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Mountravers Plantation (Pinney's Estate) - Nevis, West Indies

Christine Eickelmann and David Small

Publications, reports and broadcast media

Front cover: actors Tim Wesley and Jon Price from Time Travellers as
Pero Jones and John Pretor Pinney in a 'Living History' recreation
of life in the Georgian House, June 1999
(Picture courtesy of Bristol United Press)

Born in the West Indies, Pero was an enslaved man 'owned' by the sugar planter and merchant John Pretor Pinney, whose Bristol house is now the Georgian House Museum in Great George Street. Pero lived in that house for some years and, since a footbridge on the Harbourside was named after him in 1999, his name has become a familiar one in the city. The bridge commemorates, and pays tribute to, all those Africans and West Indians who were enslaved by Bristol's merchants and planters.

Pero is a symbol of the millions of men, women and children taken from their homes in Africa to the Americas as the central commodity in the transatlantic slave trade. Their toil in the North American and Caribbean plantations made people like Pinney rich, and by the time Pero came to Bristol in the 1780s, the city had become wealthy on the proceeds of the slave trade and plantation slavery.

The authors have pieced together the story of Pero's life as a servant in Nevis and in Bristol, and at a time when the black population in England totalled perhaps 15,000, their research throws light on how the eighteenth-century master and black servant relationship worked in practice.

ISBN 1 904537 030
Softback GBP 6.99, 64pp, 220mm x 210mm, 37 colour and black and white illustrations.
Published by Redcliffe Press, Bristol, in association with Bristol Museums and Art Gallery
April 2004

Some copies of this book can still be ordered from the usual sources online.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (September 2004)

Pero's biography features in the Oxford DNB, as well as those of
  • Frances (Fanny) Coker (1767-1820), freed slave woman and Mrs Pinney's lady's maid (her biography is available as an MP3 dwnload)
  • Edward Huggins (1755?-1829), Nevis planter responsible for a notorious flogging of Mountravers slaves in 1810
  • Rear-Admiral George Tobin RN (1768-1838), marine artist and frigate captain during the Napoleonic Wars who sailed with Captain Bligh to Tahiti
  • James Tobin (1736/7-1817), Nevis planter, anti-abolitionist pamphleteer and business partner of John Pinney
  • James Webbe Tobin (1767-1814), 'blind Tobin', friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge and campaigner for the rights of enslaved people
  • John Tobin (1770-1804), playwright, friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge, author of The Honey Moon
  • Rear-Admiral Rowland Mainwaring RN (1783-1862), Staffordshire country gentleman of Whitmore Hall and naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars.

Book chapter

'Within the same household: Fanny Coker' in Britain's Black Past edited by Gretchen Gerzina (Liverpool University Press, 2020)


    Copies of these reports can be found in the NHCS Archive, and/or University of Bristol Special Collections.

    Reports submitted to the Nevis Island Administration:
    • The Historic Pinney's Estate - Preserving Selected Sites (2001 and 2005)
    • Clarke's, Belmont/Wansey's and Jessup's Estate - Preserving Selected Sites (2006)
    Reports submitted for file to the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS):
    • Nevis Sugar Estate Plans (2004)
    • Preserving Nevisian Heritage: Documentary Records in the Nevis Court House (2004)
    • Notes on the Current Round of Excavations at Jamestown, Nevis, 1998-2004 (2004)
    Reports on Bristol University's Field Evaluation in 2006:
    • The Modern Pinney's Estate, Nevis: An Historical Account of Seven Sites (2006)
    • Pinney's Estate, Nevis: An Archaeological Evaluation of Seven Selected Sites (with C Newland and A Witkin, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, 2006)
    Contribution to the archaeological and historical sites assessment in Environmental Impact Assessments:
    • Newfound Pinney's Estate Development: Environmental Impact Report Hyder Consulting, Report No NEO 2657/2 (March 2008)
    • Pinney’s Estate Nevis – Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Addendum; for Daren Burney, Newfound Pinney’s Ltd (Alison King Joseph, KSS, Edenvale Young et al, May 2013). David Small acted as a consultant to the NHCS on their response to this development proposal
    Reports submitted to the British Library Endangered Archives Programme: Reports on the history of individual estates on Nevis:

    Other print media

      A Nevis 'Legend' Revisited: the Huggins-Maynard Duel of 1822 in the 'Nevis Historical and Conservation Society Newsletter' No 71 (January-March 2004) pp8-10

      Contributions to:
      • 'The Georgian House' in Madge Dresser and Sue Giles Bristol and Transatlatic Slavery (Bristol Museums and Art Gallery, 2000)
      • P Bellamy et al Mountravers, St Thomas Lowland, Nevis: Archaeological Investigations by Time Team October 1998 (Terrain Archaeology, 2005)
      • P Bellamy et al Jamestown, St Thomas Lowland, Nevis: Archaeological Investigations by Time Team October 1998 (Terrain Archaeology, 2005)
      See also P Bellamy et al Coconut Walk, St James Windward, Nevis: Archaeological Investigations by Time Team October 1998 (Terrain Archaeology, 2004)

        Broadcast media

        Research contributions to:
        • 'Untold: Britain's Slave Trade' (Brook Lapping Productions for Channel 4; October 1999)
          Producer: Trevor Phillips
        • 'Hidden History: Blacker than Black' (BBC Radio 4; 20 October 2001)
          Producer: Darren Broome
        • 'Bristol's Slave Trade' (Blue Peter, BBC 1; 22 October 2001)
          Producer: Kez Margrie

        Interviewed for:
        • 'Nevis, West Indies', Time Team programmes 12 and 13 of Series 6 (Channel 4; 14 and 28 March 1999)
          Producer: Tim Taylor
        • 'Pero Jones and Fanny Coker', with Madge Dresser, part of Gretchen Gerzina's 'Britain's Black Past' series
          (Loftus Media for BBC Radio 4; 5 October 2016)
          Producer: Elizabeth Burke
        • 'Who was Pero?' (BBC Points West; 18 August 2020)
          Producer: James Young
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        Maintained by Christine Eickelmann (Last updated: 15 March 2021)