Lt. David Louis Clemetson Born in Jamaica in 1893, David Loius Clemetson studied Law at Trinity College from 1912 to 1914. His grandfather was a slave on the island but also the son of his owner; he was later freed and inherited the plantation, allowing him to become one of the wealthy black elite in Jamaica (BBC, 2015). Clemetson’s early education was in Potsdam School in Jamaica, before attending Clifton College in Bristol serving in the Officers’ Training Corps, and then studying at Cambridge. While at Trinity, he was a rower for the College – the First Trinity and Fifth Boat in the Lent Bumps also known as the “Rugger Boat”.
At age 20, he left Cambridge shortly after the outbreak of the war in 1914 before completing his degree. In a time when the British military barred “any negro or person of colour’ from holding rank above sergeant (1914 Manual of Military Law), he is reported to be one of the first black people to serve as an officer in the British Army. He is also thought to have been the only black man to reach the rank of Lieutenant during the war in 1915 (Trinity College Library Blog, 2014).
Killed in action in Perrone, France in 1918, his name appears on the British West Indies Regiment memorial in Port Maria, Jamaica and he is buried in Unicorn Cemetary, Vendhuile, northern France. He was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
For more information, please refer to the following references
Trinity College Blog, 2014: https://trinitycollegelibrarycambridge.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/wwi-clemetson/
BBC, 2015: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31796542
Reverend Edward Cragg Haynes
Commonly referred to as the ‘Black vicar’ by his Victorian congregation, Rev Cragg Haynes was one of the earliest formally trained Black clergymen in England and probably the first in Yorkshire. He is reported to have been born on 14 May 1821 in Bridgetown Barbados. At this time segregation was the norm and it was said that "Life was Heaven for whites, Hell for slaves and Purgatory for Free Coloureds." Non-whites could not become Anglican ministers and the wealthy were educated abroad.
The Africans in Yorkshire database traces the Reverend's family history back to the eighteenth century beginning with his grandfather, Richard Cragg Haynes (1765-1820). Edward's lineage show that he is a descendant of free 'mulattoes' with ancestors who were merchants and owned slaves, as well as uncles who went on to become leading members in the antislavery movement. His parents had nine children of which Edward was the oldest son.
The family sent Edward to England in 1839 to be educated at Kings College in London (he would have bee 18 at the time). He was registered with the Inns of Court of Middle Temple in 1842 probably intending to undertake a legal career but he seems to have changed course. On 19 June 1844 he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge as a fee-paying student. He attained a BA in 1848 with a course in divinity. He lived in Christchurch in Surrey and undertook religious education at Southwark Cathedral. He was later ordained by Samuel Wilberforce, the son of William Wilberforce at Cuddesdon in Oxford.
Edward is recorded to have arrived as a Curate in Swinefleet in December of 1851. By 1854 he had established a school (Swinefleet Grammar School) which took in boarders and day pupils. A year later he married Henrietta Fowler, the daughter of a solicitor from Gainsborough.
Rev. Cragg Haynes (back row, far left) and wife Henrietta Fowler (front row, far left).
Edward was also renowned for his musical talents with rich accounts of his lecture on Music and its History given in 1861 at the Mechanics Institute in Goole.
In 1866, Edward went on to build Empson Villas at Old Goole with income from his inheritances and payment from boarders. In 1872 he was appointed vicar of Swinefleet thereby receiving a better living from the church. Finding the church in a bad state he dedicated the next 10 years to building the new vicarage while remaining in Old Goole. In that time, Empson Villa became known as the 'Black Parsonage'.
Edward Cragg Haynes died on 20 September 1883. His obituary said, “For several years the Rev gentleman has been very anxious to have the church at Swinefleet rebuilt and restored as for some time it has been in ruinous and dilapidated condition. The results of his efforts have been improvements of no slight character, the whole of which will be very shortly finished. The Reverend gentleman’s powers as a reader were acknowledged through the district.”
[Image source: Africans in Yorkshire Project]
For more information
Dr. Nadir Mohammed
A Sudanese economist born in Khartoum (1965), Dr. Mohammed is currently the Country Director of the GCC Countries in the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank. He attended the University of Khartoum for his undergraduate degree where he studied Economics (1983-1988). After graduating he worked as a Research Assistant in the National Population Committee (National Council for Research) in Sudan for a year before beginning his post graduate studies in Economics at Cambridge (as a member of Trinity College) from 1989 to 1992.
Nadir was Macathur Post Doctoral Research Fellow, the Global Security Program, Faculty of Political Science at Cambridge from 1992 to 1993 and took up a position as Lecturer/Research Officer at Oxford's Centre of the Studies of African Economies for another year. He joined the African Development Bank in 1994 as Research Economist until 1996 when he joined the Islamic Development Bank as a Research Economist in the Policy and Research Department for 2 more years.
In 1998, Nadir joined the World Bank Group as Country Economist for Egypt and then Yemen. In the last 13 years he held many positions within the World Bank before rising to his current position as Country Director.
For more information:
- Kwasi Kwarteng
- Cornelius Taiwo
- Peter Biar Ajak
Features coming soon.