A Black History Tour Around Norwich

Paul Dickson runs some fascinating walking tours around Norwich and elsewhere in Norfolk. Last week, I went on his Black History Tour around central Norwich where he had many highlights dealing with key Norfolk people concerned with abolition – a subject central to the new book that I am writing. I had no idea that the petition run in the 1790s on Abolition was so widely supported. One in twelve of the British population supported it and it would have passed into law if it had not been for blockers in the House of Lords. It took another 15 years for the Slave trade to become illegal, and a further 25 years for slaves to be freed in British colonies. Freedom in name, because they had to work a further four years as compensation to their masters. The slaves never received monetary compensation while the amount paid to slave owners was only paid off in 2016. Not only that, but then the slave owners brought in unpaid indentured labour from India.

Neither had I heard of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, a key figure in the eventual abolition and also in reducing capital crimes from two hundred to six. He was married to Hannah Gurney, Elizabeth Fry’s sister. Once again my books coincide. Elizabeth Fry and the Quakers were key figures in Search for the Light.

The image on the right is a carving of Amelia Opie, another Quaker, and a key figure in the fight against slavery and women’s rights. I am waiting for her biography from the library.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying being able to add more detail to my new book and look forward to putting what I have learnt to use.

I must book the Shardlake tour for later in the year.

My really good news this week, is that after a year of pain in my knee and hips, one simple steroid injection has had a dramatic effect and I no longer waddle like a duck. I hope it lasts and I can get back to walking distances and being useful in the garden again.


About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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