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Thread: Barclay's (Martin's) Bank Doors Linked to Slavery?

  1. #31
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    See this.....

    Seems like a lot of money to me and possibly unobtainable. Why does it have to be marble?


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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by taffy View Post
    Not really see post 29

    Also read White Gold by Milton about the North African slave traders, trading the white people of Southern England, Ireland and Scandinavia.

    I've already mentioned elsewhere that Liverpool's largest income from trade at the Black African slave times was with Ireland and the Isle of Man. Source: LRO.
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    I forgot about this thread but since my last post I have come across White Gold. It was a real eye-opener. I've known for a while that Liverpools slavery connections/dependency were often overplayed but I never realised to what extent.

    As for my original comment, I think it still stands; slavery was a big factor in Liverpool boom (albiet 18th century one) but the majority of Liverpools wealth and subsequent 19th century superboom were not dependent on slavery.

    I hope this is more correct, feel free to offer your oppinions

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    I forgot about this thread but since my last post I have come across White Gold. It was a real eye-opener. I've known for a while that Liverpools slavery connections/dependency were often overplayed but I never realised to what extent.

    As for my original comment, I think it still stands; slavery was a big factor in Liverpool boom (albiet 18th century one) but the majority of Liverpools wealth and subsequent 19th century superboom were not dependent on slavery.

    I hope this is more correct, feel free to offer your opinions
    You are right. 2/3 of all people taken from Africa to the Americas were in Liverpool keels. However it was only a sideline. The wealth was in general trade, not slavery. The rise of America saw the rise of the port and city. And the city was founded on the shipment and trade of ....Cheshire salt. Hence Salthouse Dock. The biggest anti-slavery people were in Liverpool.

    The white slavers from North Africa are underplayed - the Corsairs. They did take the whole population of one Irish village once into slavery in North Africa. However, although the Arabs were the most numerous of the Corsairs, the biggest were Europeans, mainly a Dutchman who operated from North Africa.

    Slavery is still going on today in Africa. As white men are not involved, it is not newsworthy.
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  5. #35
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    That's right, in any case when we say 'slave trade' it is a bit of a misnomer - it clearly doesn't tell the full story.

    Where we say 'slave trade' we could also say 'sugar trade', 'cotton trade', 'tobacco trade'. Trade is a multi-faceted thing. I think because it is more common to use 'slave trade' people get this idea that slaves actually came to Liverpool.

    Plus: Many merchants in Liverpool made their money from trading tobacco, cotton and sugar that was grown on slave planations but did not actively partake in the buying and selling of slaves themselves. Their profits therefore are from the trading of goods rather than of slaves. It is a thin line but nevertheless an important one to remember.

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    Agreed. It's just like asking if that jumper you're wearing has been made by sweatshops. We may at some time or other buy goods (knowingly or unknowingly) that have a sinister origin, even foodstuffs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    A bit off topic but as slavery has been mentioned. The sculptures at the entrance to the Martins bank buildings on Water St show a merchant pressing his hands down onto the heads of two African boys. I was led to believe this was to do with slavery. Frank Carlyle in Liverpool unseen gives the opposite account mentioning what they are carrying and says that it signifies that the prosperity of the city and this building in particular being a bank is helping the lesser poorer nations? Anyone got the real take on it?
    Ressurecting another old thread - St Martin's Bank decorative door jambs - Terry Cavanagh writing in the Public Sculpture of Liverpool says:

    "The stone jambs are decorated with panels carved with an old man of the sea - noted the webbed fingers and 'Assyrian'-shaped webbed beard. He places his hands upon the heads of two back-to-back boys holding moneybags, anchors and ropes. Either side of the old man's bald head are dolphins"

    I don't think this has anything to do with slavery. Only the Town Hall freize [already mentioned by Chris] and the Street names, are [I think] the only references left in the city to slavery. The town/ city was perhaps was clinical in removing any past references, or reminders of the 'Guinea' trade.

    The 4th Custom House at the head of the Old Dock, which was still standing in 1826 carried negro heads on some of the key-stones. I assume this would be on the lintel above the window heads?

    Thomas Clarkson the abolitionist bought "Iron instruments used in this cruel traffic” from a Liverpool shop during one of his visits to the port. The details appeared in Clarkson’s History of the Abolition of the African Slave.
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  8. #38
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    "The stone jambs are decorated with panels carved with an old man of the sea - noted the webbed fingers and 'Assyrian'-shaped webbed beard. He places his hands upon the heads of two back-to-back boys holding moneybags, anchors and ropes. Either side of the old man's bald head are dolphins"

    Sounds symbolic of the importance of maritime trade to me, rather than specifically slavery.

    Would slaves ever be shown holding moneybags?

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    My OH worked in Barclays in Water Street and he came across a pamplet with pictures giving the history of the building !, he aquired (hmmm) said leaflet and if I can find it I will have a good read and let you all in on what it says !

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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    Sounds symbolic of the importance of maritime trade to me, rather than specifically slavery.

    Would slaves ever be shown holding moneybags?
    I think it's another city myth az - spot on.
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  11. #41
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    There are people in this city who will tell you that every carved ship on an old building is a slave ship. Sadly, these demagogues seem to attract popular attention.

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    I think it is right to say that Liverpool was enriched in monetary terms by the slave trade but it was also at the time the most important port in the UK which meant its wealth came primarily from the movement of these goods through the port and city to around the country. The slave element was a part of this but by no means the majority. Ships were docking and unloading every day with an abundance of items if there was a slave ship every day within a short time Africa would have been empty (a bit like Poland )This came from other goods such as sugar,molasses ,tobacco,timber,wheat, etc.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by essexscouse View Post
    I think it is right to say that Liverpool was enriched in monetary terms by the slave trade but it was also at the time the most important port in the UK which meant its wealth came primarily from the movement of these goods through the port and city to around the country. The slave element was a part of this but by no means the majority. Ships were docking and unloading every day with an abundance of items if there was a slave ship every day within a short time Africa would have been empty (a bit like Poland )This came from other goods such as sugar,molasses ,tobacco,timber,wheat, etc.
    The name for it was the Triangle Trade - and its triangular nature ensured that the slavery element could always be seen as marginal, because the transport of slaves was kept to one side of that triangle, the side that didn't involve Liverpool directly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doh View Post
    The name for it was the Triangle Trade - and its triangular nature ensured that the slavery element could always be seen as marginal, because the transport of slaves was kept to one side of that triangle, the side that didn't involve Liverpool directly.
    Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice's 'advice' to the jury in ruling over the case of the Liverpool ship Zong in 1783 said:

    'The matter left to the jury was whether it was necessary that the slaves were thrown into the sea, for they had no doubt that the case of slaves was the same as if horses had been thrown overboard.'

    The assumption was that 'african' slaves were not human, though an increasing body of evidence suggested otherwise throughout the 1700's. The middle passage of the triangle ensured that normal 'decent' people need not come into contact with the Guinea trade - which presumably would have ceased sooner if they had?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Ressurecting another old thread - St Martin's Bank decorative door jambs - Terry Cavanagh writing in the Public Sculpture of Liverpool says:

    "The stone jambs are decorated with panels carved with an old man of the sea - noted the webbed fingers and 'Assyrian'-shaped webbed beard. He places his hands upon the heads of two back-to-back boys holding moneybags, anchors and ropes. Either side of the old man's bald head are dolphins"

    I don't think this has anything to do with slavery. Only the Town Hall freize [already mentioned by Chris] and the Street names, are [I think] the only references left in the city to slavery. The town/ city was perhaps was clinical in removing any past references, or reminders of the 'Guinea' trade.

    The 4th Custom House at the head of the Old Dock, which was still standing in 1826 carried negro heads on some of the key-stones. I assume this would be on the lintel above the window heads?

    Thomas Clarkson the abolitionist bought "Iron instruments used in this cruel traffic” from a Liverpool shop during one of his visits to the port. The details appeared in Clarkson’s History of the Abolition of the African Slave.
    There's a similar sculpture to the Martin's Bank sculptures on the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., among a series of relief sculptures showing Americans at Work, Past & Present.

    One of the panels in D.C. shows an African handing over an elephant's tusk for a bag of money. Some could choose to interpret that relief as showing the slave trade although to my mind it's part of an effort just to show commerce over the centuries, and so is appropriate for the type of scene you might want for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission building when it was built in the Art Deco period of the early Twentieth Century.

    Of course today such a depiction might not be "politically correct" both because of depiction of the ivory trade, now illegal, as well as the idea that some Africans made money off African resources, whether it be the gold, diamonds, ivory or, yes, the black gold of slavery.

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  16. #46
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Town Hall Frieze Panels

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    There's a similar sculpture to the Martin's Bank sculptures on the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

    One of the panels in D.C. shows an African handing over an elephant's tusk for a bag of money. Some could choose to interpret that relief as showing the slave trade although to my mind it's part of an effort just to show commerce over the centuries, and so is appropriate for the type of scene you might want for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission building when it was built in the Art Deco period of the early Twentieth Century.

    Of course today such a depiction might not be "politically correct" both because of depiction of the ivory trade, now illegal, as well as the idea that some Africans made money off African resources, whether it be the gold, diamonds, ivory or, yes, the black gold of slavery.
    Hi Chris - sorry, I must have missed your reply when you first posted it.

    Elephant's tusks [and head] appear on Liverpool Town Hall's frieze. They sit next to other African animals: bison, crocodile, camel, lion. And also, what appears to be an African child's head wearing a plume of ostrich feathers. The east elevation [and frieze] dates from 1754. So another 53 years until ban on Slavery took hold. These are undoubtedly symbols of the fruits of Liverpool commence at that time.

    The African child's head wearing the ostrich feathers is puzzling? Symbolically in Egypt, "ostrich feathers" have represented 'justice, righteousness and truth' which seems an odd message to put out considering the African trade. However, some panels have symbols of England in them - 'a spray of oak' in the lion panel [although this was installed much later, designed in 1792]. If the headdress was English inspired rather than African, the 'three ostrich feathers' could symbolise something more akin to the Prince of Wales' herald, which usually carried the words "Ich Dien" ["I serve"] beneath it?

    Can someone please post some photo's of the east facing Town Hall frieze panels? The side looking towards the museum. Thanks.



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  17. #47
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    Hi Dazza

    Thanks, Dazza. The African child's head with the ostrich plumes is similar to the head on a Barbados penny of 1788, which you can see in this URL from Bolton Museums and Archive Service:

    http://www.boltonmuseums.org.uk/coll...arbados-penny/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Dazza

    Thanks, Dazza. The African child's head with the ostrich plumes is similar to the head on a Barbados penny of 1788, which you can see in this URL from Bolton Museums and Archive Service:

    http://www.boltonmuseums.org.uk/coll...arbados-penny/

    Chris
    Wow, that's amazing Chris,

    The Barbados Penny [1788] carries the three ostrich feather plume [headdress to the slave] with "I Serve" written beneath. Most English people will recognise the German words "Ich Dien" meaning "I Serve" and are still printed on today's two-pence-piece which also carries the three ostrich feather plume. I'm now convinced this is the same symbolism as that displayed on Liverpool Town Hall frieze.

    Thanks for that.

    Daz

    EDIT: The Barbados Penny - they may have used the 'Prince of Wales' three ostrich feather plume to represent the highest level of service you could attain next to the crown itself, as monarch's rule and do not serve.

    IOW, the 'Prince of Wales' plume represents the highest office of service which has command over you, from which you must obey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Dazza

    Thanks, Dazza. The African child's head with the ostrich plumes is similar to the head on a Barbados penny of 1788, which you can see in this URL from Bolton Museums and Archive Service:

    http://www.boltonmuseums.org.uk/coll...arbados-penny/

    Chris
    An interesting link there,Chris!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissInformed View Post
    i couldnt believe she wanted to change Penny Lane!
    from the tourism aspect, it is such a sacred place for many people the world over!
    She didn't want to change Penny Lane when it was pointed out that the lane was named after Henry Penny. The stupid woman hadn't done her homework. She soon dropped it when it was pointed out who Henry Penny was.

  21. #51
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    Who is Henry Penny, Mickey?

    Forgive my ignorance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    Who is Henry Penny, Mickey?

    Forgive my ignorance!
    James Penny,I think he means!

  23. #53
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    Which is why she wanted to change it.
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    Yes but it doesn't look to me as if anyone produced any evidence that Penny Lane got its name from James Penny, even though that has been the assumption. It could be just a coincidence of names.

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