08 February 2010

St Mary’s churchyard Walthamstow London

St Mary’s churchyard Walthamstow London has a lot of interesting history including a number of large family tombs dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. The unusual lion grave took my eye along with the grave of the Dobree family which features a wine cup, a book and a plate of what looks like large sugar lumps. From the 15th century onwards, sugar was sold in loaves, often weighing more than a pound. Samuel Dobree, who died in 1816, is described as being a ‘merchant’. If these are indeed sugar lumps, then he was probably involved in the slave trade. Because there were many merchants following a triangular trade route taking trinkets from England to Africa, selling them there and picking up slaves to transport to the West Indies and then loading up with sugar for the English home market!

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