Stonewall Jackson, a once-enslaved African lived in Seaforth until 1926

Our recent research into a cook being flogged at sea for under-cooking Scouse took on a fascinating twist when we researched the owners of the ship Stuart & Douglas.

The owners of the ship Sea were Peter Stuart and Peter Douglas. Stuart lived at Elm House, Crosby Road South, Seaforth. From the early 1870s Peter Stuart gave a home to an African who had just been rescued from enslavement and brought to Liverpool on one of Stuart & Douglas’ ships. The man had been given the name Stonewall Jackson.

You can read the full story of the cook being flogged here but this is a summary. In 1855 a ship named Sea was in the River Bonny, Africa. The ship was there to collect a cargo of Palm Oil and was manned mostly by free African sailors named Kroomen. The cook (also a Black man) had prepared a dish of Scouse for Captain Clauston (actually Clouston) but it was not to his liking. As a punishment Clouston ordered him to be flogged up to three dozen times. In March 1856 the captain was taken to court and found guilty of assault.

Liverpool Mail – Saturday 15 March 1856. Image: British Newspapers Archive

Stonewall Jackson is freed from slavery and brought to Britain

In 1870 a British cruiser captured a ship carrying enslaved Africans and these were distributed amongst the British-owned ships in the area, once onboard they were free. As Stuart & Douglas had ships in the area several were taken by them. These free Africans were taken back to Liverpool and at least two lived at Elm House. One was given the name Stonewall Jackson (after the Confederate General). This account below is from a biography of Peter Stuart by his son Mazzini. (Note it does not appear in when the book was first published in 1920 but only from the 2nd edition)

At the time of the War between Abyssinia and England, a British cruiser off the coast of Zanzibar captured some Dhows filled with slaves. Stuart & Douglas at that time had several vessels chartered to the Government carrying elephants from India to Abyssinia. The captured slaves were distributed amongst the British vessels in the port, as once on board they were free. Amongst those taken on Stuart & Douglas’ ships were several men and boys.

On their arrival in England, Mrs. Peter Stuart, wife of the subject of this memoir, chose a very fine specimen of a man called Kidan, who acted as butler at Elm House ; also a boy, aged about 8 or 9 years, called Stonewall Jackson. It appears that the Captain of the ship gave the names of the American Generals who fought in the American Civil War to his human freight. Stonewall Jackson has been in the service of the Stuart family as page, butler and gardener for over 50 years.

There is an alternative account of how Stonewall came to Britain (we will return to this later):

The Harold (ship) traded at four ports during her thirteen-month voyage to the Congo, three men including the steward died of fever, but only thirty tons of palm oil was purchased, the rest of the cargo comprised ground-nuts, palm-kernels, India-rubber, copper-ore, ivory and coffee. Before the vessel sailed the tribal-chief at Ambrizette sent a slave boy aged about twelve on board to replace the steward, after it was agreed the boy would be returned from Liverpool. When the ship arrived at Liverpool, however, the master was reprimanded for not entering the boy on the Crew-List, even though the boy was nameless and could not understand English. At Liverpool the boy was cared-for by Peter Stuart, who named him Stonewall Jackson and employed him as a member of his household staff. (Mr Jackson became a British subject and was later employed as the butler. He married and was living at 7 Doric Street, Seaforth at the time of his death in 1926).

Mersey Maritime Research, 2007

Stonewall stayed in the service of the Stuart family for 50 years, employed first as a page, then a butler, valet and finally a gardener. He married and had at least three children. Stonewall later lived at 7 Doric Street, Seaforth and died in 1926.

Peter Stuart at Elm House

Peter Stuart’s father of the same name was a Genoese immigrant and had served in the Royal Navy under Horatio Nelson, he had fought in the Battle of Trafalgar. He then became a cooper in Liverpool. He was buried in Halewood. His son was known as the ‘Ditton Doctor’ and went to live in Farnworth.

Peter Stuart aged 26. Image: Credit

Peter moved to Seaforth circa 1861 and lived at Elm House on Crosby Road South. This is the house were Stonewall Jackson was employed:

About the year 1861 Peter Stuart purchased, from Edmund Molyneux, Elm House, Seaforth, which at that period was situated in the heart of the country, surrounded by fields to Miller’s Bridge. After purchasing Elm House he made considerable additions to it, and in 1868 he built a picture gallery from ideas suggested by Edwin Lone, R.A. The gallery is a fine piece of architecture, and measures 50 ft by 25 ft., and is 20 ft. high, and it contains many excellent examples of different types of work. The gallery has been much admired, and in the early (eighteen) seventies two others were built on similar lines, one by Peter Douglas and the other by Anthony Bower, at his house, Bowersdale, Seaforth.

Elm House, Seaforth. Image: Credit
The magnificent art gallery in Elm House. Image: Credit
Peter Stuart’s huge art collection was not confined to his gallery, the walls of the billiard room were equally as crowded. Image: Credit
Peter Stuart in his later life. Image: Credit
The location of the now demolished Elm House, and 7 Doric Street (top). Image ©Bygone Liverpool

In the 1870/80s terraced housing began to replace the mansion houses in semi-rural Seaforth. Stonewall took advantage of this opportunity and moved into nearby Doric Street.

On the north of the grounds of Elm House the new houses became Durham Road. Elm House survived a little longer and was finally demolished circa 1920/30s. The new houses that took its place were those lining the north side of Parker Avenue and two fronting Crosby Road South.

The site of Elm Hall, the house itself was directly behind the two later houses and the grounds went as far back as Rawson Road.

Stonewall Jackson in the Census records

We have been unable so far to locate in the records the African man named Kidan who was a butler at Elm House. The first appearance in a census of Stonewall (by that name) is 1881 when he is employed as a butler. His place of birth is shown as Zambessa, Africa (probably Zambessa – Zambezi). By 1891 he is shown as a Naturalized British Subject and is married. His wife is not living at the same house.

By 1901 he has moved to 7 Doric Street and is shown on the census as living with his wife Julia and three children Delia, Theresa and Marie.

The 2nd page relating to Elm House shows Stonewall as the Butler (Domestic) and that he was 22 so he was born circa 1859. He is unmarried and his birthplace is shown as Africa, Zanzibar.
By 1891 Stonewall is listed as a Valet and he is a Naturalized British Subject. In the ten years since the last census he has been married but his wife is living elsewhere. Image: Find My Past
The 1901 census shows Stonewall with his Liverpool-born wife wife Julia and their three children Delia, Theresa and Marie.
Image: Find My Past
7 Doric Street, Seaforth. Image: ©Bygone Liverpool
The site of Stonewall’s house is now in the middle of the parking area of modern housing. Image: ©Bygone Liverpool

Researching Liverpool’s history will often uncover stories of merchants involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It is a refreshing change to discover a story that tells of a Liverpool merchant in the post-abolition period giving refuge to a once-enslaved African.

Stonewall’s relationship with the Stuart family was likely an amicable one, he stayed with them for up to five decades – from 1870 until his death in 1926. For most of his life he had been a butler at the imposing mansion of the Stuart family but what did visiting guests make of him when he first arrived from Africa? As a young boy it is highly unlikely he could speak English so Stuart employed him first as a page, no doubt with an outfit that would befit Stuart’s status as a merchant and the grand surroundings of Elm Hall. Although Stonewall was free this role is an echo of the preceding century when the fashion for African servants would see enslaved children sold in auctions across Britain. No doubt Stuart’s guests would be suitably impressed with the story of the young enslaved boy freed by their dinner host.

Stonewall’s later years were spent as a gardener, tending to the large grounds and greenhouses at the house. Just a short walk away from his work he had a wife and three daughters waiting for him. Stonewall must have wondered what his life would have been like if he hadn’t been rescued. He also must have wondered what became of his family back in Africa. He was free but still separated and torn away from his own country.

Stonewall Jackson’s real name

Researching Stonewall’s family was difficult, initially no records seemed to exist for his marriage or the birth of his children. We knew he died in 1926 from the Mersey Maritime Research paper but no death record exists for Stonewall Jackson. Also confusing was the family’s omission from the last available census in 1911.

The breakthrough happened when we looked at the house in Doric Street in 1911. Instead of the family’s surname being Jackson they are recorded as Gyngalar. Was this Stonewall’s real name? With the knowledge that he changed his name (or more accurately went by two names) we could find his missing records.

The census of 1911 showing the family at 7 Doric Street under the name Gyngalar. Image: Find My Past

Marriage and children

Stonewall Jackson appears on the Electoral lists from 1921 to the year he died 1926 but from 1890 to 1915 he appears as Aricando Gyngalar of 7 Doric Street. In 1886 he married Julia Marie Clunan of Bootle. On the marriage certificate he is shown as Arakondo Garaloe.

The 1911 census included a category to list not only the number of children alive but those that had died ‘Born alive’. Stonewall told the enumerator that he had three children and none had died. In fact the records show he had five, two must have stillborn:

Arakondo 1886 (Died the same year)
Bedelia 1888 (Shortened to Delia on all the census records)
Agnes 1890 (Died the same year)
Theresa 1891
Mary 1892

Stonewall’s birthplace is shown in 1911 as Basutoland, Africa (present-day Lesotho).

The wife of Stonewall (or Arakondo) was Julia Marie Clunan who was born in Bootle, she was the daughter of Thomas and Bridget from Galway. Most of their children had names that were popular in Ireland.

In the 1871 census Julia is living with her family who appear as lodges at 16 Pleasant View, Bootle. Her father is a gardener and the other family living there are the Farley family, also from Ireland. Common to many census entries her name is misspelt and is shown as Cloonan.

1871 census. Image: Find My Past

In the 1881 census, 5 years before she married Stonewall she is shown as a 15 year old servant to the family of Daniel Ross Maries, a Chemist from Scotland living at 16 Irlam Road.

1881 census. Image: Find My Past

After Stonewall died in 1926 it is Julia Marie Jackson’s name that appears on the electoral lists.

The earliest record of Stonewall in England?

In the 1871 census there is a 14 year old African from Zanzibar who is employed as a Page. As Stonewall was recorded as being 22, and census documents often gave an approximate age, this could be Stonewall under his earlier name.

The name is very hard to read, this is made harder by the overlapping of the two Zs of Stuart’s son Mazzine on the line above.

An enlargement of the name in the 1871 census.
We have retouched the name so the Zs of Mazzine do not overlap. ©Bygone Liverpool

Find My Past transcribes this as Alphonso Montbrook, Ancestry on the other hand has decided it says H. Kauss Spontbrook. Both surnames seem unlikely, and neither appear anywhere else in the records. Is his first name a variant of Aricando or Arakondo?

On the 1939 register Delia (shown as Jackson) is the only person remaining at 7 Doric Street, she is a single and her occupation is a dressmaker. We have been unable to find any records for her sisters Theresa and Marie who were likely to have married and left home. Delia moved to Ormskirk and died in 1968 aged 81. Her death certificate shows that she had returned to her original name – Bedelia Gyngala.

The 1939 register showing Delia Jackson alone at 7 Doric Street. Image: Findmypast

Stonewall’s rescue and life before Seaforth

To discover more about Stonewall’s early life in Africa we must return to the two available accounts of how he came to England.

The first account is by Mazzine Stuart, son of Peter. This says that a British Cruiser captured some Dhows off the coast of Zanzibar during the war between Abyssinia and England, this would date it as 1868 (actually 1870 see below). Stuart & Douglas had several vessels charted to Abyssina carrying elephants from India. The Dhows had enslaved people onboard and these were free as soon as they set foot on the British ship. Two of these men were taken back to Seaforth, Kidan a boy of 8 or 9 and Stonewall Jackson who was 8 or 9.

An alternative account of Stonewall’s rescue

In contrast to this story is the story told by Mersey Maritime Research in 2007. That says that the Stuart & Douglas ship Harold was on a thirteen-month voyage to the Congo and three of the crew died of fever. Before the ship left for Britain a tribal-chief at Ambrizette sent an enslaved boy to replace the Steward and this was Stonewall Jackson.

Thanks to the research of the Liverpool Nautical Research Society we know that log of the ship Harold actually records the event as happening in 1870:

24th Mav, 1870 (achored off Ambrizette) Received on board a Niger boy as steward for the voyage Ambrizette to Liverpool, and back to Ambrizete again.

Liverpool Nautical Research Society

The Harold had left Liverpool in March 1869:-

The Harold lay at Liverpool for three months after her final Brocklebank voyage before purchase by Stuart & Douglas in March 1869 for their palm-oil trade. Stuart & Douglas owned a cooperage and warehouse in Bridgewater Street, trading hulks at Bonny, Brass and New Calabar in the Niger Delta, and a fleet of sailing vessels trading from Queen’s Dock to the Guinea Gulf, India and Australia. The Harold commenced loading cargo on 26th July 1869. The cargo for trading included haberdashery, pottery, ironware, muskets, cases of bottled gin and casks of rum. Corrugated iron and nails were loaded to build a factory, and weighing machines, a hoop-iron and shooks to form casks were carried to weigh and transport the homeward cargo.

Liverpool Nautical Research Society
The Stuart & Douglas warehouse at 66 Bridewater Street survives.
Image: Roy Hughes, Wikipedia

Which story is correct?

The census records for Stonewall give different places of birth. This is likely to be because when he was first rescued he didn’t speak English so his birthplace was given as the place he was rescued, later when he could speak the language he could give his real place of birth.

We know that in 1911 Stonewall gave his birthplace as both Basutoland and on another record Zanzibar. If we presume that it was Basutoland in South East Africa where he was born, how can we account that a Royal Navy Ship travelling to Abyssina could have picked him up, or how he ended up in Ambrizette on the west coast of Africa?

Maybe Mazzine was mistaken or perhaps the British cruiser was heading back Abyssinia and stopped at Zanzibar and picked up enslaved people in the Dhows there? It then went around Africa on it’s return to Britain and dropped off the enslaved people on the West Coast. The crew may have given Stonewall and Kidan to the tribal chief. He then gave him to the crew of the Harold. This would explain why Stonewall is also recorded as being from Zanzibar as this was where he was picked up by the Royal Navy. The ship Harold also sailed to Lagos in the 1870s, close to the area where Stuart & Douglas traded for Palm Oil.

These locations are shown below on this modern map of Africa. It is clear from this map that the locations represent a course around Africa starting in Abyssina and finishing in Lagos, where the Stuart & Douglas ship would have departed.

  1. Abyssina (where the Royal navy ship may have been)
  2. Zanzibar (likely to be where Stonewall was rescued)
  3. Batusoland (where Stonewall was born)
  4. Ambrizette (where the tribal leader gave Stonewall to the crew of the ship Harold)
  5. Lagos (Where the Harold sailed to in the 1870s, close to Bonny where S&D traded)
A modern map of Africa showing the possible route that Stonewall took before coming to England. ©Bygone Liverpool

Slavery in Zanzibar at the time of Stonewall’s rescue

The Royal Navy had established the West Africa Squadron immediately after abolition in 1807 to enforce any British participation in the Atlantic slave trade. Between 1808 and 1860 it captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans.

From 1858 the navy had turned its attention to the Arab slave trade of the east coast of Africa where for centuries huge numbers of enslaved people from the interior of Africa were sold in Arabia, Persia and India.

In 1822 Britain had already signed the Moresby Treaty with Said bin Sultan Al-Busaidi to limit the Indian Ocean Slave Trade. This barred the sale of slaves to Christians of any nationality. It was not until 1876 that the sale of slaves was finally prohibited after pressure from Britain. Slavery was legal in Zanzibar itself until 1897.

Of all the forms of economic activity on Zanzibar, slavery was the most profitable and the vast majority of the blacks living on the island were either slaves taken from East Africa or the descendants of slaves from East Africa. The slaves were brought to Zanzibar in dhows, where many as possible were packed in with no regard for comfort or safety. Many did not survive the journey to Zanzibar. Upon reaching Zanzibar, the slaves were stripped completely naked, cleaned, had their bodies covered with coconut oil, and forced to wear gold and silver bracelets bearing the name of the slave trader.

History of Zanzibar
Vessels used in the Zanzibar Slave Trade : Bugula or Dhow 1873

Two years before Stonewall and Kidan were taken from the Dhow East African enslaved people were released from a dhow by a Royal Navy ship in Zanzibar HMS Daphne. Amazingly photographs exist and show just how young some of them were.

East African enslaved people released from a dhow by HMS Daphne, 1 November 1868 (FO 84/1310) Image: The National Archives

Having been the largest slaving nation, Britain became a determined abolitionist power after 1833, using the Royal Navy to stop ships suspected of being slavers. These photographs were taken about 1868, off the east coast of Africa. They form part of a Report from John Armstrong Challice, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, working to abolish slavery in Zanzibar. Zanzibar did not abolish slavery until 1897.

The National Archives, East African enslaved people released from a dhow by HMS Daphne, 1 November 1868

Rescued East African slaves taken from a dhow aboard HMS Daphne, a British naval ship used to prevent the transportation of enslaved people. They were freed from Arab slave traders between November 1st and 4th of 1868. The HMS Daphne was sailing along the coast of Zanzibar to enforce a treaty with the Sultan of Zanzibar that said he was supposed to control the slave traders. Instead he was profiting from it. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended slavery in the British Empire and the Royal Navy started anti-slavery operations some years before, mainly targeting Portuguese and Spanish ships.

Rare Historical Photos, Rescued slaves crowd the deck of the HMS Daphne, 1868

In the 1870s and 1880s, HMS London was another of the Royal Navy ships that rescued enslaved people and some of these event were also photographed:

Slaves on deck of H.M.S. London, Zanzibar. Image: Credit
Albumen print photograph showing slaves rescued from Arab dhows on the deck of HMS ‘London’, the depot ship at Zanzibar. Image: Credit
HMS London, 1881.

The Liverpool Trade in Palm Oil

Stuart & Douglas’s original business was importing Palm Oil from Africa, by 1852 the company was the second largest importer in Britain. Stuart had been a cooper making casks for the Palm Oil Business. Peter Douglas had been a doctor and later an an agent for W. A. & G. Maxwell & Company where he gained experience of the Palm Oil business. When Stonewall was rescued it was long after Britain had abolished the Slave Trade but the roots of the business and the mechanics of how it functioned was a legacy of the trading links between European merchants and African slave merchants.

The Slave Trade Act achieved its Royal Assent 25 March 1807 and became enforceable 1 May 1807. The Act made it illegal for any British subject (or any person residing within the United Kingdom, or in any of the Colonies, Territories, or Dominions) to participate in the African slave trade. Penalties included slave ships being seized by the Crown, and fines of £100 for each enslaved person held.

The Act also made it unlawful for slave ships to be insured, which previously indemnified the venture against loss.

The potential risk of financial ruin to owners was highlighted in the infamous insurance case which involved Liverpool ship, Zong owned by the Gregson syndicate. In 1781, its crew murdered more than 130 enslaved Africans by throwing them overboard in a fraudulent attempt to recoup losses, at £30 per head, from their insurance company.

Merchants, after abolition, instead of exploiting new trade opportunities turned their gaze back to the familiar cargoes that had previously supplemented their pre-1807 voyages.

Slave ships had often brought back small quantities of goods from Africa, especially ivory, but even at the height of the slave trade some merchants were trading directly with West Africa. For instance, in 1786 the Sir Roger Curtis returned from Gabon with 150 tons of barwood, 25 tons of ebony, 7 tons of ivory, 7 puncheons of palm oil, 1500 lb of beeswax, 32 oz. of gold and three puncheons of pepper.

Liverpool and the Slave Trade, by Anthony Tibbles

And it perhaps comes as no surprise that those who had previously fostered lines of communication and trade channels should prosper most from the new law.

It was former slavers who developed Liverpool’s West African trade after 1807. Drake shows that of the seventeen African traders in Liverpool in 1809 all were former slavers. Figures like James Penny [Jnr], Jonas Bold, William Taylor, J. & J. Aspinall, George Case and John and Thomas Tobin all former slavers were the pioneers of this legitimate commerce.

Liverpool and Africa in the Nineteenth Century: The Continuing Connection
British ships taking onboard palm oil at ‘the anchorage off the town of the Bonny River’. Image © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London)
Palm oil extraction – depicted in this 1845 watercolour. Image © Édouard Auguste Nousveaux | National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Update – a photograph of Stonewall Jackson

We are indebted to Lauren J Smith, a descendant of Stonewall, who contacted us via Twitter with this amazing news.

Thank you so much for your research, my mum has tried herself to explore our tree, but as you mentioned, it has been quite challenging. We have this photo of Stonewall. We follow down his Daughter Marie’s line, my Nan is called Daphne.

Photograph of Stonewall Jackson ©Lauren J Smith

Thanks too to Clare Smith, Lauren’s mother, who gave us the following information on Stonewall’s children:

Theresa emigrated to America and had one child, Marie moved to Peckham and had my mum Daphne and as you already know Aunt Delia stayed at Doric Street.

Seeing a photograph of Stonewall is a very rewarding conclusion to this research and we are so grateful to Lauren and her family for sharing it with us. What an incredible image it is too!

Lauren also informed us that when Mazzini Stuart published his book Life of Peter Stuart The Ditton Doctor he sent a copy to Stonewall with the following letter. His touching message shows just how much Stonewall meant to the family.

©Lauren J Smith

Did the bicycle belong to Stonewall or was it a prop belonging to the photography studio? If it was the latter you would expect to see more portraits featuring it, which does not seem to be the case. An interesting point is the length of Stonewalls legs compared to the distance between the seat and the pedals, it’s doubtful he would have been able to reach them, so if it was his own bicycle it would have been very difficult to ride.

In an attempt to date the photograph we looked at the model of bicycle Stonewall is holding. After researching different models we thought it may be an Transitional Velocipede and dated from somewhere between 1870 when he arrived here (he’d be 13 or 14) to 1874 (he’d be about 18).

For confirmation we contacted bicycle expert Colin Kirsch from the Online Bicycle Museum:

I think your estimate of time is correct, ie 1870 to 1874.
But it’s not possible to identify a maker of the bicycle, as these are hard to identify even if we have one in front of us. Britain was the leading country for making velocipedes like this. The US had already stopped making them by then. The ‘Tyres’ are metal band. There were over 100 manufacturers in GB alone.

Colin Kirsch from the Online Bicycle Museum:

Liverpool’s ‘Velocipede Mania’

Below is an article from the Liverpool Daily Post in March 1869 concerning the menace of ‘The Velocipede Mania’. It sounds very much like the modern complaints about bicycles and electric scooters.

Liverpool Daily Post – Saturday 13 March 1869 Image: British Newspaper Archives

In January of that same year as that article the The Liverpool Velocipede Club was founded – the first cycling club to be formed in Britain.

1869 Jan 27 Liverpool Mercury – A Novel Tournament
We hear that a number of gentlemen, members of the Liverpool Velocipede Club, are making arrangements for a tournament on bicycles, to be held in the Gymnasium. The programme is to include tilting at the ring, throwing the javelin, broadsword contests, and engagements with lances. On Saturday evening, it is intended to illustrate the power of the bicycle over obstacles — in other words, to ride a steeplechase.
Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury – Saturday 13 March 1869. British Newspaper Archive

The image below shows a bicycle tournament, held by the Liverpool Velocipede Club, at the Myrtle-Street Gymnasium, Liverpool, April 1869.

Engraving of a Bicycle Tournament, held by the Liverpool Velocipede Club, at the Myrtle-Street Gymnasium, Liverpool, April 1869. The image shows competitors in the ’tilting’ event, trying to spear a ring using a lance. Each competitor was allowed 10 tilts at the ring; R.W. Leyland winning the event by successfully spearing the ring 6 times out of 10.

A description of the event has been transcribed by the excellent website on John Hulley, the organiser of the first National Olympian Games in 1866 and the man who introduced the Velocipede into Liverpool:

1869 Apr 19 Liverpool Mercury – A Novel Form of Tournament
Professor Faraday, steaming up Hampstead-hill on a four-wheeled velocipede is now a familiar figure of history. Not to speak it disrespectfully, Faraday knew much more than a thing or two; but neither the circle of his knowledge than that of his speculation comprised the two-wheeled velocipede, now called the bicycle. Paris has been bicycle mad some time; London is getting into that condition of enthusiasm, which is not far from bicycle madness; and Liverpool is now heavily bitten with the bicycle mania. A machine that will enable a man to travel eight miles an hour instead of the regulation four, which can be got out of the animal known as “Shanks’ pony,” or the vehicle called familiarly the “marrowbone stage,” is certainly regarded in the light of a boon. For some time past, Mr Hulley has, with the assistance of professors competent in the bicycle exercise, and aided and abetted by a certain velocipede club (Mr P. B. Drinkwater president, and Mr J. M. Caw secretary), been ministering his best to satisfy what is not correctly called a mania. The gymnasium affords splendid opportunities for the exercise in the inanimate horse named the bicycle, and accordingly the gymnasium is to be the arena next Saturday, for a velocipede tournament, in the course of which gentlemen mounted on bicycles will tilt at other gentlemen on bicycles, with long lances, from which must result in a considerable quantity of tumbling about of a laughable character. Tilting at the rink, throwing the javelin, and sundry matters of the same kind will be included in the programme. After the wind and limbs of the bicycle men are exhausted, the attention of the spectators will be engaged by the members at the Liverpool Fencing Club, under the direction of Mr Anderson, a master of arms. Their programme will comprise an assault-at-arms on foot, including fencing, broadsword exercise, sabre versus bayonet Cavalry sword practice. No doubt the occasion will be remembered as one of the most interesting in the annals of the gymnasium.

1st June 1878: Proud owners of Penny-farthings gather in the centre of Liverpool before cycling in a parade to the North of England Monster Meet of Bicyclists at Sefton Park. Thirty-three clubs from the north of England and north Wales were represented at the Monster Meet as well as unattached cyclists. Some of the clubs wore distinctive uniform. Later that evening there was a dinner for a charge of 4 shillings. It is striking how quickly cycling had caught on and the number of clubs that had been formed within 11 years almost to the day of the invention and sale of the first bicycle.
Image and text:

Bygone Liverpool would like to thank the Liverpool Nautical Research Society for their research regarding Stuart & Douglas and their information on Stonewall Jackson’s rescue. Thanks again to Lauren J Smith and her family for the photograph of Stonewall and the information on his family.

You are free to share the information but please credit the site and supply a link to the original post.

5 thoughts on “Stonewall Jackson, a once-enslaved African lived in Seaforth until 1926

  1. Wow, thank you for taking the time to research my great grandfather, I had some information but this is fascinating. My plan had been to research his journey to England once I retired and now it’s all here. Thank you again, Marie’s grandaughter.


    1. Hi Claire, it’s a pleasure. Stonewall’s story had us fascinated as soon as we discovered it. We never dreamt we’d find descendants of him, never mind to see such an amazing photo!
      We struggled with his family history because his name changed so much. Hopefully now we can can take it further. Thank you.


      1. My pleasure, if you would like me to send you the information I have just let me know, my mum, Daphne, is in her 90’s now and sadly dementia is taking hold but I know that Theresa emigrated to America and had one child, Marie moved to Peckham and had my mum and as you already know Aunt Delia stayed at Doric Street.


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