Manumissions

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I recently got some very interesting and exciting information which means that I have to rewrite a part of Vaucluse. Ambassador Bobby Morris, who has been very generous to share some of his discoveries with me, dropped a real nugget on me and the date convinced me that I’m onto something significant. I say that because in my manuscript I …

Vaucluse Leased

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I was digging around in the Archives last week looking for manumission records only to find that the tomes (big heavy books) I wanted were closed because they were in such bad condition. I was very frustrated, but I am even more concerned about the loss of history that we will suffer if something is not done to preserve these precious …

The Letters

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I finally got my hands on the very elusive letters that Henry Peter wrote to The Right Honourable Earl Grey, first Lord of the Treasury in England, from the British Library. The first one, on the subject of West Indian Property, was written on October 30, 1832, the day before he was leaving England for Barbados. This is the letter …

Henry Peter and Politics

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While Parliament in Barbados was established in 1639, the House of Assembly was not confirmed by law until 1660. The members met in various places, such as taverns and shops and, in HP’s time, the Town Hall, until the current Parliament Buildings were built in 1874. Henry Peter Simmons represented the parish of St. Philip, where he lived at the …

The Barbados Mercury and Bridge-Town Gazette

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I am very grateful to the National Library Service and UWI West Indian Collection for giving me access to their Microfilm Reels and Microfilm reader respectively, to continue my research for Vaucluse. I could hardly contain myself as I sat down last week to read publications of The Barbados Mercury and Bridge-Town Gazette newspapers from 1816. These newspapers are so …

Mary Ann Simmons

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Mary Ann Simmons I’ve been in Liverpool for the last week or so, where I had hoped to find some information to support a reference I found that Henry Peter manumitted some slaves (I believe his sons were among them) in Liverpool before emancipation in August 1834. Unfortunately the Liverpool Archives do not have that information. However, I found some …

The Mystery of Molly Harry

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The featured photo is actually of my character Sarah in “Free in the City”, but in the same way Sarah was the mistress of Thomas Edwards in that novel, Molly Harry seemed to have been in a similar relationship with Henry Peter Simmons. In my blog, The Will, I mentioned that Molly Harry was the mother of Henry Peter’s coloured …

The Bussa Rebellion and Vaucluse

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It would be impossible to write Vaucluse without including the Bussa rebellion. For one thing, both took place in 1816.  Well at least the Bussa rebellion did and I am yet to ascertain if Henry Peter Simmons actually bought Vaucluse in 1816 or the year before. One of the nuggets that I dug up in my research was a part …

The Will

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“This is the last will and testament of me Henry Peter Simmons of the parish of Saint Thomas and island abovesaid Esquire hereby revoking and making void all former and other wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made. I direct my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses to be fully paid and satisfied by my Executors …