Recent Comments and News about "And The Children's Teeth..."


“For he looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God” - Hebrews 11-10.

St James Mission, Colegrove

It seems that Cecil Hodgson, the grandson of Adam Hodgson, went out to California about 1893 and bought 5 acres of land from Senator Cole on which to lay out a lemon orchard. In 1895 he became a charter member of the Cahuenga Valley Lemon Growers Association. In 1896 he was a founder member of a Hollywood golf club whose foundation was prompted by Cole’s youngest daughter, Grace, following a trip to New York. She married R. H. Jones whose own lemon grove was not far from Hodgson’s. In the same year Hodgson helped found an Episcopalian Mission in Hollywood which first met in Cole’s house. Cole gave land both to build and to fund their chapel. Cecil Hodgson was the largest contributor ($500) to the fund to build the St James Mission Chapel, pictured above. It was consecrated in 1898 and stood on Vine Street, near Willoughby. The chapel was attended in the main by the many Scots, English and Canadian immigrants who came to the valley to raise lemons. Many parishioners were residents of Sunset Boulevard or lived to the north of it and had to be driven to church in a four-in-hand Tally-ho. And so the St James Chapel was soon superseded, much against Cole’s wishes, by St Stephens on Hollywood Boulevard as the more convenient location.

The passage of scripture quoted above, which was used at the consecration of the chapel, concerns the faith of Abraham in leaving the land of his fathers and going to a new country in obedience to the call of God to build a spiritual kingdom. This is perhaps not what springs immediately to mind in relation to Hollywood. But it was certainly apposite to its early days under the influence of Cornelius Cole and Harvey Wilcox. However, the truth is I have no idea why Hodgson went out to California to set up as a lemon grower. Speculatively Hodgson and Jones went out together. Jones may have been the son of a Liverpool rice merchant of Sefton and Horton Grange, Cheshire. What induced them to go, I have not discovered. Nor have I found, as yet, any complete pieces of his poetry. As mentioned below, two pieces appeared in an anthology of Californian poets which was illustrated by Don Blanding. Glimpses of this colourful character can be found here and here. But take heed how you click that mouse for you are about to be spun out of this website at quite a tangent!

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The Hollywood sign in California

Scarthwaite - "The Hollywod Connection"

Yes, that Hollywood! Surprisingly there is a connection between Adam Hodgson's country house in Caton, Near Lancaster, which he named Scarthwaite and the district of Los Angeles known as Hollywood. Adam Hodgson had 9 children who survived to their adult years. Emily Lucy (b. 1826) Adam Henry (b. 1827), Thomas Edward (b.1827), Elizabeth Tylston (b. 1830), Frederick (b. 1833), Wilberforce (b. 1834), Edward Hornby (b. 1836), Reginald (b. 1841), and Evelyn Gisborne (b. 1847). Wilberforce died in 1861, thus 8 children inherited under Adam Hodgson's will. Following the 2nd bankruptcy of Edward Hornby and the suit, Hodgson v. Fox, the family became dispersed. Only Canon Thomas Edward Hodgson ever married and he had two children, Cecil E. C. Hodgson and Ethel Maria Hodgson. All of Thomas Edward's siblings predeceased him except Adam Henry who lived until 1907 and they all seem to have left the greater part of their inheritance to the surviving siblings - with the exception of Edward Hornby - the "black sheep". Thus when Thomas Edward died his children inherited the greater part of Adam Hodgson's wealth. Ethel Maria lived quietly it seems in Torquay for a while before removing to London where she lived in a ladies "club" - St Andrews Club in Mortimer Street, London, run by Edith Debenham. Cecil meanwhile emigrated to Hollywood, California, in 1890 where it seems he became a lemon grower. After inheriting his father's wealth in 1897 he became a member of the Hollywood "smart set" around H. J. Whitley the founder of Hollywood. There seem to have been a number of English ex-pats in this group for some social activities featured cricket and rounders. In 1900 he married Francis Roberts of Sausalito. In 1907 Adam Henry remembered him in his will, referring to him as Cecil Hodgson of Scarthwaite, Hollywood, Los Angeles Co., California. So Cecil Hodgson was well aware of where his money came from. In 1905 he sold "The Hodgson Acreage", his 13 acre "home place", on the corner of Fountain Avenue and Patti Street for $24,000. After that he seems to have lived on Franklin Avenue at 878 West, later 7268 Franklin Avenue. They had at least one child, Gerald Arthur Champneys Hodgson. After the death of his wife in 1922, Cecil Hodgson, who was by this time living in Santa Monica, became something of a poet who was published quite frequently in various magazines and in at least one anthology - Land of gold (Tierra de oro) : an anthology of contemporary poetry by California writers published in 1934. So that's the "Hollywood Connection" - from Scarthwaite, Caton, to Scarthwaite, Hollywood!

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Mrs Elizabeth Lightbody Miss Elizabeth Lightbody

Tim Paine has kindly sent me further family portraits of Mrs Elizabeth Lightbody and her eldest daughter Elizabeth who would become the wife of Thomas Hodgson and whose poetic epitaph is in S. Paul's Church, Caton. They appear to have been painted in the 1770's. Copyright belongs to Jenny Smith. Larger versions can be seen in the photo viewer on the Home Page. David Sekers tells me that a recent publication by University of Nebraska Press John James Audubon's Journal of 1826 contains some new information about Adam Hodgson's immediate family. Audubon visited Liverpool in 1826 and met many prominent people having carried with him from New Orleans an introduction by the cotton broker Vincent Nolte. In Liverpool he met the Rathbones and Adam Hodgson among others and in Manchester the Greg family. According to Audubon, Adam Hodgson's sister Elizabeth was a quaker and his sister Agnes, a poet. The former seems another surprising sidelight on the religious beliefs of the family. As to the latter no-one seems to know of any poems of hers that have survived or whether any were ever published.

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Book Icon

In view of the revisions required following on from Comments for 03/01/2012 including the bankruptcies of Edward Hornby Hodgson and the Chancery suit Hodgson v Fox I have decided to cut my losses for the time being and release the current verion of "And the Children's Teeth..." pending the necessary revisions which will take some time. It is in Kindle format - I will try to post a "plain vanilla" html version at some point for those who might prefer this. On the same page you will find an "extra" - a play based on the 1832 debates in the Liverpool Amphitheatre.

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A Headstone in Shetland
ELH Memorial Inscription

The text is from Revelation 21 : 4. From the late 1870’s until her death in 1894 Adam Hodgson’s eldest daughter Emily Lucy lived in a tiny cottage in Heddle’s Court on Commercial Street in Lerwick. The cottage is illustrated here in Shetlopedia. This was a far cry from the comfort and wealth of Everton & Scarthwaite. The reasons for her retreat into comparative obscurity and poverty stem from the case of Hodgson v Fox which was tried in the Court of Chancery following the death of Adam Hodgson’s widow, Emily Catherine Hodgson. In 1875 her son Edward Hornby Hodgson went bankrupt. The shock may have been too much for his mother who died within a week of hearing the news. In 1869 Edward Hornby had borrowed £500 from his mother’s estate at 5% interest. Nothing was ever repaid. Emily Catherine appointed as her executors her sons Adam Henry and Edward Hornby, and George Townshend Fox. Adam Hodgson’s residual estate was administered by two executors Emily Catherine (now deceased) and George Townshend Fox. Obviously two of these executors could not act, Emily Catherine and Edward Hornby because he was a bankrupt. Fox tried to withhold Edward Hornby’s debt from his inheritance. The beneficiaries in the person of the other remaining executor opposed this but in taking Fox to court they allowed the creditors of Edward Hornby and the Commissioners in Lunacy for two of Adam Hodgson’s children who were considered lunatics to join the case. Frederick Hodgson had long been considered a “lunatic” but nevertheless seemed to live mostly at home until Adam Hodgson’s death. Reginald Hodgson seems to have suffered from a breakdown following his bankruptcy in 1869. Fox, on behalf of the estate, lost his case. It was quite wrong to retain Edward Hornby’s debt as it in effect made the estate a preferential creditor in his bankruptcy. The whole estate was then sold up under the direction of the Court of Chancery and the expenses of the court and the various legal teams all had to be met from the estate. As a result the family seem to have split asunder. The youngest, Evelyn Gisborne Hodgson went to Australia, Adam Henry and Bessie retreated to lodgings in Bath. Edward Hornby, by now the black sheep of the family, to lodgings in London and Emily Lucy to Lerwick. The reasons behind her choice are obscure. It seems that she knew Elizabeth Spence who was the daughter of a Lerwick Merchant and about two years older than Emily Lucy. Some years later Elizabeth Spence endowed a stained glass window in St Columba’s church in Lerwick. Other than that her connections with Lerwick remain obscure. My thanks to Janice Halcrow for her kind assistance in putting together the Shetland aspects of this story.

“as the Arabian Wizard's money turned to leaves, and that no good ever came of it, even unto the third and fourth generations, until it was wasted and gone.”

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St James

News from St James in the City: I have been very remiss about reporting events at St James - mea culpa.
In April this year St James was awarded £407,434 by English Heritage which meant they required another £100,000 to begin work on the roof.
In August they were awarded £40,000 from the National Churches Trust and it seems they now require about £27,000 to reach the required total of £535k. Work is expected to begin in the new year. There are also developments to the St James Heritage Quarter Project which are to be announced shortly.

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Capt. William Woodville Sr.

Progress has been slow on putting together the next revision of “And the Children’s Teeth..” One reason has been my stumbling upon or being alerted to considerable new information. Having made good forward progress over the summer updating with new material arising from my correspondence with David Sekers and Tim Paine, plus some new material put together on Adam Hodgson’s life, I was suddenly thrown right back to Chapter Four. I recently read “The Letters of Thomas Attwood Digges” (Elias, R. H., Finch, E. D. USC Press 1982). This shed some new light on the activities of Samuel Hartley and Miles Barber. As a taster here are Digges’ thoughts on Samuel Hartley given late in life after Hartley had sued Digges for the recovery of a debt.

“I had a visiting & political intimacy (some years before & during my Agency business in London for American prisoners) with this S. Hartley while a Linen Draper in York Strt. Covent Garden, afterwards as Hartley & Francis also Linen Drapers, and as Hartley & Barber City Merchants trading to Africa India "&"ca. Barber residing abroad for the purpose of covering "&" as joint owners of Ships under false colours "&" false oaths during the later periods of the Revolutionary War.—My acquaintance with him was made thro his namesakes, very different men, no relatives of His & very amiable Gentlemen, David Hartley who made the Peace, "&"c Colol. Hartley of Hampshire. This Samuel Hartley is as sharp, trickey, "&" vile a rogue as came under my acquaintance. I have been witness to several of his scape gallows tricks, and I will narrate one, in which I am implicated too much myself, but I have the solace to say that I was (uninterestedly as to pecuniary profits) doing service to my Country and obtained the thanks of the best Man then in it for what I did."

“It was usual, at this period of the War, and at times extremely irk- some "&" troublesome to me (while acting a critical part in London) for several of the American Prisoners to bribe the Centinels, or breake prison "&" fly to me to get over to Ostend, Holland "&"ca. And I was armd with printed blank protections for them, "&" other Gentlemen passing homewards, written in four different languages "&" signed by the Ministers, which in case of capture would secure their persons "&" Baggage "&"c: I gave such pass’s cheerfully & gratis to several Gentlemen wishin[g] to get home... and to five or six Boston Citizens & Captains who jointly with Captain Belt of Queen Ann purchased a Brig in Lon- don with a plan to take regular Convoy for New York but with intention to run into Delaware or Chesapeake.—My then intimacy with Hartley induced me to mention this, among the treasonable rogues He knew I had seen, of giving passports to escaping Prisoners which was nothing short of Treason.—He immediately struck upon making advantages or profits on it:—said he would Ship on board that brig 11 or 1200 Guis. worth of Articles most wanted in the American Army- Soldiers Cloathing, Blankets, Tent Linens Hosiery "&"ca. provided I would recommend them into safe hands in this Country—that with- out any advance from me as to the venture or outfit I should receive half profits on their Sales "&"ca. "&"ca. The Cargo was so consigned to Ridley "&" Pringle at Baltme. or if put into the Delaware to Conyngham "&" Nesbit Phi1ada.-—They sailed "&"c attended the British Convoy "&" trade to our Coasts, But the Boston Captains (who had also property on board) forced Capt. Belt into Boston "&" they all got safe "&" to an extraordinary high marked, some selling for 17. 18. "&" to 20- for one of first Cost "&" none under 1200 pr. Ct. The first news we had of the Brig was remittance from Ridley to Hartley of the first Cost amount in our Congress Bills on Grand the Paris Banker; and in some few months after He receivd the full amount of the greatest sales on Dry Goods I believe ever made in America. Yet so rascally did he behave, that I got not a stiver from his promise; and He even ultimately sued me on a loose money lending account of some 70 or £8o. which I had at times borrowed! !—Nay he was so profligate as to make Insurance at Loyds to recover his outfit, and I believe attempted "&" did receive the Sum insured after it was proved that the Brig had been forced by its passengers into an American port – So much for a London Merchant!”

Most recently I have been in touch with a correspondent in Arkansas who is a descendent of Captain William Woodville whose miniature is shown above and, who, you may remember, prepared the first definitive chart of the Isles de Los probably during a voyage financed by Miles Barber. It turns out that he too became involved with Samuel Hartley in the 1780’s and – as another taster – this is how he described one voyage made jointly with Hartley in a letter advertising his skills in getting consignments into the French colony of San Domingue to Roger James a Bristol slave merchant.

Woodville states that he sailed from Liverpool to Angola in 1783 to purchase “upwards of 400 slaves” and that he had contracted with Samuel Hartley of London to deliver and sell the entire cargo and the vessel to Hartley in St Thomas. On arriving in St Thomas he found letters from Hartley “consigning the farther operation of the voyage”. He was ordered to change his flag, “take Imperial Papers, a new Crew of Flemings & to proceed to Cape Francais in St Domingo and there dispose of the Slaves to the best advantage & which accordingly did & remained above a year in the French part of St Domingo where I received another Cargo of Slaves after I had sold my own Cargo and remitted their proceeds. Being thus encouraged to continue my commerce with that colony I went I went to France and caused myself to be naturalized a French subject going through all the proper forms, having my Letter Patent of naturalization enregistered in the Parliament of Rouen where I was received and acknowledged as a Denizen.”

I will make a longer post about the colourful life of the Liverpool slave trader William Woodville, and the collection of charts called “The African Pilot” in which his map of the Isles de Los appeared, in the near future – my thanks to the Arkansas correspondent for all the copious information about the history of the Woodville family.

Even more recently I have received a contribution from a correspondent in the Gambia regarding the disposition of the Gambian National Monument comprising James Fort and Related Sites. I shall post this new information shortly on the “Letters from Yanimarew” page.

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"In Search of Yanimarew". An account of a visit to the River Gambia from where Thomas Hodgson launched his career in the Liverpool Slave Trade.

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St James

News from St James in the City: Last November the marquees for worship in the church were removed to allow the builders in to conduct emergency repairs to protect the fabric of the building and to survey the building’s structural stability prior to submitting a new grant proposal to English Heritage. The congregation returned following the inspection of the roof in January. St James’ now has the support of the Liverpool City Council and of the Diocese of Liverpool for the regeneration of St James and the establishment of a St James Heritage Quarter and is the nominated site for Britain’s National Memorial to the Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and African Garden of Remembrance.

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In Search of Yannemaru

Tioli recently mounted an expedition to find Yannemaru - the slave factory where Thomas Hodgson acted as the African agent for Miles Barber. A full account of the trip will be posted here eventually. On the way I met a number of delightful and intriguing people. One person I was greatly honoured to meet was Gambia's most innovative kora player Tata Dindin Jobarteh. By way of an appetiser here are two videos of Tata I found on You Tube. The first is Bitillo and the second Kanake in which students of history may recognise one or two scenes. Enjoy!

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Portrait of Thomas Hodgson

The thumbnail above is of Thomas Hodgson. Copyright is held by Tim Paine and it is used here by his very kind permission. Since posting the various chapters of the book I have received numerous comments which will enable a further revision of the work. My thanks to all who have contributed. Most recently I have received valuable genealogical information from Shelli in Alaska which will enable me to revise some of the family trees in the Appendix. I have also had valuable information from a descendant of Thomas Hodgson which includes some remarkable letters written by John Hodgson to his brother on the African coast. As a result some of the detail of the transformation of Thomas Hodgson from African agent to Liverpool slave trader needs to be corrected - though the broad thrust of Chapter 3 should not change. Obviously the information supplied by David Sekers - see earlier comments - about the social nexus of the Lightbody and Hodgson families adds considerably to my mere conjectures about this. Thus both Chapters 6 & 7 will require some revision. Additionally as a result of my interactions at the Liverpool Workshop -see below- I think the involvement of Adam Hodgson in the emancipation movement in Chapter 12 warrants some improvement. All of this will take time and revised chapters will not start to appear before the new year (2011). Therefore, at this time there seems little percentage in producing an index to all the individual chapters.

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Liverpool History Society

At the recent Liverpool Workshop I met some members of the Liverpool History Society who gave me a copy of their newsletter. It appears that membership of the society costs the modest sum of £10 which currently entitles you to recieve 3 copies of their newsletter and a copy of their annual journal. Even for those who live outside Liverpool and could not attend their meetings this seems an excellent way to keep in touch with developments in Liverpool History at the local level. Their web address is

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Last weekend the Legacies of British Slave Ownership workshop took place in Liverpool at the Maritime Museum. We heard of the £20 million pounds of tax-payers money that was paid out to the owners of British Empire slaves in 1837/8. Setting aside the morality of this, that appalled not a few abolitionists of the day, we heard that the sum represented some 40% of the total government budget. This might be thought to have an enormous macroeconomic effect but mitigated by the fact that government expenditure represented only 8% of the total economy at that time. The LBS Project aims to establish a publicly accessible data base from which the effect of this compensation money on the broad and local economies of the country can be established. It seems to me that in making that judgement it would be important to know how the planters and absentee planters perceived the compensation. Was it viewed as a huge windfall or as a fortunate liquidation of badly deteriorating assets? Certainly Checkland in his Gladstones biography stresses the losses recorded in John Gladstone’s accounts which greatly exceeded the compensation he received. Men like Gladstone and John Moss may well have been astute enough to realise their assets in an orderly manner and invest the proceeds in Railway ventures but what of everyone else? Did they think themselves suddenly wealthy beyond belief or lucky not to have lost their shirts? That said one should not lose sight of the fact that a considerable portion of Gladstone and Moss’s wealth in the years before abolition derived from the produce of slavery. By 1821 almost half John Gladstone’s income came from his West India assets much of which was based on mortgages and advances to planters and his considerable benefactions have to be seen in that light.

St James

St James' Church, Toxteth Park by Cuthbert Brisbowne 1774/5

It turned into a bit of a Gladstone weekend for me as I was fortunate enough to walk round the somewhat gloomy and damp streets of Liverpool with members of the LBS team including Catherine Hall who is something of an authority on the Gladstones. Earlier in the day I had visited St James Church to be shown around by the vicar Niel Short and the local historian Paul Young. As I understand it the church is to be restored along with its apparently buried graveyard. This leaflet by the Churches Conservation Trust explains some of the considerable historical merit attached to restoration of this site. I shall try to post an update on what is going on at St James at a later date.


Charitable Institutions House and St Andrews School

Paul Young was kind enough to drive me to Slater Street which is the home of the Gladstones Trust, in other words Charitable Institutions House which was built by John Gladstone, James Cropper and Samuel Hope as a meeting room for charities and a home for the Liverpool Bible Repository which was on the ground floor. Cropper and Gladstone were the Treasurer and President respectively of the Liverpool Auxiliary Bible Society in 1819 and yet these two were major antagonists over slavery and abolition through the 1820’s. Next door to Gladstones is St Andrew’s School which opened in 1818 for the education of 150 boys and 130 girls on the National or Madras system and was also built and endowed by John Gladstone and who’s board of trustees included Adam Hodgson and the Rev. Bickersteth.

St Andrews

The "Scotch Church" of St Andrews designed by John Foster in 1824.

St Andrew’s School was associated with the Presbyterian Chapel of St Andrews in Renshaw Street established for the sum of £12,000 by Gladstone in 1815 but enlarged in 1827. Said to be the ugliest church in Liverpool it was sold to the Midland Railway to enable expansion of Central Station and closed on the last day of 1892. It is not to be confused with the ruined "Scotch Church" of St Andrews built in 1824 to the design of John Foster and situated in Rodney Street.

Rodney Street

Rodney Street.

In Rodney Street many of the houses date back to the 1780’s and this was where James Currie had his surgery. The house above is said to have been the first to be built on Rodney Street between 1783-5 on land leased by Roscoe.

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I have had a further exchange of emails with David Sekers, the editor of the Diary of Hannah Lightbody. The Diary was published as a supplement to the journal Enlightenment and Dissent No 24, 2008. It is available from

Dr. Martin Fitzpatrick,
Enlightenment and Dissent,
E-mail: or
The interchange between us is available here and features some of my comments on aspects of the journal which directly impact my MS and David Sekers responses.

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I must apologise for the lack of updates in recent weeks, some matters of a personal nature arose that have taken up much of my time. These will continue to take up some time for a week or so but then things should get back to a more normal schedule.
I have received details of the Liverpool Workshop being presented by UCL on Saturday October 23rd. The flyer for the workshop is here and the programme details are here.

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I have received the following e-mail from David Sekers and below that is my reply.


I was glad to stumble across your book on the Hodgsons on the web today. It's a really good read and I admire the disinterring and arrangement of a wide range of information. I particularly appreciate your thoughts and views on the Liverpool Abolitionists, who have universally and probably unfairly been given a bad press. But I am not clear how you judge Thomas Hodgson

I'll tell you where I am coming from. When I was museum director at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, I became interested in the youthful diary of Hannah Greg. A generation later I edited it as the Diary of Hannah Lightbody 1786-90, and it is published and available from Dr. Martin Fitzpatrick, Enlightenment and Dissent, at ‘Garreg-Wen’, Bronant, Aberystywyth, Ceredigion, SY234JD.

I am now writing a biography of Hannah, and discussing her legacy and influence, which of course includes her children and orphaned nephews Isaac and Adam Hodgson. I think Adam has been unfairly overlooked, and much enjoyed all your references to his good work.

In the course of these tasks I have come across material familiar to you and some possibly not - including a portrait of Thomas. I think you will enjoy the diary, where there are references to the Hodgsons as well as to Currie and his circle.

When I re-read your book much more slowly and carefully, I will list a number of queries and possible corrections. May I also ask you what light you might be able to throw on a failure of Samuel Hartley in June 1788 - which rocked the Hodgson household?

Finally: is there the possibility of buying your book? Or is it only available on line?

Best regards

David Sekers

Dear David,

Thank you for your kind remarks. Back last Christmas when I decided to post “the book” on the web and give up on all the tiresome publishers and agents I could think of only one advantage for doing so – that it opened up the possibility that there might be people out there who knew more about the story than I, who could correct, or indeed refute various aspects of the story. So far that has proved utterly illusory at least until your email arrived.

About 3 years or so ago I visited Quarry Bank and became aware that there were some records relating to the Gregs that would be interesting to see. I don’t really know why I didn’t follow it up as the relationship between Hannah Greg and James Currie’s circle is pretty important to the thesis really. At that time there was talk of restoring the Gregs’ house and opening that to the public and I remember being particularly impressed by some of the pictures of the Gregs which contrasted strongly with the widely known picture of Sam Greg as an older man. They struck me as being highly fashionable people of their day – there was talk of a portrait of George Washington in the drawing room. I remember also that there seemed to be two portraits of Hannah Lightbody, the one depicting a fashionable young woman with a mass of blond curls, the other a much younger dark haired girl – are they really one and the same person?

Anyhow I have sent email to Dr Fitzpatrick to obtain your work on Hannah Lightbody’s diary which I am greatly looking forward to reading.

The piece on the Liverpool Abolitionists came about after reading Ellen Gibson Wilson’s book on Thomas Clarkson. About all I had at that time was Clarkson’s own account and the Life of James Currie which I was quite unable to read in the same way as Ms Gibson. On top of this came the epitaph to Elizabeth Hodgson by William Shepherd and several documents prepared for Thomas Hodgson by Roscoe and of course the Lightbody will. This seemed to place Thomas Hodgson right among all of these people and so when Currie writes of the dawning realisation among some of the merchants ; “Men of any enlargement of mind, who have been concerned in the slave-trade, begin to reflect on their situation; and the struggle between interest and principle, between a lucrative traffic and a sense of character, is productive of such embarrassment and contradiction, as fills one with sorrow.” It was impossible not to wonder who in particular he had in mind. In combination with letters to Hannah Greg about the slave trade and about cotton mills and his visit to David Dale it is hard not to draw the obvious conclusion.

It is curious is it not that various bits of the story surface here and there e.g. the Kitty Wilkinson story from the Rathbones and through the accounts of the lives of Currie and Roscoe and yet the whole has remained concealed. It is almost as though the Hodgsons have been carefully excised from the various contemporary accounts.

I was not aware of a portrait of Thomas Hodgson and would very much like to see it. I have been trying to persuade National Museums Liverpool to take an interest in the Adam Hodgson portrait which is currently languishing in a somewhat neglected condition in Barclay’s Bank archives. They have shown some interest but things have gone quiet recently with the summer holidays. I will probably need to gently remind them about it. Not knowing where Thomas’s portrait is it would be premature to suggest that they were shown together – but it would be interesting I think.

I was not aware that Samuel Hartley went bankrupt in 1788, although it was apparent that something happened to make him withdraw from the trade. I have stressed the loss of the American market particularly Carolina following the American Revolutionary War. I have been almost defeated by the tortuous nature of the operations involving Miles Barber, Samuel Hartley and Thomas Hodgson. Gomer Williams – I know some don’t like this book but I do – depicts Hartley & Co as major Liverpool Slave Traders mentioning and listing numerous voyages apparently put together under this head. But I really don’t see him sitting in a counting house in Red-Cross Street counting out Venetian glass beads, and boxes of African quality knives. It seems to me there is a lot more to these relationships than meets the eye particularly their duplicitous dealings with Franklin and the French King, but I have only scratched at the surface I am sure. It may be there are French records that would shed some more light on this.

Moving off the subject of the slave trade, the interrelationships between these families, the Hodgsons, Gregs, Rathbones and Pares who are all variously cousins is rather curious. The Greg’s and Rathbones being Liberal dissenters and the Hodgsons (and I think the Pares too) Anglican Tories and they cannot have seen anything like eye to eye come election time. In fact I am in the dark about a huge number of matters concerning these families, where Adam and Isaac were educated to name just one huge hole in my account.

The book is only available on-line for the foreseeable future – I may at some point put it on a CD-Rom. Interest has not been so great that I am thinking of going in for a print run I’m afraid.

With your permission I would like to add your email to my comments list and if you have any more pertinent information or corrections you would like to add I would be very happy to hear and include them as well. I shall be looking forward to your biography of Hannah Greg with great interest.


Postscript:- As soon as I have any more to add to this I will post it here – in particular how to obtain Hannah Lightbody’s diary

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I have been invited by the team at UCL responsible for the Legacies of British Slave Ownership study to give a twenty minute presentation at their workshop in Liverpool on the 23rd of October 2010. This will not simply be a precis of the book. I have been asked to draw out connections between Abolitionists and Slave Traders / Owners. I will give more details as they become available. For links to the UCL study see comment dated 27/07/2010

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Several books have recently come to my attention which shed further light on different parts of the story. The first two are relevant to Chapter 11 – The Merchant Prince giving some background on Adam Hodgson’s contemporaries. The Gladstones: a family biography, 1764-1851 by S. G. Checkland; Cambridge University Press, 1971 along with John Moss of Otterspool (1782-1858): Railway Pioneer Slave Owner Banker, by Graham Trust; AuthorHouse, 2010. The last gives more information about the Massacre at Old Calabar found in Chapter 6. The author’s account as far as the role of Ambrose Lace goes is somewhat different to mine and the author would clearly not have trusted Captain Lace as far as he could throw him. The two princes of Calabar: an eighteenth-century Atlantic odyssey by Randy J. Sparks; Harvard University Press, 2004. All can be browsed on Google books so that you can try before you buy or decide to fill in the form at the library.

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Following an exchange of email with The Friends of St Cuthbert's, Darlington I have obtained a photo of Adam Hodgson's eldest son The Rev. Thomas Edward Hodgson (1827-1897) who was vicar of the parish for over twenty years. The image copyright is held by St Cuthbert's and may not be reproduced in any form without their permission. It is used here with their very kind pemission.
TE Hodgson

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I have had some interesting comments from the team at UCL who are researching the Legacies of British Slave Ownership. The team are compiling a database of the 40,000 British Slave Owners who received compensation after the Emancipation of the Empire Slaves following the Act of 1833 and what the 10,000 or so absentee slave owners did with their wealth. Their work was featured in the June Issue of BBC History Magazine and is discussed on their website at . They are holding a series of regional workshops on the work, the details of which were published on their website in due course: Glasgow: 4th September, Newcastle: 25th September, Birmingham: 9th October, Liverpool: 23rd October, Bristol: 27th November.

One comment concerned the question of the contribution of the slave trade to the industrial revolution. “Your work as you probably know contributes to some of the major historical controversies around the slave-trade, especially Eric Williams' thesis that the profits of the slave-trade fed the Industrial Revolution, which is now widely discounted, while your study of Thomas Hodgson absolutely supports it.”

I need to re-read my copy of Capitalism and Slavery. In my recollection what struck me was how he argued that the slave trade was only abolished because it became unprofitable which I am sure one historian described as a “jeu d’esprit” – quite a put down. However, it seems he argued that the slave system provided the capital for early industrial development which was later superseded by more mature industrial developments – see the introduction posted in the above link to the book. I’m not sure my work supports this for the slave-trade as exemplified by Thomas Hodgson. I have found it difficult to account for the rapid expansion of both his slaving business and cotton mills on the basis of profits from slaving and posit the idea that this wealth actually came from privateering. It is interesting that the later abolitionists represented by James Cropper and Adam Hodgson argued that the slave system must collapse when placed in competition with free labour – the latter they argued was 25% cheaper to operate. This sounds rather similar to Williams’ thesis and is featured in the recently posted Chapter 11.

On the other hand can it be seriously denied that the Lancashire Cotton Industry prior to 1865 was absolutely dependent on slave grown cotton from the Southern Plantation System in the American Deep South? Something of this will appear in Chapter 13. At the outset of the distress caused by the Lancashire Cotton Famine, itself a result of the American Civil War, William Rathbone remarked; “If Manchester suffers from the non arrival of cotton, Liverpool suffers from the non-transit of the staple and if Manchester is distressed in consequence of the non-demand for its Manufactures, Liverpool is distressed in consequence of the non-shipment..... Lancashire is one huge, deliberately organised industrial frame, of which Liverpool is the inlet and outlet.” One could also point to the development of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway and to numerous banks including the Bank of Liverpool where numerous cotton brokers and manufacturers co-operated to provide the capital to make these highly significant industrial developments possible. The first chairman of the Bank of Liverpool was William Brown of William and James Brown the biggest cotton brokers in Liverpool with offices all over the Southern U.S. Some of this is also covered in Chapter 11 though I don’t really emphasise these points in any didactic way – the facts can speak for themselves in my view.

A further comment was; “Your narrative also highlights the way in which pro-slavers and abolitionists mixed socially, in philanthropy and in business, despite their apparently fundamental differences.”

See the vituperation between James Cropper and John Gladstone in Chapter 11; both prominent Evangelicals and officers in the Liverpool Bible Society as well as co-operating over industrial developments such as those mentioned above. It seems hard to imagine that happening today and perhaps it reflects the character of the times. On the other hand it may be just a failure of the imagination.

Finally; “Our database covers slave-ownership in the early 19th century, and picksup a number of the slave-trading families you include. In addition, you might be interested to know that Adam Hodgson himself was awarded slave compensation, as the executor of the slave-owner Lister Ellis for the slaves on an estate in British Guiana. I can send you details of this claim if you would be interested.”

Lucky that his involvement was as an executor or I might have had some serious rewriting to do. Hodgson wrote in Letters from North America,”and some of our most estimable friends in England possess Negroes in the West Indies”. He was an advocate of compensation for the loss of the slave holders property something which he was in a position to influence through his co-operation with the Liverpool MP Lord Sandon and his relationship with Lord Stanley who as colonial secretary introduced the legislation – see Chapter 11. Ellis and Hodgson were involved together in the Liverpool to Manchester Rail Road. Clearly their relationship must have been closer than that of simply business but I am unable to shed any more light on that. I have asked to see these details and if allowed I will post them here.

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I now have the photo mentioned below although it is of poor quaity.
Caton Church

The piece is by Swan giving bracketting dates of late Victorian to 1920's. The illustration clearly shows a church with clerestory implying it is of Paley's reconstruction and thus after 1865.

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A reader from Hest Bank near Lancaster tells me that they have a Victorian china ornament depicting a church with the words "Caton Church". This seems to be one of those small souvenir pieces that usually bear a coat of arms and a place name.

This would be very interesting to see and so I have asked for a photograph which I hope to post here in due course.

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A correspondent from the home of the Crimson Tide football team raised some interesting questions about Adam Hodgson's itinerary in the Deep South that were not covered in Chapter 2.

Adam Hodgson's book Letters from North America used to be available on Google Books but Volume 1 seems, in their typically perverse fashion, to have been withdrawn. However here is Vol 1. & Vol 2.

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Several academic commentators have raised concerns about not seeing the references to source material at the end of each chapter.

My original intention was to place these all together at the end. On reflection I have very effectively created a rod for my own back by this decision. Undoubtedly I was subconciously putting off the very tedious task of checking and formatting references. Actually with the glorious June weather we are enjoying in blighty it is difficult to justify doing anything other than heading for the beach. In hopes of assuaging some of these very legitimate concerns I have placed the working bibliography here. It is not a completely satisfactory solution as the references lack a common style and format, some are abreviated, some even temporarily AWOL. Best I can do at the moment, now where's my towel.....

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