Tunnel under Mart St

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Postby crusty_bint » Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:13 am

Hey mon capitan! I dont think its a matter of this era of Glasgows history being forgotten, more it was erased from our records after emancipation. Sad fact is, as I said, its true extent will never be known. Although, there are a few tantalising clues such as the painted out figure of a slave in John Glassford's family portrait:

The slave is under the blacked out area of the right-hand side
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I wonder how un/common it was to own a slave in Glasgow at the time, i.e. how many people could afford one? Agreed though, I now doubt this "tunnel" was used for slave transportaion. I also doubt, however, our civic fathers would go to the expense of culverting this particular part of the Molendinar when they could just commandere the neighbouring fues? Interesting point though, it cant be ruled out at present. On the point of a ships ability to navigate he Clyde up-stream, can I just re-iterate the fact that a ship wouldn't have to; any "trans-continental imports" could be transported to Glasgow on river-going boats via one of the estury ports.

Any chance of a scan of that reciept? And how would your pal feel about sharing some of her insight here on HG?

Crusty :D

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Postby Ronnie » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:50 pm

A couple of things about Glasgow and the slave trade: it's worth pointing out that the city had one of the most active and effective abolitionist movements in the world, and that Henry Douglas (I think that's his name), a freed slave, was invited to speak at the City Hall on the evils of the trade. So Glasgow's involvement wasn't all bad. In the present, during Black History Week in 2002 or 2003 there was a walking tour of the city, pointing out places connected with the slave trade. So it's not one of these "Glasgow's secret shame" items. Good discussion, btw.

There was a street near the cross called Black Boy Close, next to the Black Boy Tavern. Anybody know anything about that?
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Postby Captain Brittles » Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:45 pm

crusty_bint wrote:
Any chance of a scan of that reciept? And how would your pal feel about sharing some of her insight here on HG?


Yes I remember seeing that print of the Glassfords. I don't mean the involvement has been forgotten by everyone but meant to imply that its been sort of air-brushed from official views of the city's history.
I mean, wander into the Mitchell, leaf through the historical accounts of the city by the great and good historians of the 19th.century and you'll be hard pressed to find a reference to the Glasgow merchants of the 18th. century who made a quid out of buying and selling black slaves in the Carribean, the Carolinas and Virginia.
The only black man I have been able to identify who lived in Glasgow around the time was a chap named Matthew Bogle - a weaver - who at his trial in the High Court in about 1820 accused of being part of the Radicals was described as "a man of colour". This chap in fact was most likely an off-spring of the Bogle family who had extensive interests in the West Indies. He walked free by the way - no doubt helped by the fact that the foreman of the Grand Jury was Hugh Bogle of Calderbank (incidently the man who built the house I was born in, a photo of which Apollo posted on this site) and who obviously saw a relation in the dock before him.

I'll certainly ask my friend if she'll join and offer her insight into the topic and here is a copy of the receipt for the sixteen slaves.

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Isn't a great copy but some of the names are a hoot, like Nancy (Old) and Nancy) Young), winey, Kit & Lucky. The ages are a sign that even at 56 yr.old you could still be someone else's property.
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Postby lordsleek » Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:32 am

this webpage has a lot of useful information about slavery and its affects in Glasgow.http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr227/brown.htm
He certainly knows a lot more than most people
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Postby Captain Brittles » Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:15 pm

lordsleek wrote:this webpage has a lot of useful information about slavery and its affects in Glasgow


Good well written article with a hint of Marxist hindsight.
Its a fact that slavery even existed in Scotland (although without the horroble violence and horrific shipments that Africans suffered) at the time in the form of serfdom in the coal mines and near serfdom in argriculture too. Of course that was our own folk and were the same colour as us so maybe they don't qualify to be called slaves.
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Postby HollowHorn » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:27 am

Ronnie wrote:There was a street near the cross called Black Boy Close, next to the Black Boy Tavern. Anybody know anything about that?

Plate 53 of Thomas Annan's book "Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow" shows a photograph of the "Back Wynd, 1899" Against a backdrop of the most wonderful derelict buildings you will ever see, two hollow eyed men gaze towards the camera, sitting in front of them (and also looking into the camera) sits a young black girl wrapped in a plaid shawl. She seems so out of place there, so unexpected. I wonder where she came from, I wonder where she went.
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