Slavery Plaque Bedford Row – A plaque has been erected on Bedford Row to commemorate the visits of four influential black slavery abolitionists.
Plaque erected on Bedford Row to Honour visit of Slavery Abolitionists
By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew
A plaque has been erected on Bedford Row to commemorate the visits of four influential black slavery abolitionists from America in the mid-nineteenth century.
Between 1838 and 1855, Moses Roper, Charles Lenox Remond, Frederick Douglass and Samuel Ringgold Ward gave public talks to crowds of Limerick people at the Independent Chapel, formerly located at 6 Bedford Row, Limerick City. They informed locals of the horrors of racial slavery in the USA.
Historian Liam Hogan, who spearheaded the project, believes that the commemorative plaque will act as a marker for racial equality in Limerick.
“This plaque will help to increase awareness about the historic transatlantic links between Limerick and the U.S., highlight the role of some Limerick people in agitating to abolish slavery, acknowledge the brave anti-racist and anti-slavery work of black abolitionists in Ireland and act as a beacon of anti-racism, solidarity and diversity in the heart of our city,” explains Mr Hogan.
The plaque is located outside The Bedford Townhouse, near the site of the former Independent Chapel.
Owner Denise Brazil told I Love Limerick, “We are very proud to host this plaque at Bedford House, commemorating the anti-slavery activism in Limerick in the mid-nineteenth century.
“The heritage of our great city is something to be celebrated and shared and it’s important to keep this history alive for generations to come. Congratulations to Liam Hogan and all those involved in making this commemoration a reality.”
— University Of Limerick (@UL) August 15, 2021
The 500mm plaque was designed by Cork artists Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring. Cast in marine aluminium, the plaque names the four abolitionists and features a portrait of Frederick Douglass, accompanied by his signature.
“I suggested that the plaque could be based partly on the style of 18th-century anti-slavery medallions. I also provided the artists with a Frederick Douglass signature taken from a letter he wrote while in Limerick in 1845,” tells Liam.
“Both of these ideas have been expertly incorporated. The dark green background also keeps consistency with pre-existing historical markers across the city.”
Many Limerick locals and businesses have taken to Twitter to express their approval of the new plaque.
“Finally,” said Rubberbandit Blindboy Boatclub, “Limerick has a Plaque to commemorate the visit of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.”
Limerick Movement Against Racism (LMAR) commented, “So happy to see this plaque commemorating the visits of anti-slavery activists to Limerick. A beautiful part of our history so often ignored. Well done to everyone involved in this.”
For more information on the plaque’s history go HERE
For more stories on Limerick history go HERE