
As I said in a post above, the role of the Royal Navy in suppressing the trans-Atlantic slave trade is not always sufficiently recognised. However, today's Sunday Times carries a review of a new book that honours the Royal Navy's 'Preventive Squadron' - the British warships that sought to stamp out the slave trade after its abolition in Britain. They patrolled 3000 miles of malaria-infested west African coast, losing 17,000 sailors in the process, many from disease.

Sweet Water and Bitter
by Sian Rees (Chatto, £20)

The slave traders used all sorts of ruses to evade capture even, horrifically, throwing the slaves overboard on occasions. The rules of engagement were strict and traders used every legal device to obtain recompense from captains whose response to the traders was deemed excessive. Poor Captain Wills of HMS Cherub was sued and was ruined when he was forced to pay £21,180 in compensation.

Here is more from Amazon's website:

When the abolitionist Granville Sharpe bought land in Sierra Leone to 'repatriate' freed slaves, one former slave living in London foresaw trouble. 'Is it possible', asked Ottobah Cugoano, biblically, 'that a fountain should send forth both sweet water and bitter?' Could the slave trade be abolished from West Africa when West Africa was its source? The answer was no..."Sweet Water and Bitter" is the extraordinary sequel to Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807. The last legal British slave-ship left Africa that year, but other countries and illegal slavers continued to trade. When the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, British diplomats negotiated anti-slave-trade treaties and a 'Preventive Squadron' was formed to cruise the West African coast. In six decades, this small fleet liberated 150,000 Africans and lost 17,000 of its own men in doing so. This is the tale of their exciting and arduous campaign. It is also a story of unforeseen consequences.What to do with the freed slaves? How to manipulate international law so that you could board the ships of other nations? How to fight the intense hostility of African leaders to abolition? In tracing these complex questions, Sian Rees shows how the campaign was linked to British imperial and commercial ambition as well as to philanthropy: the colonising of West Africa was a direct, though unintended result. Above all, however, this is a swashbuckling naval adventure, full of sensational, first-hand accounts of life at sea, of the grim 'barracoons' where slaves are held, of the luxurious compounds of the slave-brokers and the lonely garrisons dotting the coast. Sailors speak of the boredom of patrol, the terror of 'detached service' in small boats upriver, the sudden, violent battles and the horror of seeing, close up, the cruelties of slaving. Combining flawless research with an intimate and dramatic narrative, this is a voyage that no one will forget.

_________________
Anna


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by p h p B B © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 p h p B B Group