Councillor Kate Wheller was elected as Mayor of Weymouth Town Council in May 2023.
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 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.
Registered as National Charity Number 1,158,648 in England and Wales
Honorary President: The Mayor of Weymouth
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
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|Buxton's Parliamentary Bicentenary
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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
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FORTHCOMING EVENTS AND LATEST NEWS
ANNUAL BUXTON MEMORIAL SERVICE ON BINCLEAVES GREEN 10th SEPTEMBER.
The weather forecast for this afternoon’s Memorial Service is good — cloudy with patches of sunshine. The chance of rain is small.
UPDATE at 1p.m. The weather looks dry for at least until this evening. Intermittent Sunshine with high cloud.>
So all systems are “GO!”and we hope to see you there at 3 p.m.>
ANTI-SLAVERY DAY OPEN EVENT 18TH OCTOBER
The Society will hold free open meeting on 18th October at St Aldhelm's Hall Spa Road Weymouth DT3 5EW as part of our contribution to anti-slavery day. All members of the public are welcome and members of the Society are urged to bring a friend. The proceedings will be divided into two parts.
The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. and conclude at 4p.m.
There will be two presentations separated by an interval for refreshments.
The interval for refreshments will give people the opportunity to buy books, badges and produce. Linda Perry will also be selling Fair Trade Produce on a separate stall. There is so much to buy - remember to bring carrier bags!
Just 2 (two)copies of the Society's new book, entitled 'Invincible Determination - the legacy of Thomas Fowell Buxton' are still available for purchase.
This second volume complements the earlier volume Monumental Endeavour. It augments the Society's educational work by offering a series of essays, eight in all, from local and international contributors.
The book includes an introduction by Joe Buxton and the articles are collated into two parts:
Part I: Aspects of the Life and times of Thomas Fowell Buxton;
Part II: Buxton's influence in colonial affairs: South Africa, Canada and South Australia.
The book is priced at £6 plus postage and packaging. The print run is 100 copies only.
Post and Packaging: For a single book, add £2.40 for postage and packing (i.e. £8.40 in total).
For two books add £2.70 for postage and packaging (i.e. £14.70 in total for two copies of 'Invincible Determination'). For larger orders, the Treasurer will advise on postage and packaging costs.
For people who cannot attend the AGM the books can be ordered by contacting the Treasurer at
Payment can be made by Internet Bank Transfer: see this link to the Society's Account
Last Year’s Annual Buxton Memorial Service on Bincleaves Green
On Sunday 11th September, the 3rd Buxton Memorial Service was held on Bincleaves Green, Weymouth. In the days leading up to this there had been a worry that the good weather had broken. Were we to be deluged on this Sunday?
Happily the day was sunny and warm with a cooling breeze. The situation on Bincleaves Green was idyllic with great views of Weymouth Bay and Portland Island. The monument was in good condition and the information board, (the legs of which had been defaced with almost indelible scrawls last year) was looking pristine, the graffiti having faded away.
Professor Carl Whitehouse who is a lay preacher at St Mary's Church and a stalwart member of the Society composed and led the service.
There was a small stall where the Society's books could be bought, together with offprints of presentations, badges, marmalade, crab apple jelly and damson jam could be sold.
Our grateful thanks the Carl and all who attended, particularly the members of the Buxton family who had travelled some distance to be present.
As part of the Weymouth 450th anniversary celebrations, the Society organised an Evening of Elizabethan Music at St Mary’s Church, Weymouth, with the Mayor Cllr Colin Huckle and Mayoress Marion Huckle as honoured guests.
Although the evening was rather dreary with drizzle, a goodly number turned out to enjoy a wonderful evening of Elizabethan Music and Song.
Our friend Duncan Honeybourne who has given piano recitals at St Mary's as part of TFB Society fundraising, coordinated the evening's entertainment, calling in the services of violinist (and early music specialist) May Robertson and also two junior scholars from the Royal College of Music, Dimity Shorrock, singing soprano and playing recorder and Alex Campbell, lutenist.
Duncan himself played the harpsicord which was loaned to us and tuned on the evening by Peter Barnes.
The music was by Elizabethan composers with melodies, madrigals and folk songs. Dimity sang songs by John Dowland and other Tudor composers, with lute accompaniment and also the madrigal "The Silver Swan", by the composer Orlando Gibbons, whose life spanned the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages.
The above photograph taken by one of our members, shows the full ensemble playing their final piece, a 'branl or brawl' a French country dance tune
Our thanks to the Weymouth Town Council, who awarded a grant to the Society to enable this event to take place.
The Buxton Display at Portcullis House, Westminster
We approached Mr Speaker and Lord Speaker to draw their attention to the forth coming bicentenary and eventually we were directed to the Curator's Office who were most helpful. It was agreed that that there should be a display of Buxton's life and achievements to be mounted in Portcullis House on what is called the 'Glass Wall'.
The Curator's office had the task of producing the display and it really was excellent. The officer appointed to gather the information and design of the display did so much research including consulting Hansard for the early 19th century. She said that there was so much about Buxton in the archives that there was not enough room to display it all.
The glass wall regularly displays information of interest to Parliamentarians but is in a part of Portcullis house not normally available to the general public. As a concession, the Curator's office was able to host small parties of (up to 6 people) on 5 occasions during May. Our thanks to the two young women who took time out from their duties to host the Society members.
The officer has now posted the display on Parliament's website which can be reached via this link Art in Parliament - Parliamentarians
Weymouth's Celebration of Buxton's Bicentenary as an MP
On Friday 29th June 2018, the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society celebrated the bicentenary with a talk on 'Georgian Elections' given by Professor Carl Whitehouse at St Mary's Church, St Mary's Street, Weymouth at 2pm. Entrance was free and Refreshments are available in the interval. After the interval, then there was be a short evensong with Paul Selley at the organ playing a selection of hymns which Buxton would have been familiar with.
Cllr Gill Taylor, then Mayor of Weymouth and Portland presided and read one of the lessons.
Parliament's Celebration of the Buxton Bicentenary 10th July 2018
On the evening of July 10th an audience of 60 people gathered in the Attlee Suite at Portcullis House, Westminster to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first election to Parliament of Thomas Fowell Buxton, MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, 1818-1837.
The event was chaired by Charles Walker OBE, MP, a Buxton descendant. The evening's programme began with a presentation in praise of Buxton by Mr Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. He was followed by a talk on the parliamentary achievements of Thomas Fowell Buxton by the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society representative, Mrs Joyce Fannon. Other contributions in praise of Buxton included those of Lord Sheikh, Lord Knight (Former MP for South Dorset), Baroness Hamwee, and MP Bim Afolami. Victoria Atkins MP with a portfolio on trafficking spoke on modern slavery, as did the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, (also a Buxton descendant).
Question time was largely taken up with questions and comments on trafficking; modern day slavery. There are over 12,000 slaves in the UK today many of whom are British. Many slaves are 'hidden in plain sight' walking around our towns undertaking jobs such as picking fruit and vegetables, nail bars, car washes, massage parlours, prostitution.
This presentation was the culmination of months of negotiation with Parliamentary Authorities, and was a major recognition of the achievements of Buxton, who had been forgotten for so many years. One Peer remarked that 'Buxton's achievements make our efforts today seem pretty feeble'
The quatrefoils on the Buxton monument suffered damage in November 2017.
The structure was restored thanks to the generosity of our members, but there remained a doubt as to the cause of the damage. Was it malicious as it seemed to be, or was it the result of 'boisterous activity' carried out by people using Bincleaves Green for recreation?
It also raised a further troubling question about the strength of the design of the quatrefoil structure. In April we sought a meeting with Albion Stone Restoration (who had erected the monument). The Albion Stone Engineer visited the site again to consider what strengthening could be made but discovered some of the stones were loose. His recommendation was that the quatrefoils should be removed altogether and reluctantly we agreed. This has now been done.
The loss of the quatrefoils does not detract from the beauty of the Monument, which together with the information board, still recounts the story of Buxton's achievements and why he must be regarded as one of Weymouth's most illustrious MPs
A lot of organisations are contacting people to sign up positively if they wish to continue to receive notifications from them - with extra expense in postage and time. They are also hoping that they will not lose membership by people forgetting to sign up.
We have been considering what to do about this. Earlier this year, it was decided that in future only those who had signed up an annual subscription or were life members or were a sponsor would be contacted. It seemed logical that if someone signed up as a member/life member of the Society or made a gift, they would like to be contacted from time to time.
Those who do not wish to be contacted, please contact the Treasurer via the Contact link above
The Heritage Lottery Grant has enabled the Society to develop a programme for outreach to local primary schools.>
The pack includes lesson plans, powerpoint presentations and proposals for activities. It enables Primary School Staff to deliver to their own students, what had previously been a Thomas Fowell Buxton Society presentation by oneof the Society's educational team.
The pack comprises a series of 4 lessons suited to years 5 and 6 entitle"Fairtrade Fortnight", "Sugar Cane", "Sugar and Slavery", "Thomas Fowell Buxton and Slavery".
The pack includes lesson plans, power point presentations and proposals for activities. It enables Primary School Staff to deliver to their own students what had previously been a Society presentation given by one of the educational team.
This new initiative, has been praised by the Fairtrade Foundation.
The initial focus is on primary schools in the Weymouth area and these are being contacted individually. However the lessons can be used to the benefit of school children throughout the world where English is spoken.
To access this education pack please follow this link TFBS outreach to schools
For many years, Joyce Fannon has been giving presentations to groups in Weymouth and Dorchester about the life and achievements of Thomas Fowell Buxton. The talks have lasted up to an hour and people have responded positively. They have been inspired by what they felt was an informative and enjoyable account. Often they have asked the question 'why didn't we know about this before?'
The Society is now able to field a team willing to give presentations to local organisations. Presentations last about 45 minutes but can be tailored to a group’s requirements.
The topics currently on offer are:
Carl Whitehouse email:
The Mico-Buxton connection, Georgian Elections, Weymouth at the time of Thomas Fowell Buxton
John Fannon email:
Heroes of the Anti-Slavery Movement
For a presentation to a local group, a donation to the Thomas Fowell Buxton society would be much appreciated
Secretaries of Local Groups — Email any of the above speakers to arrange a talk for your members.
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.
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
The Society's objectives are
to inform the public of Weymouth's history, with talks and exhibitions
to care for the historical objects which form part of the heritage of Weymouth
to seek a new museum for Weymouth
The Society's objectives are
to erect the first national memorial anywhere in the world to commemorate enslaved Africans and their descendants
this memorial will depict the story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
it will be placed in the Rose Gardens of London's Hyde Park. This landscaped site will include the flora of Africa as an oasis of remembrance.
the statue and memorial garden will become a place for reflection and education and will link the key global sites associated with the slave trade
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