Captured in Gambia

A gravestone in St Mary's churchyard tells the story of one of Cassiobury's black servants.

Grave of George Doney, a black servant at Cassiobury, c. 1758-1809
An obituary for George Doney from The Gentleman magazine

A gravestone in St Mary’s churchyard still marks the resting place for one of Cassiobury’s black servants, George Edward Doney c. 1758-1809.

George, known as Edward, worked for 44 years for the 5th Earl of Essex. The inscription on his gravestone reveals that he was captured from Gambia as a child and sold into slavery.

Poor Edward blest the pirate bark which bore

His captive infancy from Gambia’s shore

To where in willing servitude he won

Those blest rewards for every duty done –

Kindness and praise, the wages of the heart;

None else to him could joy or pride impart,

And gave him, born a pagan and a slave,

A freeman’s charter and a Christian’s grave.

This page was added on 16/08/2011.

Comments about this page

  • The story of George Edward Doney fascinates me and I am driving from Somerset to visit his gravestone today.

    By Janice Pritchard (10/04/2011)

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