Everton, Straits of the Village
The CHANGING COMMUNITY
Merchants, servants and former slaves in the same congregation remind us of very different times.
St George’s Church, at 240 feet above sea level, dominates Everton’s high ridge. In 1814, the former village with its cottages, Halliday’s Coffee House, welcoming inns, and the less welcoming 1783 Lock-Up Tower lay nearby to the south. Beyond the church’s west gate, fields tumbled down the hill towards the River Mersey. To the south west lay the densely packed town centre.
Reflecting Liverpool’s history at that time and its shameful part in the triangular route of the transatlantic slave trade, the church’s early records log a small group of servants who worked for leading congregation members, but who by definition had been slaves in every sense before being brought here from the American colonies. It was not until the 1833 Abolition Act that slavery was finally abolished, albeit on a gradual basis.
And so those early St George’s files reveal the following names:
26.10.1817 – Charles Wallace: An African negro boy servant to George Seeley, late of Brazil, now of Everton.
18.2.1818 – Nicademus John Nickolas: Born in Santa Cruz, said to be 23 years old and a servant.
20.5.1818 – Antonio Samuel Wylie: Born in Mozambique and carried to Brazil as a slave, a servant of John Wylie.
15.11.1818 – Samuel Barnes: Born a slave in the island of Antigua, a gent’s servant.
12.4.1824 – Charles: An African negro bought at Buenos Aires, about 21 years old servant to Fred Dickson.
Our prayer is that these men ultimately integrated into Liverpool life. We hope to research this further moving forward.