Note: This is the first of three posts in which I'll discuss things I enjoy doing in England. The first is exploring places of historical and political interest close to home. For more ideas on the theme of 'Exploring England', see the Guardian's Enjoy England pages.
For Sambo, originally uploaded by Lancaster Today.
There are often fascinating places on our doorstep which we don't take the time to explore. Perhaps it's because they are so close that we don't make the effort? They are not 'exotic' enough - something like that?
Anyway, I set out to Sunderland Point yesterday to see what it was all about, and, particularly, to visit Sambo's grave. Sambo? Who is Sambo? Surely you've heard of him, educated reader? But just in case you haven't, let me show off my newly-acquired knowledge to save you from your ignorance.
Sambo's grave is a memorial to a young, black slave who is believed to have arrived at the port in Sunderland Point by ship in 1736. He was an African stolen into slavery and first brought to the West Indies before beginning the long journey to Lancaster with his master. Unfortunately for Sambo (as if his life was not tragic enough), shortly after arrival he was taken ill and died near a local inn. Perhaps his immune system was not prepared for the infections carried by the North West Englanders?
Sambo was buried in an unmarked grave, until, in 1795, a certain Rev Watson led an effort to have a memorial erected. It is believed that this teacher penned the following elegy found on the grave:
More tomorrow about the wondrous place that is Sunderland Point. I have much to share about it, but refuse to spoil Sambo's post with such mundaneness tonight. But if you have any interest in reading more about Lancaster's links with the Slave trade, see my previous post on William Lindow.
p.s. Yesterday's post (what are they?) contained a picture of stones on sticks, onto which people have written little messages to Sambo and placed near his memorial. An example I saw there was: You left no footprints but we found you in our hearts. Diane.