Africa, the arrival of Europeans and the transatlantic slave trade

The Island of Monserrat from the Road before the Town

Thomas Hearne (1744-1817), 1775-1776
Watercolour and bodycolour over pen and ink on paper

Object number D.1994.10
Purchased, 1994

See this object at The Whitworth Art Gallery, The University of Manchester This object may not always be on display. Please check with the venue before visiting.

The Island of Monserrat from the Road before the Town

This watercolour view of Montserrat was taken from a ship anchored off the main town of Plymouth. Montserrat is one of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies, which were British sugar colonies in the 1700s, sustained by the institution of slave labour and the power of the Royal Navy. The fort at Plymouth is clearly visible, as is another on the right at Old Fort Point.

The eleven windmills, visible on estates around the island, were for processing sugar cane. This apparently innocent tropical scene belies the slave economy that underpinned sugar cultivation, which was an extremely labour intensive crop.

This information was provided by curators from The Whitworth Art Gallery.