Notice of slave sale, 1784
Moccas court - slavery connections
The owner of Moccas Court in Herefordshire and the county acrhivist look at its connections with the slave trade.
Moccas Court was once the home of the Cornewall family, and Ben Chester-Master, who now runs the house as a Hotel, has been trying to find out more about his ancestor George Cornewall's sugar plantation on Grenada.
"We went there on a holiday looking for the estate and found it quite hard to locate it.
"We found the parish of Lataste, and we think we've found some guys who knew where the family had been.
"Certainly there were a lot of Welsh sounding names, and indeed a Cornewall or two in the indigenous Grenadian population."
His trip also opened his eyes to the scale and social impact of the slave trade.
"I can see that at the time everybody in this society was in some way, shape or form benefiting, however directly or indirectly, from the slave trade.
"I realise that the Cornewall's were up to their necks in sugar, but I also know that they made a bit of a mess of it, and lost an awful lot of money, through tempest, disease and insurrection."
Sarah Skelton, from Herefordshire Museums, has been looking at the Cornewall archive, which is the largest in the county record office.
She's found plenty of evidence of the impact of the uprising on Grenada.
"I think there’d been other uprisings on other Caribbean islands and word had spread… and you could show the people who were effectively your captors that you wanted to be free.
"This uprising occurred and there was a huge amount of damage done to some of the estates
"There are huge inventories from the insurance assessors of the sugar mills being damaged, the plantation house being damaged.
"Also hundreds of enslaved people lost their lives in this uprising… they were willing to sacrifice their lives to fight for their freedom."
Ben did find one tangible connection to Herefordshire on his trip to Grenada.
"We went to a local eatery and we were just picking through some stew or other, and I looked up at the wall and there was a black and white print of Leominster town hall, and I looked out of the window and realised that we had probably found Lataste."
last updated: 06/02/2008 at 10:45