Black lives in Cornwall

Street Art project 2022

Black lives in Cornwall is a project 4Elementz is aiming to run though-out 2022. The project aims to teach black Cornish history though creative arts to engage wide audiences in the inspiring stories which will promote racial tolerance.

 

Project planning so far...

Our volunteers have been working with the local Kresen Kernow Cornish Archives and local black Cornish families gathering information about black people lives in Cornwall dating back to the 1500's. Black people have settled in Cornwall over the centuries, worked and raised families. Cornwall's diversity is not well understood or reported. This project seeks to change that and challenge the misconception that black people are only in urban areas of the country and that Cornwall is a 'white county'.

 

Telling stories though art.

4Elementz uses creative arts to engage hard to reach young people in education and training. This project will use art workshops and street art murals to engage our young people and audiences. 

  

 

 

About 4Elementz CIC and our local black community

4Elementz and our local black community. Over the last 8 years 4Elementz has run music, art and media projects that have used hiphop culture to engage young people. (Photo to the left is of a talk about Hip-hop and black history by Akala that we organised for our young people at Cornwall College.)

 

We have specialised in reaching hard to reach and socially excluded young people and with in that have found a large proportion of our beneficiaries and artists are from the black Cornish community.

 

It is though our projects that we have heard the experiences of black people in Cornwall how report to us a high level of hate crime, racial discrimination, exploitation from country lines gangs and police brutality and discrimination.

 

On a positive side we also work with many disadvantaged young white people who are inspired though black culture and our Hiphop projects. We have build a local music scene of local MC's and artists to all enjoy and immerse themselves in black culture. Our projects have been a success because of the way black culture resinates with our local young people living in poverty and suffering social exclusion. 

 

This project has been inspired by our young black beneficiaries and we hope that this project will help to promote a more inclusive Cornwall.  


Stories of Black lives in Cornwall

Emmanuel the Moor. a black Tudor who died 1623.

 

“Before the English founded their first surviving colony in the Americas, or began regularly trafficking enslaved Africans across the Atlantic, Africans lived free in Tudor England. ‘Black Tudors’ uncovers the experiences of men and women long forgotten by history.” – Dr. Miranda Kaufmann

 

A little known fact is that black people and people of colour were living as ‘free people’ in the Tudor times, coming to its shores through a variety of ways, mainly through trade with countries such as Morocco.

 

In England during the 16th century there was a concept, most likely theoretical, of ‘free soil’ which translated as meaning that if anyone set foot on England’s soil, they become free. The only court case to discuss slavery in this period concluded in 1659 that ‘England had too pure an air for slaves to breathe in’. Black people in Tudor England were also unrestricted from racial laws such as prohibiting people of colour from interracial marriages unlike the American colonies that started passing such laws in the 1660's.

 

There were some 360 black people in England in the Tudor times that have been found though historical research by historian Miranda Kaufmann. In Cornwall, Truro there lived Emanuel the Moor and his family. He had a daughter called Maria who was buried at St Mary's Truro in August 1611. No baptismal records exist which suggests the family moved to the area after her birth. He brother Richard was baptised in October 1612. Whilst there is no record of the mother the children were not classed as bastards so we can assume the parents were married. Emmanuel died in August 1623. There is no record of him being in service to it is likely he was making his own living to support himself and his family. 

 

Who were the Moor's? Moor's were Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent who populated Northwest Africa in the middle-ages and early modern periods. Moor's had darker skin but Tudor England had not yet developed the concept of 'race' like we have today. 


Trade and Cornwall's maritime history

 

Cornwall has a long maritime history due to the long coastlines and many ports. It is also in a central position having access to Europe and North West Africa. 

 

Because of this it became a thriving international trade point as early as the 1500's. 


Barbarism and piracy

 

For over 300 years, the coastlines of the south west of England were at the mercy of Barbary pirates (corsairs) from the coast of North Africa, based mainly in the ports of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. Their number included not only North Africans but also English and Dutch privateers. Their aim was to capture slaves for the Arab slave markets in North Africa.

The Barbary pirates attacked and plundered not only those countries bordering the Mediterranean but as far north as the English Channel, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland, with the western coast of England almost being raided at will.

 

Partly as a result of an inadequate naval deterrent, by the early 17th century the situation was so bad that an entry in the Calendar of State Papers in May 1625 stated, ‘The Turks are upon our coasts. They take ships only to take the men to make slaves of them.’

Barbary pirates raided on land as well as at sea. In August 1625 corsairs raided Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, capturing 60 men, women and children and taking them into slavery. In 1626 St Keverne was repeatedly attacked, and boats out of Looe, Penzance, Mousehole and other Cornish ports were boarded, their crews taken captive and the empty ships left to drift. It was feared that there were around 60 Barbary men-of-war prowling the Devon and Cornish coasts and attacks were now occurring almost daily.

Sir John Eliot, Vice Admiral of Devon, declared that the seas around England “seem’d theirs.”

The situation was so bad that in December 1640 a Committee for Algiers was set up by Parliament to oversee the ransoming of captives. At that time it was reported that there were some 3,000 to 5,000 English people in captivity in Algiers. Charities were also set up to help ransom the captives and local fishing communities clubbed together to raise money to liberate their own.

In 1645, another raid by Barbary pirates on the Cornish coast saw 240 men, women and children kidnapped. The following year Parliament sent Edmund Cason to Algiers to negotiate the ransom and release of English captives. He paid on average £30 per man (women were more expensive to ransom) and managed to free some 250 people before he ran out of money. Cason spent the last 8 years of his life trying to arrange the release of a further 400.

By the 1650s the attacks were so frequent that they threatened England’s fishing industry with fishermen reluctant to put to sea, leaving their families unprotected ashore.

Oliver Cromwell decided to take action and decreed that any captured corsairs should be taken to Bristol and slowly drowned. Lundy Island, where pirates from the Republic of Salé had made their base, was attacked and bombarded, but despite this, the corsairs continued to mount raids on the coastal towns and villages in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.


Black pirates

During the “golden age” of piracy, that is, in the late 1600s and early 1700s, when pirate ships were one of the few places black men could earn power and wealth. A few famous black pirates emerged. Famous pirate Black Ceasar has been described as Florida’s most renowned black pirate who used the island of Elliott Key, and other hiding places along the Southeast Florida coast to conduct raids on unsuspected ships and villages.

 Most of these black pirates were former slaves who had escaped from the Caribbean or other coastal areas of the Americas, according to historical accounts.

Cornwall was prolific for piracy and smuggling of goods. The coastal areas around of Looe were especially rife with smugglers. The would trade in good such as tobacco, lace, brandy and tea which the king had placed a very high taxation onto the price. people in Cornwall would avoid these high prices and buy from the smugglers, thus fuelling a huge illegal trade. 

It is therefore easy to see that with all this going on black pirates would likely not be unusual to see in Cornwall. 


Black Joan Finn - Pirate 

 

There have been a number of afro Caribbean families in Cornwall for hundreds of years due to the counties maritime heritage. This includes less respectable famous stories such as the Fin family of Looe. 

 

One famous character was Black Joan Finn, The Carib Queen who was a smuggler and reputed pirate. (seem in this portrait in the background.)

 

There are two stories of Black Joan committing murder. The first when she killed a tall man on the island of skeleton and the second when she got into an argument with a Jamaican seaman in the Jolly Sailor Inn and she shot him in the head. She was acquitted for this crime after being jailed probably as the magistrates were her customers.

 

Black Till was another black pirate. She would pretend to be in distress in her rowing boat to distract the attention of any officers so that her father could move the contraband goods.

 


The Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

 

It is estimated that, between 1525 and 1866, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to America.

Britain was one of the most active slave-trading countries. According to the National Archives, Britain and Portugal accounted for 70% of all Africans transported to America. They were used as slaves and forced to work on plantations or as domestics and oppressed for centuries.

And Cornwall is no exception as many people across the county played a part in the slave trade between the 16th and the 19th century, when slavery was abolished.

The slave trade benefited Cornish merchants and landowners who sometimes owned hundreds of slaves - while others across Cornwall campaigned for the abolition of slavery.

With its ports, the county had easy access to the waters and Africa. Slave ships were coming into places such as Truro, Falmouth and St Ives.

In Truro, the land now known as Walsingham Place was called Caribee Island or Cribby Island at the end of the 1600s.

The name is thought to derive from the Caribbean due to the large number of slave ships docking in the city's port.

England's first slaving expedition, led by John Hawkins who was Sir Francis Drake's cousin, was from Plymouth. It left the port in 1562 and captured 300 Africans before selling them in the Caribbean.

One of them was Thomas Corker, of Falmouth.

Corker, who lived approximately between 1669 and 1700, was an agent of the Royal African Company in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

He married an African woman there and had two sons. Together they developed a family dynasty which supplied slaves up until the 19th century.

Down in Penzance, one particular family was known for owning slaves.

Sir Rose Price and his family, who owned country house and garden Trengwainton, made their fortune from sugar plantations in Jamaica.

Penzance East Councillor Tim Dwelly recently highlighted his story in the hope of raising awareness on the distressing past of the estate.

"I am sorry to say this is not a bit of local history we can be proud of," he wrote on his Facebook page. "The Price family from Penzance made its fortune from its Worthy Park Estate sugar plantation in Jamaica. Price was forced to sell Trengwainton in 1833 when slavery was abolished in the colonies and his ill-gained profits came to an end.

"The well-known walled garden at Trengwainton was funded on the back of slave labour. Records show his slaves were treated abysmally, beaten and neglected, often dying young."

Since then, Cornwall had its fair share of slave traders and owners.

The slave trade in Britain and the British colonies was abolished in 1807. But reports say Price continued to practice slavery for decades.

Mr Dwelly continued: "Price, who was often seen around Penzance with his livery-dressed black servants (also thought to be slaves), continued to practice slavery for a full 26 years.

"Jamaica Terrace in Heamoor was named at this time."

Rose Price was eventually knighted.

In 1833, one year before his death, the Slavery Abolition Act was passed and abolished slavery throughout the British Empire.

You can read Mr Dwelly's full post here.

The will of his father, John Price the younger, of Penzance, shows the extent of the family’s link with slavery.

Price Snr lived between 1738 and 1797. He owned several estates in Jamaica, as well as a plantation called Spring Garden, for which Sir William Lemon – Lemon Quay and Lemon Street in Truro are named after him - is reported to have been a co-mortgagee.

In his will, which is now in the public domain, Price mentioned “all my plantations, sugar works and estates in Jamaica with all and singular Negro and other slaves, mules, horses, stock and all buildings, etc”.

Sir William Lemon, who was an MP in Cornwall for 54 years, is one of several local people mentioned in the will as trustees.

It is not clear if Lemon was a slave owner himself. The History of Parliament website describes him as “a staunch friend to the abolition of the slave trade”.

map, created by CartoDB and shared by the University College London (UCL), shows that 17 addresses across Cornwall were linked to slave ownership or to people who received a payout after slavery was abolished in 1833.

Each address can, of course, be linked to several people.

The following addresses have been identified - note many streets have been renumbered since then. All details can be found on the website for the UCL's Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Tredudwell Manor, Fowey

The property is linked to Samuel Long, who owned properties in Jamaica. It is also estimated that he owned 222 male slaves and 221 female slaves.

Park, Landulph, Saltash

The property is linked to George Cotsford Call, who lived between 1784 and 1855. His father was MP for Callington for 17 years.

It is not clear whether he actually owned slaves, however he received a compensation after the abolition of slavery for being the trustee of the marriage settlement of his sister Catherine and Henry Mackinnon, who owned slaves in Antigua.

 

Bodmin

Two people linked to slave ownership have been identified in Bodmin.

Eldred Lewis Blight Pearse, who lived between 1808 and 1878, received a compensation.

William Michell (1796 - 1872) received some compensation for the slaves on Cradley estate on Tobago and for 122 slaves on another estate.

"William Michell was identified in the will of Rev. William Sloane Wilson as the MP for Bodmin in Cornwall," the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership reports.

Pencarrow, Egloshayle

Sir John Molesworth 4th Bart. (1705 - 1766) is linked to this address. He was the MP for Newport and for Cornwalll.

His great-uncle, Hender Molesworth, was a slave owner and Governor of Jamaica.

Sir John and his son William were the owners of 3,269 acres of land in St Dorothy.

Truthan, St Erme

Edward Collins the younger, who lived between 1782 and 1855, is linked to this address.

As mortgagee, he received, with other people, compensation for the slaves on the Whim estate on Tobago.

Rectory, St Allen

Rev. George Kemp, who lived between 1799 and 1842, was granted compensation for two slaves in Barbados.

Rectory, Tregassick Road, Gerrans

Judith Campbell Longlands (née Pendrill) and Rev. William David Longlands (1792 - 1866), who inherited New Milns in Hanover, Jamaica , of Judith's grandfather William Campbell.

 

Flushing

Thompson Spottiswood, who passed away in 1796, owned slaves.

Penryn

Rev. George Kemp is also linked to a Penryn address.

Falmouth

Anna Binny (née Marshall) has links to Jamaica. Her parents married there and baptised their children there.

Richard Bosanquet (1735 - 1809), known as 'Richard the Rake', is also on the list. He was a director of the East India Company and a partner in Bosanquet and Fatio, Hamburg merchants which also had West Indian interests.

Robert Henry Church, who died in 1848, was a slave owner and attorney on Grenada.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership reports: "He left his estate to be divided six ways, including two shares to two daughters of Jane Sangster deceased a free woman of colour."

George Munro (1766 - 1824) owned slaves. William Ross and Robert Robertson were granted compensation, as the administrators of Munro, for Plantation Alness in British Guiana.

Buddock

George Cavell Webbe was the son of George Webbe - mentioned above. He was named 'tenant-for-life' of his father's unnamed estates on Nevis.

Maddron

George Pinnock (1801 - 1880) received compensation for nine slaves on the Esher estate in St Mary.

Trengwainton, Penzance

This property, as mentioned above, is linked to Sir Rose Price (1768 - 1834).

"Enslaved people on Mount Moses were registered by Rev. Edward Marshall as owner and natural guardian to his children Anna and Lucy Marshall in 1817," Legacies of British Slave-ownership reports.

"It's not clear why only two of Edward Marshall's children are mentioned in the earlier registers. They may have inherited a small number of enslaved people rather than a share in the estate."They and Judith's sisters received compensation for the slaves on the estate.

Mylor

Two people have been identified for this address - George Webbe and his son Charles. Charles (1799 - 1839) unsuccessfully claimed a compensation for slaves on Stoney Hill, Nevis.

He was granted compensation for the Spring Garden estate and his executers were given compensation for the main family estate, Worthy Park, and for Mickleton Pen.

2 Wellington Terrace, Madron, Penzance

This address is linked to Rev. William Sloane Wilson, who was granted compensation for the slaves on the Cradley estate, Tobago, and on another Tobago estate which is currently unknown.

2 Penrose Terrace, Penzance

Elizabeth Bryan (1792 - 1859) was given a compensation for six slaves on Hall's Delight in Clarendon, Jamaica.

Penzance

John Price of Penzance, the elder, was listed as the owner of 225 acres of land in St Catherine, 500 acres in St Ann and 2869 acres in St John.

Mary Elizabeth Pennant Bryan is also on the list for Penzance. She died in 1890.

Many stories of African people taken away from their countries before being brought to Cornwall were actually shared at the time.

The published diary of John Tregerthen Short (JTS) of St Ives, narrates how, on Decembre 9, 1825, a French ship called Perle docked in St Ives harbour from St John's, on the coast of Africa, having on board five slaves.

According to the African Institution, the ship initially had on board 244 slaves, including 30 or 40 children. Most of them were transferred into another boat at sea, and two boys died.

By the time Perle arrived in St Ives, most of the crew had perished.

Penwith Local History Group reports that two of the five slaves on board did not survive their time in England. The other three were freed in 1826. Their names are not known.

 

 


Olaudah Equiano ( known as Gustavus Vassa) died 1797 was a Portuguese slave who was freed in Falmouth. Was a writer and abolitionist. This portrait is in the National gallery.

 

A very famous former slave and abolitionist who visited Cornwall was Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa.

According to his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African, published in 1789, he was from the Eboe region of the Kingdom of Benin.

He was born in 1745 and enslaved as a child and taken to a Caribbean. He was subsequently sold several times before purchasing his freedom in 1766.He wrote: "All my alarms began to subside when we got sight of land; and at last the ship arrived at Falmouth, after a passage of thirteen weeks.

"Every heart on board seemed gladdened on our reaching the shore, and none more than mine. The captain immediately went on shore, and sent on board some fresh provisions, which we wanted very much: we made good use of them, and our famine was soon turned into feasting, almost without ending.

"It was about the beginning of the spring 1757 when I arrived in England, and I was near twelve years of age at that time. I was very much struck with the buildings and the pavement of the streets in Falmouth; and, indeed, any object I saw filled me with new surprise."

Olaudah's owner was staying with a Falmouth family, whose young daughter befriended Olaudah very quickly.

In Cornwall, he discovered snow for the first time.

He wrote: "One morning, when I got upon deck, I saw it covered all over with the snow that fell over-night: as I had never seen any thing of the kind before, I thought it was salt; so I immediately ran down to the mate, and desired him, as well as I could, to come and see how somebody in the night had thrown salt all over the deck.

"He, knowing what it was, desired me to bring some of it down to him: accordingly I took up a handful of it, which I found very cold indeed; and when I brought it to him he desired me to taste it. I did so, and I was surprised beyond measure.

"I then asked him what it was? he told me it was snow: but I could not in any wise understand him. He asked me if we had no such thing in my country? and I told him, No. I then asked him the use of it, and who made it; he told me a great man in the heavens, called God."


Joseph Emidy- 1775-1835 Ex slave from West Africa who was a 'genius violinist'. He finally gained his freedom in 1799 and settled in Cornwall. Joseph played for Truro Orchestra and became one of Britains first black composers. 

 

A few decades later, a former slave started his journey as a free man in Falmouth. His name is Joseph Emidy and he became a Cornwall celebrity.

Emidy's amazing life took him from Guinea to Brazil, to Portugal and the Lisbon Opera, before being abandoned in Falmouth and becoming Cornwall’s top violinist and leading Truro Philharmonic Society.

He was born in West Africa in 1775 and spent his early years in slavery in Brazil after being captured on the Guinea Coast as a child by the Portuguese.

It is believed his slave master taught him how to play the fiddle.

His talents led to him being taken to Portugal, where he was soon playing violin with the Lisbon Opera Orchestra. But his “freedom” was short-lived – when British Admiral Sir Edward Pellew heard Emidy play, he was so impressed he had him kidnapped to play aboard his ship, the Indefatigable, and kept him in slavery for seven years before leaving him in Falmouth.

However, Emidy made the most of his new situation, settling in the port and making a living by teaching, performing and composing. He eventually became the leader of Truro Philharmonic Orchestra after marrying a Falmouth girl and starting a family.

During his 30 years in Cornwall he was by far the best known composer, violinist and teacher in the region. It is known that some of his music was taken to London by Cornish-born anti-slavery activist James Silk Buckingham and given a hearing by music critics.

However, while many were impressed by the work, Buckingham was advised that Emidy should remain outside capital’s music circles because of his colour and background.

His advertisement in the West Briton of December 1820 gives some indication of the nature of his work in an area where travel was not easy. It read: “Violin, Tenor, Bass-Viol, Guitar, and Spanish Guitar taught, balls and assemblies attended, harps tuned and piano-fortes buffed, regulated and tuned.”

There is a memorial for Emidy at Kenwyn Church in Truro, where he was buried.


John Brown (Fed) 1810-1876. Excepted slave from Virginia. After escaping slavery he was re captured three times before finally making freedom along the underground railroad to the North. He was promised work in Cornwall England in the local mines by Cornish miners in working in Wisconsin, USA. He made it to Canada to the ships bound of Cornwall.

 

When he finally made it over to Cornwall found out the contact he had been told would give him work had dies. However, he was given work in a mine in Redruth.

 

He went on to work as an abolitionist and tell his storey at meetings in Cornwall and later in a book called a narrative of the life, suffering and escape of John Brown. published in 1855.

 

Here is the testimony referece fro his employers in Redruth;

 

JOHN BROWN'S TESTIMONIALS.

 

        WE the undersigned do certify our knowledge of John Brown, who was a Slave in America, in the state of Georgia, and was four times sold. He came to Lake Superior, for refuge, in 1847, and was employed by our Company. He was employed by our Company for one year and a half; during that time we found him quiet, honest, and industrious. His object in coming to England was to see Captain Joseph Teague, by whom he was promised support. Unfortunately the Captain died in America, and J. Brown not knowing of his death till he came to Redruth, Cornwall, by that means he is thrown out in a strange country for a little support. We have helped him all that lay in our power, and would heartily do more for him if we could. We have heard him several times lecture on Slavery and also on Teetotalism. We hope the object he seeks will induce the sympathy of English Christians.

Dated, Redruth,
February 26th, 1851.

JAMES VIVIAN, Redruth.
RICHARD PASCOE, Redruth.
THOMAS WILLIAMS, Redruth.
THOMAS CHAMPION, Redruth.

 

St. Austell, March 20th, 1851.

        I beg to testify to my firm conviction of the forestated case of John Brown. When he called on me in the first instance, there happened to be a relative of the said Captain Teague present, who, after very considerable conversation, expressed his full conviction of his, J. B. having been engaged under

 

his relative, Captain Teague. I believe John Brown is entitled to sympathy and assistance from common humanity, especially from Christians.

 

SAMUEL BARLOW.

 

Bodmin, March 25th, 1851.

        The bearer, John Brown, has been in this town a few days, and lectured in the Union Hall to a large assemblage of persons, to whom he delivered a narrative of his life during the time that he was a slave in the State of Georgia.

        I privately questioned him previous to this, as to the treatment received by slaves from their masters, the route he pursued at the time of his escape, &c.; and having resided in those parts for several years, I have a firm conviction in my own mind as to the truth of his statements and the sincerity of his objects.

 

CHARLES PEARSE,
House Surveyor.

 

Liskeard, 3d Month, 31st, 1851.

        Having conversed with John Brown, a coloured man, now here, but who was formerly a slave in the United States, I have reason to be satisfied, from the accounts which he gives of persons and places that are known to me in that country, that he is not an impostor; and judging from his conduct while here, I am disposed to encourage him to spread the knowledge of the cruelties of Slavery, and recommend him to the kind notice of the public, trusting that he will continue to conduct himself well.


The abolition movement in Cornwall 

 

Of course, Cornwall also played its part in the abolition of slavery.

Cllr Tim Dwelly wrote: "We can all be proud of those people in Penzance and other parts of Cornwall who campaigned for abolition of slavery in far away places like Jamaica.

"Mainly Methodists, they met in local chapels and halls and helped to persuade Parliament to introduce the 1833 Act which put Price out of business and freed his slaves."

In fact, to this day, many local Methodist church members will not have sugar in their tea to protest against slavery and the slave trade.

John Wesley, a cleric and evangelist from the 18th century who visited Cornwall several times, was the one who first suggested this boycott of sugar as many slaves were used in sugar plantations and production.

Much-loved reverend Julyan Drew, of Newlyn, who passed away last year, wrote about the history of this unusual protest.

"Of course, we Methodists had a particularly Cornish way of being involved in that boycott, we said that there was an exception when we had a pasty," he wrote.

By the end of the 18th century, the abolitionist movement was significant across the county.

In Cornwall, many were involved. In the early 19th century, a poet called John Harris who was born in Bolenowe near Camborne, joined the fight.

He wrote The Fall of Slavery in 1838, which reads: "God has answered! Glory, glory!

"O’er the green earth let it speed;

"Sun and stars take up the story,

By 1772, the practice of slavery was banned in England.

In 1807, the Slave Trade Act abolished the trade of slaves in Britain and its colonies, making it illegal to transport slaves in British ships.

 

Slavery itself in the colonies was still permitted and was officially abolished on August 1, 1834, when the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was implemented.


Cornish aboard.

British Empire and colonialism Cornish people played a part in Europe’s ‘Scramble for Africa’ and were involved in colonial projects across the continent. Cornish people perhaps had the most impact – and vice versa – in South Africa (see section below) but Cornish businesses and industries reached into other corners of Africa through various colonial projects and activities.

 

Industry

As Cornwall’s best-known industry, it was perhaps inevitable that Cornish mining skills and companies reached African shores. The archive collections include: HB/D5/1 - map of mining areas, Ghana, 1900 X1234/P/19-20 - engine plans for Nanwe mine, Nigeria, 1900-1950 CH/30/1 – various reports on mining in Ghana and South Africa, 1907-1911 HB/A34/1 - map of mining areas, Nigeria, 1912 Camborne’s famed Holman Brothers company made mining equipment which was exported all over the world. From Holman Brothers to Compair: the story of Camborne’s engineering history by Clive Carter and Peter Joseph, 2012, includes a chapter about their work in South Africa. Colonial projects Potter Michael Cardew (1901-1983), who trained with Bernard Leach and set up a pottery in Wenford Bridge, was appointed by the Colonial Office to establish a pottery in Ghana (although he became a fierce critic of British overseas policies) and later worked in Nigeria among other places.

 

 South Africa Although Cornish miners were working in the Cape colony from decades earlier, when Cornish mining collapsed in the mid/late 19th century tens of thousands of miners flocked to South Africa. By the turn of the 20th century it has been argued that Cornwall’s economy was dependent on money flowing back from South Africa, which caused enough tension that it has been identified as one of the many causes of the Second Boer War.  Mining Cornish people mostly – although not exclusively – migrated to South Africa to work in the mines, searching for diamonds or gold.

 

Boer War Coming at a time when parts of South Africa were occupied by thousands of Cornish miners, the prospect of the Second Boer War was very worrying. Cornwall was divided in its feelings towards the conflict, and many of the men working there returned to Cornwall as war broke out. Emily Hobhouse (born 1860 in St Ive) made an extraordinary humanitarian contribution during the conflict, travelling to South Africa and campaigning against the British concentration camps which housed thousands of Boer women and children in appalling conditions. 


World War Two in Cornwall

 

The Second World War saw the rigid segregation practised in the US Army was also supposed to prevent fraternisation with the locals. Black troops were given educational talks on the peculiarities of the British; warm beer, being invited in for tea, how to be polite, at a distance, with ‘young ladies’ and to avoid commenting on the shocking living conditions of some ‘poor-whites’.  The presence of a small number of local families of Afro-Caribbean ancestry in the villages seemed to come as a complete surprise to most of the Americans, including their Military Police who were supposed to enforce the segregation. 


WW2 babies


Post war immigration and integration to be added...


Camborne School of mines... to be added


Multicultural Cornwall today to be added...