Saturday, 2 July 2011

Rescued from a Slave Ship

A gravestone in Locksbrook Cemetery in Bath, England raises a number of questions. It bears the following inscription:

In Memory of MUMU, a deaf and dumb African girl. She was rescued in child-hood from a slave vessel and taken to the Church Missionary School at Charlotte, Sierra Leone, from where she was sent to England for education and remained 11 years in the Bath Institute for the Blind and Deaf and Dumb.

She was baptised Dec 28 1857 and received the christian names of Annie Jan Elwin. After a short illness, she fell asleep in Jesus May 16 1866 aged 25 years.

Also in memory of George Spear, a blind boy, a native of Cape Palmas, West Africa. He was educated in the above institution and died in peace Sep 26 1866 aged 11 years.

He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a City of Habitation

Also in memory of Ann Etoone, a deaf and dumb pupil in the same institution. She died Dec 10 1866

Also in memory of Elizabeth Wise who died 1872.

Locksbrook was opened in 1864 and closed for general use in 1937 after over 30,000 burials there. Today, it is designated as a Nature Conservation Site by the local council which owns it.

Thinking about the young woman's story, I keep wondering whether she was removed from other family members on the slave ship, where was it bound, how much her life was improved by being sent to England and kept in an institution? And George Spear, too. What of his life? How did he get to Bath? So many questions!


Dorene from Ohio said...

What an amazing story!

Unknown said...

Many questions, for sure. But a beautiful, beautiful stone!

Tammi Thiele said...

Great find! would love to know the rest of her story.

glimmering prize said...

love this story!

S. Lincecum said...

It's already been said, but I want to add mine -- "what a neat story!"

Anonymous said...

Someday I'll visit this place - I do love the idea of old graveyards becoming 'one with nature'.

Laurie said...

Thanks every one. If I can find out more, I post it another time.

Welcome to the Graveyard Detective

An illustrated look at the World of Graveyards and Cemeteries. There are many Stories behind the Stones that Stand in them. Who knows what we might find?


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