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Historic site, Quakers Burial Ground

Quakers Burial Ground, Bristol


Photograph of Historic site, Quakers Burial Ground, off Redcliffe Hill. A plaque proclaims this as the original burial ground for the Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers (who were a religious group which spilt away from the Church of England). As a close-knit religious group, Quakers usually married amongst themselves and entered into business ventures together. As a result, a complex international network of family, banking and buisness partnerships spanned Britain, Ireland, America and the Caribbean in the 18th century.

In the late-17th and early-18th centuries, Bristol Quakers such as Charles and John Scandrett were slave ship owners. Famous Quakers who benefited from the produce of slave labour included Frys (cocoa) and Lloyds and Barclays (banking/insurance for ships), and the Galtons (guns). Other families, less known today but leading Bristol merchants of the period, including the Champions, the Goldneys and the Harfords, whose brass and iron goods were traded to West Africa for slaves.

By the 1760’s Quakers became the first religious body to oppose the slave trade. Quaker women were particularly active in this campaign. By the 1780s the Quakers were at the forefront of the movement to stop the slave trade. They went on to make an important contribution to the final campaign in the early 19th century which sought to free all slaves in the British colonies.

With thanks to the authors of the Slave Trade Trail around Central Bristol, Madge Dresser, Caletta Jordan, Doreen Taylor.

Chocolate was first used as a drink, sweetened with sugar to mask the bitter flavour of the chocolate. Later it was used for making eating chocolate. At this period, most people drank beer, wine or spirits. Water was not safe to drink, tea coffee and chocolate were expensive. Quakers promoted drinking chocolate as an alternative to alcohol.

Creator: David Emeney

Date: 2003

Copyright: Copyright BCC Museum

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