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I’m standing by the ‘statueless’ plinth of Edward Colston, reading the plaque, which states verbatim:

“Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city AD 1895.”

The word ‘virtuous’, from a teenager till now still irks …. as I believe the inscription must have been about Mary Carpenter and somehow his statue usurped her rightful place. I state irk because I remember visiting the chapel where he rests, when I was a teenager and the curator stating; whilst watching my reaction (as I am of Afro-Caribbean British descent), how benevolent he was to the poor and how he made Bristol proud. I immediately walked out of the chapel and made my way home, whilst my history lecturer called out to me.

This website will convince you why her statue should stand on the plinth or another worthy place within Bristol city centre, I would be grateful if you signed the petition. I even believe the former ‘Colston Hall’ should be called the ‘Carpenter Hall’. Bristol should be ashamed of not promoting her in reflection to the legacy she left. She has a humble monument in Bristol Cathedral, whilst Edward has a stained glass window, his name under his depiction has been surreptitiously obscured with board but none the less his features, attire and hair for the period are conspicuous. It astounds me, there is a place for Mary on the stained glass window next to Colston.

Additionally, she has a mural at Stapleton Road, Bristol, train station, one street named after her and a blue plaque on the Red Lodge building. Once you read more about her life, you will agree that this is not befitting. There are hardly any statues dedicated to a woman’s legacy in Bristol. The only one is Queen Victoria, but does that really count?

Ironically, a year ago I had the idea of her having a statue within Bristol. Especially after having a dream about her, in which I saw her as a sepia apparition enquiring on why I’m the only person who remembers her. I even sent a text to an acquaintance informing them, I was about to embark on a campaign (not to irk someone in prominence within the council he knows well) but to help Bristol honour someone great. Regardless, due to other obligations it was shelved but at this point due to the world assessing statues of historical characters, I believe it’s the right time to seize the moment. I think 2020 will be remembered for the year a pandemic over shadowed the world and the year of empathy, in the sense of how troubles of the past impede individuals’ progress today.

Mary was an abolitionist, a promoter of women’s suffrage and a social reformer. In the sense of creating schools for poor children and young offenders.

My life is beset with ironies, I’m a web developer by profession but due to time constraints I cannot embark on creating an elaborate website. Therefore, this not so aesthetically pleasing website must suffice, eventually it will be eclipsed with something I feel more appropriate.

Standing at the ‘statueless’ plinth, I start to ponder what a great irony to history it would be if the Atlantic slave trader was replaced with a virtuous abolitionist and promoter of women’s suffrage, daughter of Bristol, who dedicated her life to helping people.

Finally, please use the contact form if you wish to help in this cause, as I am a lone campaigner.

K Simpson


Above: Plinth of toppled statue

Above: Bristol Cathedral inscription to Mary Carpenter

Above: Edward Colston’s stained glass window at Bristol Cathedral, adjacent to John Cabot. His name under his depiction has been recently surreptitiously obscured with board

Above: Mary Carpenter mural at Stapleton Road train station

Above: Mary Carpenter’s unengraved headstone, I wonder who left
the flowers

Above: The humble plaque for her headstone

Above: Plinth of toppled statue

Above: Bristol Cathedral inscription to Mary carpenter

Above: Edward Colston’s stained glass window at Bristol Cathedral, adjacent to John Cabot. His name under his depiction has been recently surreptitiously obscured with board

Above: Mary Carpenter mural at Stapleton Road train station

Above: Mary Carpenter’s unengraved headstone,
I wonder who left the flowers

Above: The humble plaque for her headstone