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St Peters, Dorcester (Facebook)
St Peter's Dorcester.jpg
St Peters, Dorcester (Facebook)
World News

Ecclesiastical judge to decide whether a church plaque honouring slave trader should be removed

by Sophie Drew

An ecclesiastical judge is set to preside over another issue of contested heritage, as a Dorset church considers removing a plaque praising a slave owner for quashing a rebellion. 

Diocese of Salisbury's Chancellor has been placed at the helm of the case, as he decides whether or not the plaque - attributed to Judge Gordon, a well-known slaver of his day - should be removed from the church. 

Gordon is believed to have quashed an uprising of enslaved people in Jamaica in 1760; a movement known as Tacky's war or Tacky's Rebellion. 

The text has been covered whilst the church awaits a decision on its removal. 

The plaque, placed in St Peter's Church, Dorchester, reads: "[Gordon] was signally instrumental in quelling a dangerous rebellion in that island, in the year 1760."

It refers to Gordon as 'the best of brothers' and notes that he was held in 'high esteem' for his role. 

The case is not the first in recent weeks - a church judge has ruled that a similar plaque, in Cambridge's Jesus College, should not be removed, despite considerable ill-feeling. 

The Cambridge plaque was placed in honour of Tobias Rustat, a slave-trade investor. 

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