Slaver plaque to be removed from Dorchester church

Posted by BBC | 4 weeks ago | 91 times


The stone commemorates John Gordon's part in the deadly suppression of slaves in Jamaica

John Gordon plaque to be removed from Dorchester church

A memorial to an 18th Century slaver will be removed from a church wall, following a vote by parish leaders.
 
The plaque in St Peter's, Dorchester, commemorates plantation owner John Gordon and his role in the killing of hundreds of slaves in Jamaica.
 
Calls for it to be removed grew after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol in June.
 
The parish council wants the stone to be used in a museum for education.
 
John Gordon died in Dorchester in 1744, aged 46, during a visit to England.
 
The stone's inscription, which says Gordon is buried nearby, hails his "bravery" and "humanity" following his "instrumental" part in the 1760 uprising by slaves in Jamaica, which became known as Tacky's War.
 
Between 400 and 500 slaves were killed and hundreds more transported and sold on as colonial forces sought to suppress the revolt.
 
The parochial church council, chaired by the Archdeacon of Sherborne, the venerable Penny Sayer, met on Wednesday evening to decide whether to leave the stone in situ, cover it or remove it.
 
A temporary cover will be made while plans to permanently remove it go through the church planning process.
 
Church warden Val Potter said: "It will take some time because the church authorities have the equivalent of a planning system... so we are talking months rather than days."
 
In a statement before the meeting, campaign group Stand Up To Racism Dorset said: "Go in any church and you see monuments to the great and the good - many of whom got their wealth from slavery.
 
"This is different. It is a blatant and explicit glorification of white domination and the suppression of enslaved people."
 

Source: BBC
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