is the burial site of a dark skinned cabin boy
A Cabin boy or ship's boy is a boy who waits on the officers and passengers of a ship, especially running errands for the captain....
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...
, on unconsecrated ground
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...
in a field near the small village of Sunderland Point
Sunderland, commonly known as Sunderland Point, is a small village among the marshes, on a windswept peninsula between the mouth of the River Lune, and Morecambe Bay, in the City of Lancaster district of Lancashire, England...
, near Heysham
Heysham is a large coastal village near Lancaster in the county of Lancashire, England. Overlooking Morecambe Bay, it is a ferry port with services to the Isle of Man and Ireland. Heysham is the site of two nuclear power stations which are landmarks visible from hills in the surrounding area...
Overton is a village and civil parish within the City of Lancaster in Lancashire, England. It is located to the south west of Lancaster, between Heysham and the estuary of the River Lune. Neighbouring villages include Middleton and Sunderland Point; Glasson is on the opposite side of the river...
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...
, North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...
. Sunderland Point was a port, serving cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...
and slave ships from the West Indies and North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...
, which declined after Glasson Dock
Glasson Dock, also known as Glasson, is a village in England, south of Lancaster, at the mouth of the River Lune. It is in the City of Lancaster district of Lancashire.-History:...
was opened in 1787. It is a very small community only accessible via a narrow road, which crosses a salt marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....
and is cut off at high tide.
In the early 18th century Sunderland Point was a port for Lancaster, serving ships too large to sail up to the town. According to the Lonsdale Magazine of 1822, Sambo had arrived around 1736 from the West Indies as a servant to the captain of an unnamed ship:
It has been suggested that Sambo may have died from a disease contracted from contact with Europeans, to which he had no natural immunity, although some more romanticised stories say that he died of a broken heart when his enslaver left him there. He was buried in unconsecrated ground (as he was not a Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...
) on the weatherbeaten shoreline of Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay is a large bay in northwest England, nearly due east of the Isle of Man and just to the south of the Lake District National Park. It is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom, covering a total area of 310 km².-Natural features:The rivers Leven,...
With the opening of Glasson Dock in 1787, trade ships deserted Sunderland Point and it became a sea-bathing place and holiday venue. Sixty years after the burial a retired schoolmaster, James Watson, heard the story and raised money from summer visitors to the area for a memorial, to be placed on the unmarked grave. Watson, who was the brother of the prominent Lancaster slave trader, William Watson, also wrote the epitaph that now marks the grave (note the use of 'ſ
', the Long s
The long, medial or descending s is a form of the minuscule letter s formerly used where s occurred in the middle or at the beginning of a word, for example "ſinfulneſs" . The modern letterform was called the terminal, round, or short s.-History:The long s is derived from the old Roman cursive...
character and the eccentric and inconsistent spelling typical of the time):
(Attending his Maſter from the Weſt Indies)
on his Arrival at
Full sixty Years the angry Winter's Wave
Has thundering daſhd this bleak & barren Shore
Since 's Head laid in this lonely
Lies still & ne'er will hear their turmoil more.
Full many a Sandbird chirps upon the Sod
And many a Moonlight Elfin round him trips
Full many a Summer's Sunbeam warms the Clod
And many a teeming Cloud upon him drips.
But still he sleeps _ till the awakening Sounds
Of the Archangel's Trump new Life impart
Then the his Approbation founds
Not on Man's but his_ of
James Watſon Scr. H.Bell del. 1796
The site today
Today, official signposts on Sunderland Point define the grave and locality as a tourist attraction and the grave almost always bears flowers or stones painted by the local children.