Premier Unveils Plaque Honouring Mary Prince

June 23, 2011

Yesterday [June 22] Premier Paula Cox participated in a celebratory reception at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque honouring the life of Mary Prince, an abolitionist and author who lived near the site of Senate House [University of London].

Unveiling Mary Prince Plaque

The unveiling was hosted and organized by London based Nubian Jak Community Trust who have embarked on a number of activities to fund-raise for the Mary Prince plaque.

The plaque, 22 inches in diameter and made from solid bronze, was temporarily installed at Senate House [University of London] in October 2007.

The unveiling on Wednesday by the Premier Cox signified the establishment of a permanent position at the Senate House [University of London] in honour of Ms. Prince.

Those attending the unveiling ceremony included Ms. Moira Stewart of the BBC and granddaughter of Dr. E. F. Gordon, local historians, representatives of Camden Council and students of the University of London.

Mary Prince was a Bermudian slave who published her autobiography, “The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave“, which is the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in England.

She was born in Brackish Pond [now known as Devonshire Marsh] in Bermuda in 1788. Her parents were both slaves: her father was ‘owned’ by Frances and David Trimmingham and her mother ‘owned’ by Charles Myners. She was later sold, and taken to Turks and Caicos, and later the U.K.

Of being a slave, Mary Prince wrote, “Oh the horrors of slavery! – How the thought of it pains my heart! But the truth ought to be told of it; and what my eyes have seen I think it is my duty to relate; for few people in England know what slavery is.”

“I have been a slave – I have felt what a slave feels, and I know what a slave knows; and I would have all the good people in England to know it too, that they may break our now it too, that they may break our chains, and set us free.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Wonderful way to mark history ! Mark gave an excellent interview with the UK media !

  2. Heather Stines-Brangman says:

    My name is Heather Stines-Brangman.
    I always wondered what happened to the portion of a narrative of Mary Prince’s book that was recorded here in Bermuda in 2006 using my voice. I didn’t have an opportunity to know if my recording was included with the original plaque and whether if it was simply stored in the archives. It would be nice to know that a Bermudian’s voice with a Bermudian accent was heard by Bermudians. I was sent a formal letter from the government thanking me for my rendering of short portion of Mary Prince’s book. It was an honor to be chosen and to know that my daughter Noelle will have something for her to be proud of. I hoped that she might have the opportunity to hear the reading and know my voice. It’s nice to know that a Bermudian was the first to save the recording for posterity.