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Death in the DiasporaBritish and Irish Gravestones$
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Nicholas Evans and Angela McCarthy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474473781

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474473781.001.0001

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Imposing Identity: Death Markers to ‘English’ People in Barbados, 1627–1838

Imposing Identity: Death Markers to ‘English’ People in Barbados, 1627–1838

(p.52) 3 Imposing Identity: Death Markers to ‘English’ People in Barbados, 1627–1838
Death in the Diaspora

Nicholas J. Evans

Edinburgh University Press

The headstones and epitaphs marking the death of English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish settlers on the Caribbean island of Barbados provide one of the earliest and most complete examples of British death culture overseas. Whilst the island was dominated by plantation slavery during the period in question, the surviving memorials from this period reveal little trace of the chattel slavery that made the island of great geopolitical importance to the British Empire. Instead the memorials examined here demonstrate a deep attachment to the ‘English’ identities of those who died in diaspora. The chapter compares such death culture with that of Jewish settlement on the island, a stream of evidence that demonstrates the island was a sanctuary for Jewish men, women and children from numerous countries during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Keywords:   Barbados, gravestones, epitaphs, colonialism, elision, slavery, Jewish, England, Hebrew, diaspora

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