Lambeth Council will today move into the second stage of its review of street names, statues and monuments from around the borough that have proven links to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The second phase of the consultation will take place in an online public meeting on Tuesday, 8 March at 6pm.
Tuesday’s meeting will take a closer look at local sites and their links to the slave trade. The review comes in light of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests which took place globally after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
READ MORE:‘London’s statues glorifying slave owners should be removed’
(C) A Black Lives Matter protest in Brixton
(Image: 2021 Getty Images)
Lambeth Archives, which is responsible for dozens of records for businesses, organisations and individuals in the area, carried out an audit of local sites. Their audit, which is available to view in full online is colour coded, with red indicating a clear link to the slave trade, followed by amber and green.
Vassall Road in Brixton is named after Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, third Baron Holland of Foxley and his wife, Elizabeth Webster, nee Vassall. The couple owned 401 slaves and had plantations in Jamaica, further research from University College London found that Henry received payment after the Slave Compensation Act 1837.
Henry and Elizabeth owned the Holland estate in Brixton. The Vassall ward in Lambeth is also named after them. Holland Grove, Foxley Road, Foxley Square and Lord Holland Lane are also named after Henry and are marked in red under the audit – Lilford Road in Lambeth is named after Henry’s son.
Rhodesia Road in Clapham is the former colonial name for Zambia and Zimbabwe, derived from Cecil Rhodes. He was an imperialist, businessman and politician who was prime minister of Cape Colony (now South Africa) for six years.
He allegedly became prime minister on the back of bribery from shares in his diamond and gold companies. During his time as prime minister, Rhodes was in charge of the Glen Grey Act, the “blueprint” for Apartheid.
The Glen Grey Act, which Rhodes called a “bill for Africa”, enforced segregation of native Africans and restricted them from living a free life as the whites did.
(Image: Warren Orchard)
Thurlow Road, a long road beginning in Tulse Hill and passing through West Dulwich, is named after the Conservative politician and Chancellor Edward Thurlow. Edward defended the interests of British slave trading and voted against its abolition.
Tulse Hill ward in Lambeth is named after the Tulse family. Sir Henry Tulse was Lord Mayor of London, his family’s wealth came from profits from the slave trade. He is alleged to have made a “fortune” from the West African slave trade.
The Tulse Family benefited from profits made from the slave trade
(Image: The Print Collector)
Juxon Street in Kennington is named after William Juxon, the Archbishop of London and later Canterbury. William’s family was involved in the sugar trade in Jamaica and the family’s coat of arms features four African heads.
Leigham Avenue in Streatham is named after John and Elizabeth Howland, who were directors of the East India Company. The East India Company relied on slaves and trafficked slaves from West and East Africa. Slaves were taken to holdings in India, Indonesia and the island of St. Helena.
The area also has a block of flats and a memorial with the same name.
During the 1980s, Lambeth Council renamed a number of council offices after African and Caribbean figures to better reflect the diversity in the area. Tate Library Gardens, now known as Windrush Square was the most recent name change to take place in the borough.
Cllr Sonia Winfred, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Equality and Culture, said: “The meeting will be an opportunity for us to collect views, comments and opinions on rated locations, and get ideas on re-naming where it is possible to do so – or identify new sites and buildings which can be named in a way which reflects the Lambeth of today.
“Following an initial period of thorough research know that there are a small number of sites in the borough with links to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and we want to talk to local people about how and what is possible to address that.
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“As a borough, we know the importance of public symbolism and representation. In April last year, I was at the official unveiling of the new Cherry Groce memorial in Windrush Square Brixton which highlights a tragic injustice and serves to remind us of important lessons around equality, justice and truth.
“We are telling the story of our borough’s culture and diversity, we’re not waiting for permission. But these older reminders of past horrors remain, and we want to come together as a community to share this knowledge, talk about how this impacts us now, and look at what options we have.”
You can join today’s meeting here.
Do you live on one of these roads in Lambeth? What do you think of review? Let Ruby know by writing to her at [email protected]
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