Councillor Kevin Brookes was sworn in as Mayor of Weymouth and Portland on 18th May. As Deputy Mayor, Cllr Brookes helped to choose the site for the Buxton monument in August 2016. He attended the dedication ceremony in June and joined us for the memorial service in Westminster Abbey in August.
Buxtonabilia is a 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 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
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
|Outreach to Primary Schools||Outreach to the Local Community||Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Completed|
|Monument Dedication||Unveiling of the Information board||Buy the Commemorative Book|
|Our Black History Event October 2017||Future Events|
|Modern Slavery||Mico University||About Thomas Fowell Buxton|
|Renew your membership subscription||Our Networking Partners||Donate to help support the monument|
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
The Monument has now been repaired and we are so grateful to the many people who have given donations to cover the cost. Unfortunately, the end of the cornice of the quatrefoil was chipped slightly as it fell onto the step. We will consider its repair at a later date.
We have updated the timeline of Buxton's life and achievements. See here
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 The Mico-Buxton connection email:
John Fannon Heroes of the Anti-Slavery Movement email:
Lynwood Newman Slavery in the Americas email:
Joyce Fannon (i)Thomas Fowell Buxton and Empire, (ii) Weymouth through the eyes of Thomas Fowell Buxton email:
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.
The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society is grateful for the award of a £4,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to further our educational work in informing the public of the achievements of abolitionist Thomas Fowell Buxton MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis 1818-1837.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the grant enabled the Society to fund the design, production and installation of an Information Board to be positioned next to the Buxton Monument, recently erected on Bincleaves Green. This important feature explains the significance of the Buxton Monument, and continues the educational work of the Society by sharing Weymouth's heritage with our community and visitors to our town.
We have now completed our "end of grant" report to the HLF. As part of this procedure, we were obliged to submit some photographic evidence and it was decided that instead of sending a zip file with a set of jpgs, it would be better to put them into a formal document supported by a coherent narrative.
This has been sent to HLF who are very pleased with it. You can download this narrative by clicking on this link Buxton Monument Dedication
The grant also enabled us to produce new flyers which will be very useful in the years to come. We also procured a new Roller Banner.
You can download a copy of the new flyer by following this link TFBS Flyer
The flyer is a trifold and consists of 2 pages. It will fold neatly into a standard DL envelope. If you wish to print it out and your printer can offer double sided printing, remember to tick the box to flip on the short side of the sheet.
You can see what our new banner looks like by following this link TFBS Roller Banner
The Buxton Monument is now a permanent feature of Bincleaves Green and attracts admiring comments from passers by. Earlier this year, the committee decided that it would be appropriate to hold a dedication service once the ground around the monument had been landscaped.
Crowds braved the wind and the rain on the morning of June 5th at Bincleaves Green, Weymouth, Dorset, to witness the dedication of the Buxton Monument and its Information Board by the Rt Rev Karen Gorham Bishop of Sherborne. Also present were Mr Angus Campbell Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Mr John Young, High Sheriff of Dorset, Sir Crispin Buxton, 8th Baronet and Ms Alphea Wiggins J.P. Deputy High Commissioner of Barbados.
Father Gerard Wilberforce, a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Plymouth was there representing the Wilberforce family.
The Rt Reverend Antony Foottit Bishop of Lynn (1999-2003) read the first lesson from Ecclesiasticus while Mrs Frances Jones-Davies, eldest daughter of the lat 7th Baronet read from the letter of St Paul to the Galations.
In his speech, the Lord Lieutenant praised Buxton not only for his important role in the abolition of slavery but for his many other philanthropic activities including the reduction of the number of crimes carrying the death penalty from over 200 down to 8. The Lord Lieutenant then unveiled the Information Board (see below).
The Mayor of Weymouth and Portland then spoke on behalf of the Borough. Finally Sir Crispin Buxton, 8th Baronet, responded on behalf of the family. To end the service Martin Ings, trumpeter from the Bournemouth Philharmonic Orchestra, and vocalist, Patricia Thoyts, led everyone in singing John Newton's hymn of 1779, Amazing Grace; a hymn which has long been associated with slavery, abolition and Civil Rights in the USA. Since the 1950s it has become a popular hymn in the UK.
Also attending the Ceremony was Dr Richard Follett, Associate Professor of History, Covenant College, Georgia, USA, who has described Buxton as "Wilberforce's apprentice". Richard is in the process of writing a biography of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton.
After the ceremony, many then proceeded to St Mary's Church in the centre of Weymouth where a buffet lunch was laid on. Buxton is associated with this Church and gave a large donation to building works to extend the Church in 1815
Sir Crispin Buxton, on being interviewed said "This initiative from the people of Weymouth reflecting back his work to us is extremely important and very gratifying".
His young son Milo was also interviewed and related his experience at school "We were taught about it quite recently before our half term and it was mainly about William Wilberforce and the slave trade and I think my dad had a talk with our teacher about my five times great grandfather and I think he is going to be talking to me after half term about it."
It has been said of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton by a friend:"He was a man of indomitable courage. There were occasions (in Parliament) when nothing but the stoutest heart could have encountered the hostility to which he was exposed. [He endured it all because] His sympathy was awakened by men he had never seen, and he gave the best years of his life to their welfare" .
You can download the Service Sheet by following this link
The event was reported widely in the local press and TV and radio. A short exerpt from the BBC's report can be found on this link
HM Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Mr Angus Campbell unveiled the Information Board at the Dedication Ceremony
The Information Board was covered with a Union flag which threatened to blow away of its own accord in the gusty winds
The Information Board explains the carvings on the Monument which illustrate different aspects of Buxton's achievements, especially his abolitionist work.
The detail of the information board may be found by clicking this link
Students of Weymouth College Masonry Department hand-carved the 144 stones that make up the Buxton Monument, to a design by student, Peter Loizou. The Monument was paid for by public subscriptions and fund-raising ventures.
Part of the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was used to design, manufacture and install the Information Board, as it enables this important heritage to be shared with the local and wider community.
The Weymouth Monument and its Information Board complements other memorials to Buxton in Westminster Abbey, Victoria Tower Gardens (London), Norwich Cathedral, St George's Cathedral (Sierra Leone) and Mico University in Jamaica. There are settlements bearing his name in Guyana, South America and Ontario, Canada. Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton is not only of local importance but also International importance.
In addition the National Lottery funding covers a dedication service and the production of a commemorative booklet entitled 'A Monumental Endeavour: The Thomas Fowell Buxton Society 2010-2017' (see below).
This tells the story of Thomas Fowell Buxton, his Monument, the Society and its wider educational work. The grant will also cover heritage educational packs for our local Primary Schools.
The Society has produced an 84 page A5 book to commemorate the design, production, build and dedication of the Buxton Monument. This slim volume has 11 articles:
Copies of the book are still on sale at £6.50 including postage and packaging. To buy, please make an internet bank transfer using the Society's bank details below, and email the society giving your name and address via this link
On 26th October we celebrated Black History Month with a public meeting at the Weymouth Community Fire Station.
The evening began with a presentation by Mrs Joyce Fannon entitled "Thomas Fowell Buxton and Empire - humanitarian colonialism". With reference to South Africa, South Australia and West Africa, she described Buxton's achievements in championing the rights of free indigenous peoples in the burgeoning British Empire.
After the break John Fannon showed DVDs prepared by the organisation "Unchosen" a charity which aims to spread knowledge about modern slavery through the medium of film.
Two DVDs were shown. One dealt with forced labour and the other with sex slavery. Both films demonstrated the shocking facts about modern slavery which is 'hidden in plain view'. Experts emphasised the need for people to be vigilant about suspicious activity and help lines were available to report incidents.
John finished with a powerpoint presentation of the modern slavery, which summed up the messages in the DVDs. You can download this presentation by following the link Modern Slavery
The appalling weather perhaps inhibited many from venturing out to an evening lecture and the attendance was small. Nevertheless, the donations were very generous and amply covered our expenses for the evening.
More details about the charity Unchosen are shown further down this page.
Our 3rd Buxton Service at Westminster Abbey took place on Saturday 5th August at 5:45pm after evensong. The date was moved from the end of July because "Ride London" disrupted traffic so much.
The service followed the same format as in previous years. There was a picnic at Victoria Tower Gardens, then we attended evensong at 5pm. At 5:45 our service began at the Buxton statue when floral tributes were laid.
Attendance was slightly down on last year but therewere many young people in attendance. As usual the Abbey clergy and staff were most welcoming and looked forward to seeing us next year.>
The date for next year has already been agreed with the Canon's Office. It will be on Saturday 4th August 2018 after Evensong. Remember this date for your diary. We look forward to seeing you there!
We are still interested in organising a visit to London Docklands Museum including the gallery depicting Sugar and Slavery. Sadly each time we have had to cancel because we could not fill the coach. We are considering alternative ways of organising a visit to this important museum which celebrates Buxton's work.
Our Programme for next year
The Society is finalising our programme for next year and will publish it as soon as possible. Meanwhile don't forget to visit this site to keep up to date. Alternatively if you wish to email us via the contact us page, we will undertake to keep you informed.
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 oldest and 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 2015 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
|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.
And thanks to the many donations the monument now is standing proudly on Bincleaves Green and is a real asset to Weymouth.
We need to continue to maintain the monument which will cost the Society approximately £1000 per annum
There are some stones remaining to sponsor (see below), but every little helps!
Please help us 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 - £7 per year or £12 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|
|4. Why not set up a standing order with your bank or building society to pay your annual membership fee every February? You can download a standing order form using this link and send it to your bank|
|If you bank online, your bank’s website will offer you the option of setting up a standing order. Our bank details are as above.|
|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.
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.
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