Bath Workhouse Burial Ground Project

Trees will grow and a wildflower meadow bloom at Bath’s Union Workhouse Burial Ground. A place of memory and reflection is emerging thanks to the work of local residents, artists and descendants of those buried there, unmemorialised, in unmarked graves. As the official memorial to a slave trader was toppled in Bristol, people in Bath sought to memorialise those officially forgotten. Bath Workhouse burial grounds do not exist on any modern map, there is no signage or plaque. Following a long […]

Some insights into the lives of the crew onboard the slave ship Hannibal

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
An often overlooked but essential element of a slave ship, such as the Hannibal, was the requirement for a large crew in comparison to the number of sailors usually required to man ordinary merchant shipping. Sailors who were to work on slavers would be recruited by any means possible. For example, some men were offered the option by a magistrate or judge of going to prison, transportation, or work as crew on a slave ship. John Newton, author of The Journal of a Slave Trader, described his crew […]

Again with One Voice: British Songs of Political Reform, 1768 to 1868

By Dick Holdstock. Ed. Patience Young
This ‘supremely singable’ collection of 120 songs with musical settings should ‘enlighten and enliven our discussions and our singing in equal measure’ (Oskar Cox Jensen, Historian, UEA) At the heart of ‘Again with One Voice’ are the words and melodies of a remarkable collection of one hundred and twenty British songs from the turbulent hundred years that culminated with the Second Reform Act of 1868. The collection charts a century of working-class struggle for democracy and political reform […]

From Lewis Hamilton to Jemima (age 12)

Comments on the fall of Colston

TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. Everywhere. Lewis Hamilton (seven time F1 World Drivers Champion) Black Lives Matter X heart X heart. Jemima (age 12) This is the third in a series of articles written in the wake of the fall of Edward Colston's statue in June 2020. The previous articles consisted of two fully referenced timelines, the first covering more than a century dissent and protest concerning Colston's leading role in transatlantic slavery and the second considering the local, national and […]

The Book of Trespass

By Nick Hayes
    …the fences that divide England are not just symbols of the partition of people but the very cause of it. Bristol Radical History Group subscribers will find inspiration in Nick Hayes’s book. He sets out to trespass on a range of properties and rivers throughout England, defiantly ignoring the fact that he – and we - are excluded from 92% of the land in England and 97% of its waterways. In the course of his walk descriptions, Nick Hayes reveals some surprising historical heroes – […]

Congratulations Barbados

Ripples across the Pond

Slave ship Hannibal 1693-1695
On Tuesday 30 November 2021, marking the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, Barbados proudly became a Republic. In 2020 the then governor-general of Barbados, Sandra Mason, now president and head of state, stated that "the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state." The former Barbadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Guy Hewitt, stated in an interview that many Barbadians believe that the country was due for "a […]

Solidarity With The Colston Statue Topplers In Court

It's taken the vindictive British state and it's imperfect judicial system 18 months, but on Monday 13 December 2021 they will finally start the prosecution of just four, of the hundreds of protesters, who allegedly participated in the toppling of the Colston Statue way back on 7 June 2020. That statue toppling happened in the midst of Bristol's huge Black Lives Matter protest, as once again angry Bristolians made history and kicked over the statues. Now it's time to stand again in support of […]

The fall of Colston – a timeline of impact in Bristol, Britain and the World

From Bristol to Bridgetown

  All over the world I’ve seen grandchildren of slave masters tearing down slave masters statues – over in England they put it in the river. Reverend Al Sharpton speaking at the funeral of George Floyd in Houston, Texas, 10 June 2020. It's been quite a fortnight. Last week we had the declaration of the new Republic of Barbados (we salute you!) exactly 55 years after gaining independence from Britain, and this week, news that the jewel in the crown of the Society of Merchant Venturers, […]

Hilda Cashmore

Pioneering community worker and founder of Bristol’s Barton Hill Settlement

Hilda Cashmore front cover depicting the cottages that became Barton Hill Settlement.
Hilda Cashmore (1876-1943), her life and community work in Bristol and beyond. Over 100 years since its foundation, Bristol’s Barton Hill Settlement is still operating as an important community hub in the city. This book tells the story of its first warden, Hilda Cashmore, her campaign to establish the Settlement, and her approach to social work as exemplified by its activities in its early days. But Cashmore’s commitment to providing social care went far beyond Bristol. The book covers her […]

New pauper burial research at Greenbank cemetery

Introduction From 2014-2019 Eastville Workhouse Memorial Group (EWMG) studied Rosemary Green, a piece of land consecrated and used as a pauper burial ground soon after the new workhouse was built at 100 Fishponds Road in 1847. Eastville workhouse was the primary institution of the Clifton Poor Law Union which covered 12 parishes north of the River Avon outside the old city walls. In March 1877 the Clifton Poor Law Union was renamed as Barton Regis. The Union remained unchanged until 1898 when […]