The Black Lives Matter movement is raising awareness of the injustices done to black people because of the colour of their skin. Here in Sawbridgeworth there is evidence of the historical injustice that is the basis for present day racism. Four generations of families connected to the Manor of Pishiobury were slave owners or profited from compensation paid to slave owners after 1837 when slavery was abolished in Britain. Edward Gardiner, Jeremiah Milles, Rose Milles and Roland Alston of Pishiobury were plantation owners and their fortunes were in part derived from slave labour. There were others in Bishop’s Stortford and Harlow.
Details can be found on the excellent Legacies of Slave ownership website of University College London which can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/
The Sawbridgeworth Local History Society intends to explore these local connections and eventually publish that research on our website. Please contact us if you want to take part Contributions from ethnic minority people would be particularly welcome.