UK news The child buried in Cambridge who 'left her mark on an ordinary village' last minute news


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- A church memorial shows how the young Black girl left her mark on the conscience of the village, its vicar said

UK news The child buried in Cambridge who 'left her mark on an ordinary village' last minute news


PremierLeague-News.Com

- A church memorial shows how the young Black girl left her mark on the conscience of the village, its vicar said

UK news The child buried in Cambridge who 'left her mark on an ordinary village' last minute news
08 April 2021 - 17:00

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A child buried in a Cambridgeshire church made her mark on an 'ordinary village' - and still has a legacy today. Four-year-old Anna Maria Vassa, who died in 1797, was the orphaned daughter of a Cambridgeshire woman and Olaudah Equiano, a former slave and sailor who bought his freedom. The only memorial on the outside of St Andrew’s Church in Chesterton pays tribute to the young girl - who is believed to be buried in the grounds - with a poem. On the Sunday closest to the anniversary of her death on July 21, known as ‘Vassa Day’, local children leave flowers beneath it, and learn about the horrors of the slave trade. Anna Maria’s father was the best known Black man in eighteenth-century Britain, according to historian Professor Gretchen Gerzina. Olaudah Equiano played a key role in the abolition of the slave trade His 1789 autobiography The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano: or Gustavus Vassa, the African details his kidnapping and torturous passage from Nigeria to the Caribbean, providing first-hand evidence to fuel the abolitionist movement. Still in print today, it tells how he was sold between seafaring slavers, before earning enough money from trading to buy his freedom in 1766 and settle in England. In London, he was a leading member of The Sons of Africa, a small group of freed slaves who campaigned to abolish slavery. Through public lectures, newspaper articles and petitions to Parliament the men got their message out to an increasingly receptive audience. The Prince of Wales was among the list of notable subscribers to the book, with went into nine editions in Equiano's lifetime. (Image: The British Library Board) Equiano continued to travel around the world, including on an Arctic expedition, and toured Britain promoting his book - which may have brought him to Cambridge, where there was an active abolitionist circle. However, in 1792 he married Susannah Cullen from Fordham village at St Andrews Church in Soham. There the couple settled and had two daughters: Anna Maria (born October 16 1793) and Joanna (born April 11, 1795). Susannah died in 1796 and Olaudah the following year, leaving the orphaned girls to be brought up by another family in Chesterton. Only Joanna survived to adulthood. The slave trade was abolished in Britain in 1807 with an Act signed by King George III, to whom Equiano had dedicated his book. CambridgeshireLive email updates: We bring the stories to you Signing up to the CambridgeshireLive newsletter means you'll receive our daily news email. It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds - simply click here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your address at the top of this page in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.

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. The child who left her mark on the conscience of an ordinary village Last summer, Vassa Day came in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in the UK, as outrage at the killing of George Floyd in the US sparked a mass engagement with the state of systemic racism at home. Engaging with anti-racism work started some soul-searching in all quarters of society. Vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Canon Nick Moir said: “Last summer churches were frantically scouring around to see if they’d got controversial memorials because of the slave trade, and fortunately St Andrew's has got the opposite. “We’ve got a memorial which shows something more positive about how a village embraced a young Black child and her sister. And the effect that her little life had, that they put up this memorial.” Although the church has burial records dating back to the reign of Henry VIII, they are not 100 per cent accurate, and Anna Maria is not in them. The memorial can be found on the north side of the church wall This may be because Equiano was a Methodist Christian, baptised in England, and so his daughter had a non-conformist burial; laid to rest somewhere in the grounds but memorialised on the outside of the church. Children in the late eighteenth century were not often memorialised. Partly due to the high rates of early childhood mortality (81 per 100,000 in Chesterton in 1851, a Cambridge University study shows) and the expense of stone engravings. “There would have been a lot of passing around the hat to provide the funding - crowd funding would have paid for that memorial - which in itself says something,” Reverend Moir said. “It speaks to the kind of effect, emotional and almost political effect, of having that child who died and left her mark on the conscience of an ordinary village.” The memorial plaque to Anna Maria Vassa who died aged four “To bury her the village children came. / And dropp’d choice flowers, and lisp’d her early fame;” goes the poem. It was written by local lawyer and poet Edward Ind, one of the two executors of Equiano’s will, whose family may have looked after the sisters, the vicar explained. Caroline Murray, a retired Cambridge University Press editor who worked on a collection of slave narratives including Equiano’s, was “flabbergasted” to come across the memorial on a tour by the late Cambridge guide Allan Brigham . “The whole thing is very redolent to me of [William] Blake’s The Little Black Boy poem, which came out a few years before,” she said. From Chesterton children to the passing stranger the poem addresses, the memorial endures as a valuable lesson and link to Black British history. Read More Related Articles Cambridge’s first Black pub landlord who broke every social barrier Read More Related Articles Lord Woolley becomes first Black man to head an Oxbridge College

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