In May, Cllr Chrstine James was invested as Mayor of Weymouth and Portland.
Madame Mayor has already thrown herself fully into the events organised by the Society
In June, she and her consort Trisha Chorley attended the recent piano recital at St Mary's Church and enjoyed themselves very much. She is already an enthusiastic supporter of the Society’s aims, and will be accompanying us on our trip to Westminster Abbey on 1st August.
On Saturday 1st August she attended the Buxton Memorial service at Westminster Abbey together with her consort, tricia Chorley. After the concert the joined the Buxton family picnic at Victoria tower Gardens.
Recently Cllr James attended our Black History Month open meeting
The Charity Commission has now approved our application to be registered as a Charity. Our Registration number is 1,158,648
This is very good news as it now makes us eligible to apply for certain grants. Recently HMRC gave us a gift aid rebate of over £1500 – which is most welcome!
Buxtonabilia is a new blog set up for Thomas Fowell Buxton enthusiasts. We discuss a wide range of topics ranging such as Beer, History and Solar Eclipses (the latest post). To experience and join in this eclectic conversation, link, click the orange icon (above right) or click here
For those involved in quizes and trivial pursuits, here is a little known fact that links Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Fowell Buxton.
They were both the same height – 6 ft 4 in.
The primary means of fundraising will be sponsorship of stones. The committee has carefully considered the scale of prices, ranging from simple stones such as paving slabs and complex stones on which there are carvings. The range of sponsor prices will be from £500 to £40.
The design of the Thomas Fowell Buxton monument reflects the neo-classical architectural style so typical of Weymouth’s Georgian and Regency seafront townscape. more...
Click here to download the TFBS Paper describing the achievements of Thomas Fowell Buxton and the Society’s plans to celebrate his achievements.
Click here to download a .pdf version of the society’s prospectus, describing plans for the Monument and other initiatives
Registered as National Charity Number 1,158,648 in England and Wales
Patron: Mr Ainsley Harriott Honorary President: The Mayor of Weymouth and Portland
Established in 2010, our Society was set up to celebrate the achievements of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 1st Baronet (1786 - 1845) who, while MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis between 1818 and 1837, led the campaign to abolish slavery as an economic system.
Buxton was a Christian social reformer, who had an interest in education of the poor and prison reform. He was a great believer in self help and hard work and dedication to achieve life goals, as may be seen from the quote of the day in the sidebar (left), taken from his biography
|Mico University College Jamaica||Unchosen – Modern Slavery||Our Successful Black History Event 22nd October|
|Donate to help build our monument to TFB||Renew your membership subscription||A tribute to Sir Jocelyn Buxton|
|Our Networking Partners||About Thomas Fowell Buxton||Presentations on Thomas Fowell Buxton and his times|
Click the icon to visit the Buxtonabilia Blog where admirers of the work of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton can exchange views, and post news items. This will include Buxton memorabilia, hence the name of this blog “Buxtonabilia”
Learn about the Buxton Project by clicking the link below!
LINKS TO USEFUL DOCUMENTS
Click on one of these images to download a membership form, our latest flyer, a stones catalogue and more
Mouse over the icons and click for more information
Sir Samuel Mico was a merchant who made his fortune in the East Indies and when he died he 1666 left a legacy to establish charities in Weymouth which still exist today. The remainder of his estate passed to his widow Lady Mico, who when she died left a sum of £1000 for the redemption of Christian slaves in Barbary, a problem which her husband, as a member of the Court of Levant Company, would have been very familiar.
This money was invested in the purchase of a wharf and and premises at Castle Baynard, but with the exception of one payment in the 1730s, the income was never used. By 1830 a sum of over £100,000 had accumulated. In 1835 it was diverted by those concerned with the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies to the education of freed slaves, a prime mover in this matter being Thomas Fowell Buxton. The fund was used to set up elementary schools throughout the British West Indies and to found a teachers' training college at Kingston, Jamaica.
The Schools were soon afterwards handed over to various religious societies, who also maintained schools in the islands, but Mico College, Kingston, remained the responsibility of the Mico Trustees and is now the second largest teachers' training college in Jamaica. The Buxton family have been represented on the Board of Trustees of the College since its inception.
Here are some photographs of the college kindly sent to us by Mr Laban Roomes, a successful Jamaican Entrepreneur and former central banker and currently Secretary of The Mico Foundation. He has also included pictures of the recent visit by HRH The Princess Royal to the college.
|The Buxton Tower Building|
|Click the buttons to cycle through pictures of the Mico College|
On Friday 6th November the charity Unchosen, supported by the South West Dorset Multicultural Network showed films alerting people to the existence of modern day slavery in the UK and urging them to take a stand against it. After the films, a discussion panel comprising Martin Jones from the Gangmasters Licencing Authority, Sarah Gedge from the Poole Police Major and Organised Crime Unit, DCI Stewart Balmer of Dorset Police Major Crime Investigation Team and Júlia Tomás from Unchosen answered questions from the audience. The Mayor of Dorchester Cllr Robin Potter and his consort were in attendance and the Mayor gave the vote of thanks.
It is estimated that perhaps 13,000 people are enslaved in some way in the UK. Some of these are vulnerable people of many nationalities, most commonly from Romania, Poland, the UK, Nigeria, and Albania. They are vulnerable perhaps because of learning difficulties; they may be homeless; they may be suffering from alcoholism, or drug dependency. Others have been lured to this country with the prospect of getting a job and bettering themselves and sending money home to their families. What they find is that promises for wages are progressively whittled away and foreign workers have their passports are taken. These workers also find themselves sold on to other masters around the country.
Awareness of modern slavery is still in its early days. Even well respected supermarkets have been found unwittingly to have engaged with organisations providing goods produced with slave labour.
The panel urged the public also to be aware of the problem. Signs to look out for were people who kept in groups when in public, exclusively speaking their own language; they might be of poor physical appearance, or subject to some sort of control - for example a group of men being picked up from some premises each morning and driven off in a van and returned in the evening. In such cases the public were asked to phone 101 Crimestoppers who would carry out an investigation.
The Charity Unchosen is producing DVD films dealing with modern slavery. There are three available so far and there will be more to come.
What is Modern slavery? Animation + "Yoke Farm" (a short film PG) + FAQs.
What is Forced Labour? Animation + "Michael "(a short film cert 15) + FAQs.
What is Sexual Exploitation? Animation + "Let's talk about Sex" (a short film cert 15) + FAQs.
All DVDs are available free from the Unchosen website which you can find by clicking this link
Black History Month, celebrated in USA and Canada in February, is held in the UK, in October. The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society fielded its second Black History Month Event on Thursday 22nd October. The Mayor, Cllr Christine James was in attendance.
Thomas Fowell Buxton's connection with slavery is part of this history. It is a story that our patron, TV chef and Strictly Come Dancing twinkle-toes Ainsley Harriott, says "still needs to be told" .
Helping to tell the story at the Black History Month Event this year was St Augustine's Primary School Choir under the direction of Jane Ayles. The children sang their hearts out with "Songs of Slavery". A comprehensive repertoire ended with John Newton's popular hymn "Amazing Grace". The choir's inspirational performance put the seal on a very successful evening.
Lynwood Newman followed with a "Society Summer Season Picture Show". This celebrated the Society's Grand Dinner and Auction at the prestigious Brooks' Club in London at the end of July; a very successful fundraiser for the Buxton Monument, planned for Bincleaves Green in Weymouth. Also the Picture Show featured the Society's visit on August 1st to Westminster Abbey for a short service and to place floral tributes at the statue of Thomas Fowell Buxton, abolitionist and MP for Weymouth 1818-1837. The High Commissioner of Jamaica had been present as well as the Mayor Cllr Christine James. Subsequently the Abbey party joined 150 Buxton desecendants for a picnic in Victoria Tower Gardens, near the Buxton Memorial Fountain; another memorable day.
After a buffet interval at the Black History Month Event, Joyce Fannon gave a presentation on "Footsteps to Freedom: the Underground Railroad and the role of the Buxton Settlements in Canada". When is a railroad not a railroad? When it is a series of safe havens for escaping slaves travelling from the Southern States of the USA into the Northern States. It is estimated that some 40,000 travelled on into Canada. Many were housed in the settlements in Ontario known as North and South Buxton. The fame of that MP for Weymouth certainly did get around!
Sir Jocelyn Buxton 7th Baronet of Belfield in Dorset and Runton in Norfolk, died at his home in Norfolk in April this year. He had been our most distinguished member since the Society was inaugurated.
Often, those who have achieved much in life remain unbeknown to the world except for family, friends and professional associates. It is only when they die and the tributes come in, does the rest of the world begin to appreciate just what they have done. Sir Jocelyn, as far as we in Weymouth were concerned was a name, albeit an illustrious name. But in fact Sir Jocelyn led a very full life with a distinguished war record both in WW2 and Korea. After serving in both wars he was a commercial pilot and worked in Uganda and Sudan before retiring to Norfolk.
By kind permission of his widow, Lady Buxton and her three daughters, the society is pleased to publish here the eulogy given last May by Henry Jones-Davies the oldest son in law of Sir Jocelyn. You can read it by following this link.
His nephew, Sir Crispin Buxton succeeds to the baronetcy as 8th Baronet.
|Thanks to the support of Weymouth College, the enthusiasm of the students and the generosity of Albion Stone (who supplied the Portland Stone), the Thomas Fowell Buxton Monument
now exists as 144 stones.
We need money to erect these stones to form the monument.
Stone sponsoring is one way of raising money (see below), but every little helps!
Please help us raise the monument by giving a donation however small. You can donate in the following ways:
|You can donate via the Paypal button on the right|
|Alternatively, you can donate directly into
the Thomas Fowell Buxton bank account with Barclays Bank
|Account Name:||The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society (Monument Fund)|
|Sort Code:||20 26 62|
|Please be sure to send us an email to inform us of your donation using the following link: donations
All donations will be gratefully acknowledged.
Membership of the Thomas Fowell Buxton society is very reasonable - £5 per year or £10 per year family membership.
Membership fees provide just enough money to produce newsletters and organise the AGM. All our other moneys come from the generous donations we have received, stone sponsorship and fund raising events.
You can renew your membership in either of 3 ways
|1. You can renew or pay via the Paypal button on the right|
|2. Download a membership form using . . .||. . . this link|
|and sending it to the Treasurer|
|3. Finally, you can renew membership or make a payment directly into
the Thomas Fowell Buxton bank account with Barclays Bank
|Account Name:||The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society|
|Sort Code:||20 26 62|
|If paying by Paypal or Bank Transfer please be sure to send us an email to inform us of your payment using the following link: donations
All donations will be gratefully acknowledged.
WE ARE REVIEWING OUR ACCUMULATED FUNDS
The Stone Sponsoring Programme was initiated in 2013.
Have you considered stone sponsorship? The smaller, cheaper stones have all been sold, but there are plenty still available under £100. The stone with Thomas Fowell Buxton’s cameo on it was sponsored recently as also was the Ball Finial.
Instructions of how you can sponsor a stone can be found if you click here
Groups of people are clubbing together to jointly sponsor the higher value stones.
With some good fund raising events over the past two months, our assets have risen steadily. We shall publicise them when we have had a chance to discuss them in the financial committee in September.
ABOUT OUR PATRON – AINSLEY HARRIOTT
Ainsley Harriott trained at the Westminster College of Catering. For our cricketing enthusiasts’ information, Ainsley was Head Chef at Lord’s Cricket Ground’s Long Room. On the London scene he has been associated with the Dorchester, Brown’s, the Hilton, the Westbury, Café Pelican and Quaglino’s.
In 2000 he had his own television show in the USA. This ran for 100 episodes. However, many of us have been fans of the long-running BBC television show Ready Steady Cook which he presented. One of the regular chefs featuring successfully on this programme with Ainsley was Lesley Waters, who is resident here in Dorset running her own cookery school near Bridport. Apparently Lesley is a fan of Thomas Hardy’s novels!
When looking for a Society patron, our Secretary approached Ainsley Harriott, as she recalled his 2008 appearance on the TV programme, Who do you think you are? Ainsley had set out on the genealogy trail knowing that he had slave ancestors. What this programme revealed was that he also had a white sugar baron ancestor who had recognised the child and handed on the family name of Harriott.
We are grateful for Ainsley letting us use his name as our patron and for his good will message to the Society: “Thank you for bringing important history to people’s attention . . . we still all need to know”.
Granville Sharp, William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson were instrumental in getting Parliament to abolish the trade in slaves in 1807. Thomas Fowell Buxton, who entered Parliament in 1818 continued their work and took over the leadership of the movement from Wilberforce in 1823, though Wilberforce remained in Parliament to support him. Buxton succeeded in having slavery abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833 by Act of Parliament.
He represented Weymouth as MP between 1818 and 1837. His younger brother Charles and also his uncle Charles are buried at All Saints, Wyke Regis. In 1829 he gave his support to the motion of Catholic emancipation in Ireland, offending many of his constituents and endangering his seat for Weymouth.
He continued to show an interest on a global scale when he visited Pope Gregory XVI in Rome in 1839. The Pope had written a papal encyclical entitled in supremo apostolatus. This was a letter under the authority of the Pope to his bishops around the world condemning the continuance of slavery. Thomas Fowell Buxton his wife commended the Pope for this initiative.
He attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 when a large group of Americans attended. The American Civil War was needed to achieve in America what Thomas Fowell Buxton achieved, relatively peacefully, in the British Empire.
In 1840 he was made "Baronet of Bellfield in the County of Dorset and of Runton in the County of Norfolk", by Queen Victoria. "Bellfield" was the estate he owned in Wyke Regis, Weymouth. The house still stands, though the estate has been extensively built on over the years.
The crest on his coat of arms, shown here, is described in heraldic terms as a 'A Buck’s Head, Couped Gu, Attired Or, Gorged With a Collar of The Last, Therefrom Pendent An Escutcheon Arg, Charged with an African’s Head Sa'.
Using James Parker’s Glossary of Heraldic Terms this translates to "A Buck’s Head in Red, Gold Antlers, A Gold Collar round its Neck; hanging from the Collar a Shield in Silver (White) on which is depicted the Head of an African in Black."
The motto 'Do it with thy might' is a shortened version of the family motto, which itself is taken from the Bible (Eccleciastes 9:10).
Thomas Fowell Buxton died at Northrepps Hall, Norfolk in 1845 aged 59. Today, while Sharp, Wilberforce and Clarkson are rightly lauded for their devotion to this cause, Thomas Fowell Buxton’s contribution has faded somewhat from the public memory.
He has been virtually forgotten in Weymouth. The only reference to the man who is perhaps Weymouth’s most celebrated MP is a section of the main road between Weymouth and Portland, named 'Buxton Road', and it passes near to Belfield House.
There is a statue of him in Westminster Abbey near to that of William Wilberforce and there is a plaque to his memory at the Norwich Friends meeting house in Upper Goat Lane Norwich.
And he can be seen on the back of the current £5 note as one of the group visiting Newgate Prison in association with Elizabeth Fry. (Thomas Fowell Buxton is at the top left hand corner, a tall man wearing spectacles). Elizabeth Fry was his sister in law and he supported her efforts for prison reform.
This is a stylised drawing of a painting of Elizabeth Fry reading to prisoners in Newgate Prison, 1823. The painting is held by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Over the past two years, Joyce Fannon has been giving presentations to groups in Weymouth and Dorchester about the life and achievements of Thomas Fowell Buxton. The talks last about an hour and people have responded positively and been inspired by what they feel is an informative and enjoyable account. Often they ask the question 'why didn't we know about this before?'
Joyce has now started to give presentations to local schools.
If you feel that your group or school would benefit from a talk, please make contact via this link, leaving a contact email and telephone number.
Presentations to schools are free, but for a presentation to a local group, a donation to the Thomas Fowell Buxton society would be much appreciated
The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society is delighted to announce links to the following organisations
“We welcome the plans to erect a monument commemorating the tireless work of Thomas Fowell Buxton
“The monument can be used to re-awaken awareness of the issues and attitudes that Buxton was challenging in his time and which still persist today
“We are glad to be part of such an honourable legacy in Weymouth” — Elisabeth Orrell (Chair)
The Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) is a UK-based charity which grew out of the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking. HTF was created in order to support and add value to the work of the many charities and agencies operating to combat human trafficking in the UK.
“Purple Teardrop are delighted to be working with the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society
“The Monument will serve as a reminder that there is much work to be done fighting slavery of all kinds, following on from Buxton’s and Wilberforce’s work” — Penny Bartlett (Director and Trustee)
The Southwest Dorset Multicultural Network exists to bring together people from Black and Minority Ethnic Groups, to celebrate our cultural diversity, and to seek an end to the isolation felt by people from ethnic minorities. their comments are:
“We support the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society and the Monument Project
“The Project will create an awareness about slavery and its persistence today
“The project will demonstrate the benefits of working together, fostering understanding, amicable relationships between the various multicultural groups in Dorset” — Rachelle Smith (Secretary)
The Society's objectives are
to stimulate public interest in the Weymouth and Portland Area
to promote higher standards of planning and architecture
to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of historic, public or natural interest in the area
Interest in Thomas Fowell Buxton around the world
Thomas Fowell Buxton is a hero to many around the world with “Buxton Villages” set up in Canada and Guyana and the above mentioned plaque in St George’s Cathedral in Sierra Leone
Our flag counter shows continuing interest in this remarkable human being
These are the new visitors since the flags were set up in May 2012