Nicotiana Brittanica

The Cotswolds’ Illicit Tobacco Cultivation In The 17th Century

Nicotiana Brittanica Front Cover
Four centuries ago a group of farmers from the West of England decided to see if they could make a living for themselves by growing tobacco. This put them at odds with the English state and its imperial ambition to build a mercantile economy driven by indentured and slave labour. This is their story of resistance. Fair-trade home-grown tobacco? Put that in yer pipe and smoke it

‘Race War’

Black American GIs in Bristol and Gloucestershire During World War II

Race War Front Cover
America's entry into World War II immediately served to highlight the issue of race relations and the contradictions between America's declared position as a defender of "freedom" and "democracy," and what was actually practiced. Prior to the D-Day landings of June 1944, there were just under 1.6 million American forces personnel located in various parts of the U.K, with the largest numbers gathered in the southwest. The pubs in Bristol were segregated with some serving whites only, others, […]

Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars

Thomas Clarkson In Bristol, 1787

Cry Freedom Cry Seven Stars Front Cover
Cry Freedom, Cry World Heritage Site In 1787 abolitionist Thomas Clarkson researched the slave trade with help from Landlord Thompson while staying at The Seven Stars public house in Bristol. This pamphlet looks at how the histories of the pub and the abolition movement are intertwined, and why it should be the first pub to have UNESCO World Heritage status. The Seven Stars public house is one of the most important buildings in the entire history of Bristol, if not the country. It stands as a […]

English Abolition: The Movie

Amazing Grace a film directed by Michael Apted First Published In The New York Review Of Books Volume 52, Number 10, June 14, 2007. Reproduced by kind permission of the author. Two hundred years ago this spring, Britain ended its Atlantic slave trade, an event of immense importance, because the country then dominated the traffic in human beings. From the mid-1700s on, roughly half the captive Africans taken to the Americas had been transported in British ships. Ever since, Parliament's vote to […]

Seven Stars, Slavery and Freedom!

The frontispiece from Clarksons essay.
The Seven Stars pub in St Thomas Lane (next to the Fleece and Firkin) is without doubt a remarkable pub. It has survived the Blitz, post and pre war planners, new roads (such as Victoria Street) and all of the brewery ‘re-organisations’ and changes in fashion. It even lost the community that surrounded it, but it’s still there, a beacon on our past. The reason its survival is so important is due to one man, Thomas Clarkson, and if it wasn’t for Bristol Civic Society nobody would have been aware […]

A Celebration of St. Wulfstan

In between the howling gales, we had a day of calm which coincided with a spur of the moment event; 'A Celebration of St Wulfstan', on his saints day, the 19th of January. After a brief rendition of his life was published in last months magazine, a number of people got together to try and celebrate the great man's life, in the actual church in which he served, as a contribution to Abolition 200 year. Several people had stated that we ought to do something, and contact was made through the […]

The Seven Stars Pub & Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson.
A Transcript taken from a document found behind the bar at The Seven Stars Pub. It was an inn in the latter half of the Seventeenth Century, for in the Reign of Charles the Second, Richard Pope, Linen Draper, one of the sons of William Pope, merchant, granted to the feoffoes of Saint Thomas a yearly rent of 30/-d. out of the tenement called “The Starrs then in the possession of Michael Jaine, victualler, in accordance with his father’s will.” IT is interesting from its connection with the slave […]

Slaves Who Abolished Slavery

BWHW 2006 Colour Poster - Maroon
Origins of the Caribbean Demand for Slaves One of the consequences of the establishment in the 17th century of the sugar industry in the British colonies in the Caribbean region was the importation of Africans to work as slaves. The result of this was that black people very soon comprised the great majority of the populations. During the colonial era British propagandists successfully misled their colonial subjects about their own history. What was taught in schools and portrayed in the press […]

Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars!

Seven Stars Concert Poster
This article was written for Pints West. During Bristol's Radical History Week (28th October to 5th November) at the appropriately named Spyglass restaurant, the Long John Silver Trust was twice invited to join in with the debates. On the Wednesday evening, as a representative of the Trust, I spoke about the history of the Seven Stars, St Thomas Lane under the heading of the 'Anti-Slavery Movement in Bristol', and again on the Saturday afternoon for "Bristol and the Revolutionary Atlantic". It […]

Pin It on Pinterest