On this site:
On this site:
Mountravers Plantation (Pinney's Estate) - Nevis, West Indies
Christine Eickelmann and David Small
Pero's Bridge in Bristol's Harbourside,
opened in 1999
Developments in Bristol
Until 1996 there had been a marked reluctance among the institutions of the city to acknowledge its important role in transatlantic slavery.
Since the formation of the Bristol Slave Trade Action Group in 1996 Bristol has seen a change in that attitude.
We have been involved in supporting this development,
- researching and drafting information panels for the Georgian House Museum (1998 and the revised edition 2018)
- assisting with the development of a Slave Trade Trail
- producing the research used for the naming of Pero's Bridge in Bristol's Harbourside
(See Publications, reports and broadcast media
PERO The Life of a Slave in Eighteenth-Century Bristol)
- assisting Bristol Museum in staging their major exhibition on slavery, A Respectable Trade?,
in 1999 (For details of the exhibition, see Bristol and Transatlantic Slavery by Madge Dresser and Sue Giles, Bristol Museum and
Art Gallery, 2000.)
- contributing the research into the life of the Nevis-born Frances (Fanny) Coker to the M Shed Museum. She features in
their Transatlantic Slave Trade theme.
In 2018 we were asked to draft a complete revision of the information panels in the Georgian House museum which concern the Pinney family’s involvement with slavery and
sugar plantations on the island of Nevis. This permanent exhibition also tells the stories of two black servants from Nevis, the enslaved man Pero and the freed woman Frances Coker.
The final panel in this exhibition lists the 903 men, women and children known to have lived on the lands that became known as Mountravers from 1680/1 until 1834. There will have been many more who were born and who
died on the plantation while others will have passed through only briefly.
The names stand as a testimonial to those who created the wealth which the Pinneys and other slaveholders enjoyed.
The revised display in the Georgian House Museum includes a panel with names of over
900 enslaved people known to have lived on the plantation later known as Mountravers
Servants in the Family
In the course of our research into the Pinney family we have identified more than 50 servants who worked for them in the period between 1783 and the 1820s. Apart from a few black men and women, they were mostly local West Country folk.
In addition to their Bristol house (now the Georgian House Museum), the Pinneys owned houses in Dorset and Somerset, particularly Somerton Erleigh, their country estate at Somerton. The servants tended to work in one location or another but would sometimes work either in Bristol or in the country, as family needs dictated. A few regularly shuttled between Bristol and Somerton.
We have written an account of the Pinneys' servants which the Museum has made available for its visitors. It is hoped that interested researchers will develop this work further.