Councillor Gill Taylor was sworn in as Mayor of Weymouth and Portland May.
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
|Parliamentary Display||Presentation at Portcullis House||Bicentenary Commemoration at St Mary's Weymouth|
|Outreach to Primary Schools||Outreach to the Local Community||About Thomas Fowell Buxton|
|Renew your membership subscription||Buy the Commemorative Book||Donate to help support the monument|
|Our Networking Partners||News concerning the Monument||General Data Protection Regulations|
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 Annual General meeting of the Society will take place on Tuesday 12th March at the Weymouth Community Fire Station at 2pm. After the business of the meeting, Dr Carl Whitehouse will give a presentation on Weymouth in the time of Thomas Fowell Buxton. While the first part of the meeting will be devoted to the business of the Society, the topic cover in the second part should attract those who have an interest in the history of Weymouth. the general public are therefore invited to this meeting.
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018
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
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 is free and Refreshments are available in the interval, then there will be a short evensong with Paul Selley at the organ playing a selection of hymns which Buxton would have been familiar with.
Her Worship Cllr Gill Taylor, Mayor of Weymouth and Portland presided and will read one of the lessons.
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 as such is 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'
As is now well known, the quatrefoils on the Buxton monument suffered damage in November.
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 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.
There are only a few copies left of the Society's 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
|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|
|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