John Bramley-Moore – Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Slave Trader

Stephen Ashton 01/11/2021 42comments  |  Jump to last

“Everton Football Club’s planned move to a new £500-million stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock has been given the green light by planning officials. The grade-II listed site is rightly regarded as an important example of Liverpool’s rich maritime heritage, but its name also carries a stark reminder of the city’s historic entanglement with slavery in Brazil, which continued long after abolition in Britain’s own colonies.” — Dr Joe Mulhern, Durham University

I love history, especially that of our city. I recently found an article in an old programme regarding Bramley-Moore Dock. There is a brief thumbnail biography of John Bramley-Moore, after whom our new home is named. It stated that he had made his fortune as a trader in Brazil and married well before returning to the UK. This seemed a noble and far-sighted way for a young man of limited means to make his way in the world. However, on further investigation, the truth it turns out was far from noble.

John Moore was born in Leeds in 1800. I could find nothing about his early life until he turned up in Rio de Janeiro in 1820. Brazil attained its independence from Portugal in 1822 and, in the years that immediately followed, John Moore & Co became one of the most prominent traders between the UK and Brazil. Indeed, he had been able to develop a large coffee estate which was staffed internally and externally by slaves.

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His brother Joseph visited Rio de Janeiro in 1831 and his diary is revealing in its detail of the slavery practises in force on John Moore’s coffee plantation. The trade in slaves had been abolished in the British Empire in 1807, although it would not be until 1833 that the Slavery Abolition Law was enacted. Moore (he did not add the Bramley double-barrel until 1841) was involved in the brutal middle passage of the slave trade triangle, shipping native Africans from their home continent to Brazil (it is estimated that 750,000 slaves were transported in the decade following Brazilian independence).

These arrangements were so lucrative to British merchants, many with branch houses in Liverpool, that it caused HM Chargé D’Affaires in Rio to admit in 1839 that “very many, nay most of our countrymen in Brazil, are more or less openly, advocates and supporters of the slave trade”. The worst example of Moore’s total abuse of the slavery laws was in 1840 when the Royal Navy captured a Moore & Co owned slaver, the Guiana, which was taken to Sierra Leone and destroyed, following a Court hearing at the Admiralty, for aiding and taking part in the slave trade.

In 1845, the British Government passed the Aberdeen Act (named after the then Foreign Secretary Lord Aberdeen). The Act gave the Royal Navy the authority to stop and search any Brazilian ship suspected of being a slave ship on the high seas. The slave traders caught on these ships were tried in British courts. It provoked outrage in Brazil, where it was seen as a violation of free market and freedom of navigation. John Bramley-Moore (as he now was) spoke so vehemently against this Act that he was awarded the Order of the Rose by Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.

Bramley-Moore had returned to the UK in 1835 and established shipping offices for Moore & Co in Liverpool. In 1841, he was elected Alderman for Liverpool Town Council a position he held for 24 years, and was part of the Council that actively supported the Southern States during the American Civil War. He was offered a knighthood in 1846, which he declined – reputedly because his background would not stand up to scrutiny.

Bramley-Moore was elected Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1848 and had a chequered political career as a Conservative politician. He died a wealthy man in 1886, his wealth in large part derived from direct and indirect exploitation of the transatlantic slave trade. He is buried in St Michael’s in the Hamlet, Toxteth Park.

This information must surely start a discussion regarding the naming of the site of our future home. We can either embrace the history and use it to educate; we can attempt to eradicate it; or we can ignore it (which we seem to be doing very well at present). For some time, a campaign has been going on for streets in Liverpool named after slave traders to be renamed or have plaques placed by the street signs that draw attention to the past. The club must, before the name becomes synonymous with Everton Football Club, address the matter and head off future uncomfortable questions.

My personal preference would be to have a permanent exhibition in one of the restored listed buildings on the site, hopefully sponsored by the organisation with the stadium naming rights. I have seen a suggestion somewhere during my research that there should be an exhibition in the International Museum of Slavery at the Albert Dock, but how many visiting fans will go out of their way to visit that building? Perhaps, as well, we could involve Richarlison and Allan in the planning of such a memorial as this will inevitably involve their history.

I have tried to keep this article brief and to the point, and have sought to highlight areas which, to date, may have gone largely unnoticed. If you look hard enough, there is a wealth of information out there but I am particularly indebted to the following sources:

The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade – Jane Elizabeth Adams (The Journal of Negro History, Vol 10, No 4, October 1925, pp. 607-637)
The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade – Leslie Bethell (1970)
Hansard – 1803-2005 contributions in Parliament by John Bramley-Moore
Everton’s new Bramley-Moore stadium is a stark reminder of Liverpool’s historic entanglement with slavery in Brazil - Dr Joe Mulhern (Durham University, 2021)
Everton Heritage Society

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Reader Comments (42)

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Lyndon Lloyd
1 Posted 09/11/2021 at 22:57:11
I read Dr Mulhern's article at the time and actually wrote 90% of an article on the issue of John Bramley-Moore's dubious past but parked it for a date closer to when the question of naming the new stadium was more timely. The whole subject was also very raw at that point, but a lot of the emotion has dissipated with the passage of time so it feels more apt to discuss it now seeing as Stephen has submitted his own article on the issue.

I'll be honest, when I first came across the links between Bramley-Moore and slavery last summer at the height of the racial justice protests, my heart sank. Amid the violent clashes over Winston Churchill's statue in London and the fevered rhetoric around the hauling down of Edward Colston's in Bristol, the last thing you wanted was Everton to be dragged into a bitter fight over racism and “cancel culture”, particularly, as Stephen explains, it takes some digging to find out the extent of JBM's transgressions in the first place but they were brought up on Twitter last year.

As a historian by education, prone to nostalgia in general and given to acknowledging and learning from history rather than erasing it, I am reflexively resistant to the notion of changing the names of places and landmarks unless it's for a very good reason and after very careful consideration and debate. You can't escape history but you can reckon with it and, with the information about JBM out there, it's not something you can brush under the carpet either because someone is bound to bring it up at some stage.

That's why I like Stephen's impulse to create something that acknowledges and contextualises JBM's role in the slave trade rather than simply ignoring the past and doing away with a name that has become synonymous with the new stadium.

(Regardless of who takes up the naming rights, might end up being what we all call it forever. It's not guaranteed, of course — Ashburton Grove has a nice ring to it but The Emirates name stuck; likewise the Etihad Stadium replaced Eastlands but not many people referred to Middlesbrough's Riverside as the Cellnet Stadium.) In so doing the club would be seen to be addressing a potentially uncomfortable association.

That approach would also be in keeping with the City of Liverpool's approach thus far, in consultation with the International Slavery Museum, which is, to these eyes, well-considered — namely, to steer away from renaming roads and places but instead use the opportunity to erect plaques to explain that part of Liverpool's maritime history.

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 09/11/2021 at 23:45:00
There is no right answer to these problems, but Lyndon's last paragraph comes closest.

Acknowledge it, address the matter, admit that yes, judged now it was not the City's finest moment, but also remember historical context and that was then and this is now. Just don't go OTT pandering to the Wokerazzi doing it.

David Pearl
3 Posted 09/11/2021 at 00:01:41
You think that's bad? My dad moved me from Shropshire to Skelmersdale in 1977. I told him l hated it but he didn't care and just went on about its big roundabout. I spent 18 months there. If ever he gets a statue, l'm gonna be pissed.
Dale Self
4 Posted 10/11/2021 at 00:29:01
Yes, let's give it some deep thought and then go off on some anti-Wokerazzi trip. Damn.
Don Alexander
5 Posted 10/11/2021 at 01:07:57
Every village, town and city in Britain had slave owners in their populations in the early 1800s. Poor people were encouraged to buy a mere share in a slave if they could afford it, to stave off the threat of poverty in those distant, non-welfare-state days.

When Parliament abolished the Slave Trade, they decided they had to buy out every single known slave owner, the majority being very poor already, as said. They documented every pay-out to every named individual. There were hundreds of thousands such people. The Parliamentary records still exist.

The excellent (IMO) TV historian David Olusoga did a whole program on this a couple of years ago and it's well worth a viewing.

Getting back to our soon to be submerged new stadium, I don't think we should ignore Bramley-Moore's behaviour but, rather like the Yanks do with Thomas Jefferson, place it in the context of its times and then go hell for leather for naming rights off a 100% perfect individual/organisation who'll forever be beyond criticism (Kenwright, Moshiri and Usmanov need not apply).

Simples!

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 10/11/2021 at 02:04:52
I think the key point is in the perception of a name. The fact you have to do significant research to learn about the crimes associated with the man and the place says that in contemporary terms the name is not associated with glorifying the man or his deeds. If it was something that obviously resonated more with contemporary times, the Enoch Powell dock, or the National Front Dock then yeah, change it. But as it is, the scum-bag behind the name is long forgotten so, however great he thought he was, no-one remembers him now.
Ian Jones
7 Posted 10/11/2021 at 06:27:07
Interesting debates on this issue will no doubt take place over the years. However, my first thought was the original name, John Moore, being close to that of John Moores, our former Chairman!
Paul Ferry
8 Posted 10/11/2021 at 08:24:15
Don Alexander, that is absolute twaddle written in the seeming sense of someone 'in the know'.

As a 'professional' historian – ie, university professor specialising in English History 1500-1800 – your comment about the poor being encouraged to buy a part of a slave is, Jesus, laughable. Your 'knowledge' of the 1598/1601 Poor Law that was not repealed until 1834 is below that of one of my undergraduates who has never studied it.

There is nothing worse than 'knowledge' being paraded and dressed up in 'fake news'.

This is up there with you know who won the election:

'When Parliament abolished the Slave Trade they decided they had to buy out every single known slave owner, the majority being very poor already, as said. They documented every pay-out to every named individual. There were hundreds of thousands such people. The Parliamentary records still exist.'

Indeed they do, Don. There are, as I'm sure you know the Commons Journals. And Hansard began reporting in 1798 and became verbatim in 1811.

Show me one scrap of evidence from that 'public' record for your twaddle, Mr Alexander.

Hundreds of thousands of poor people with a stake in slaves. You're funny, Don, but in truth dangerously misleading and insulting to the 18th & 19th Century poor.

Mutton dressed up as lamb.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 10/11/2021 at 13:03:45
Firstly, an excellent article, Stephen. We should never hide from these discussions.

And to Lyndon's follow-on point. You can't erase history. You shouldn't ever try to. But you can acknowledge and learn from it – good and bad.

My Grandfather always educated me on Liverpool's part in the slave trade and made sure I knew how unjust and savage it was. As a Burma veteran who staged through Indian on his way to and back from War, he also took me to an exhibition on India in the original Liverpool Museum behind St George's Hall when I was about 10. I'll never forget him lecturing me on how the British had oppressed those people and held them back. And that one day they would be an influential and powerful nation. That was 40 years ago and less than 40 since he'd returned from the region and the fighting.

The Germany I spent a few years in as a child in the 70s lived in self-imposed shame and tried to ignore their more recent past. They were afraid to raise their own flag or be patriotic.

When I visit now (every year on several occasions), I see a much more confident nation that has come to terms with its past because it eventually confronted it and acknowledged it. But they didn't erase it. You can visit sites where some of the most recent atrocities imposed on humans by other humans imaginable took place.

They haven't been torn down or erased. They have been left to stand as a memory to the victims. And a reminder and lesson as to why we should never forget the lessons of the past and go there again.

Erase them and they are forgotten. It upsets me, in today's often angry and outraged about everything society, that we are scared to talk about these type of things. We should never forget and always reflect.

Thanks again, Stephen.

Don Alexander
11 Posted 10/11/2021 at 14:05:30
Paul (#8), my opinion stems from the TV program I watched and the reading I've touched on since, it was not intended to upset, offend or mislead anyone.

The following is from an article published in early 2018, critical of the Government on account of a departmental tweet at the time on slavery compensation. It cites 46,000 slave owners and my "hundreds of thousands" sought to include their family members as beneficiaries;

"It was one of those tweets by a public body you couldn't quite believe. “Here's today's surprising #FridayFact,” HM Treasury declared last week. “Millions of you helped end the slave trade through your taxes.” Attached to the tweet was an image of slaves in chains with the caption: “In 1833, the British government used £20m, 40% of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the empire. The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn't paid off until 2015. Which means that living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade.”

The slave trade was actually abolished in 1807. The 1833 Slavery Abolition Act abolished, as the name suggests, slavery itself. A Treasury so loose with its facts might explain something about the state of the British economy. Worse, however, was the claim that British taxpayers helped “buy freedom for slaves”. The government certainly shelled out £20m (about £16bn today) in 1833. Not to free slaves but to line the pockets of 46,000 British slave owners as “recompense” for losing their “property”. Having grown rich on the profits of an obscene trade, slave owners grew richer still from its ending. That, scandalously, was what the taxpayer was paying for until 2015."

I'm not out to point-score, Paul, but I just share the opinion of slave history that many others do, and the way the British Establishment dealt with it at the time and ever since.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 10/11/2021 at 14:22:54
Paul Ferry

As soon as I saw the subject being discussed here. I thought if any subject was going to lure you from TW exile this would be it.

Authority and knowledge. Trumps ill informed speculation all day long.

Hope you and yours are keeping well

Joe Cavanagh
13 Posted 10/11/2021 at 14:33:42
If the naming rights haven't been auctioned off already, then maybe we can get around this problem and have a win-win...

We could instead have the "CheapCo"" or the "Microsoft" Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock (insert the name of your choice). Then it's the original dock that carries the stigma (and rightly so), whereas the new stadium can have a squeaky clean new name which offends no-one. And we can have the appropriate signage and memorials to show that we are well aware of the dubious origins behind the dock's name.

Other clubs have The Stadium of Light, etc etc - so we could choose something similar (a play on the School of Science, maybe) although that may be inviting trouble...

The only problem in this day and age is finding a name that doesn't offend someone.

The "Neutral Zone" Stadium, or the "Wishy-Washy" Stadium, anyone?

Nick Page
14 Posted 10/11/2021 at 14:59:56
Joe, I think BMD is actually going to be called the BIg Blue Bill Kenwright Saved Everton and Mortgaged His House’ison Park Uncle Cyril Stadium as an ever lasting tribute to the Great Leader and Best Ever Evertonian ever. Anything else is just pointless as far as I’m concerned.
Brian Murray
15 Posted 10/11/2021 at 15:50:14
Danny. Only one set of people have succeeded in erasing any part of their shameful history. You can see their loft conversion from Goodison.
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 10/11/2021 at 15:51:12
Whoever sponsors it is irrelevant to me. It's the Mersey Arena. In the shadow of the blue lighted Liver Building, both overlooking our river. Forget the City, we take the region. Prior to national and then European dominance.

It will be interesting how we name the stands. Let alone the stadium!

Airbrushed from the vaults of history and never happened, Brian. I saw the loft conversion on Sunday from the Main Stand when Ade "kindly" pointed it out!

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 10/11/2021 at 16:07:24
A thought-provoking article from Stephen, appropriately thoughtful posts from Lyndon and Danny, and clarity on the historical record from Professor Ferry. Much appreciated.

I look forward to what I'm sure will be a fascinating debate over the naming of the stadium and the ultimate treatment of the dock's odious history. I'm sure it will be Topic 1 on this site as the stadium approaches completion.

Derek Taylor
18 Posted 10/11/2021 at 16:45:07
All this stadium naming nonsense reminds me of an uncle of mine who once met Deadly Doug Ellis. 'I see they've named a stand after you, Doug, he uttered'. 'Yes', said Villa's version of Blue Bill, I didn't want it but the Board insisted.'

A quick glance in the proggie showed the Villa Board to be made up of only the great man's son and his doctor ! Say no more.

Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 10/11/2021 at 16:46:45
Derek

Haha sounds about right

Bill Gall
20 Posted 10/11/2021 at 16:59:39
As other people have said, you can't change history but you have to accept it happened. Bramley-Moore Dock is not the only part of Liverpool that is related to the slave trade.

It will not be named the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium but, if the owners of Everton FC are interested in history, they could place a plaque on the old building that is being upgraded, of who John Bramley-Moore was, and of his history and the history of the dock.

Danny #10,

Mentioning your grandfather, my father-in-law also fought in Burma while in the Army. He volunteered to join an expeditionary force led by Orde Wingate, who – from what I have read about him – was quite a nutcase. My wife always said her dad got back from the war a lot later than the other soldiers and suffered with malaria.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
21 Posted 10/11/2021 at 20:22:27
I'm still waiting for the UK's compensation from Italy for all the slaves the Romans shipped out of our country. Perhaps we can also get a pile of money from Denmark and also Saxony for when they came over and enslaved us. And with all their wealth from the North Sea, the Vikings of Norway could certainly give reparations for all the stuff they stole and our women they raped.

Why do us Brits never fight for what is our recompense? We could then use it to recompense any we have abused. We just sit here.

Perhaps rather than financial compensation we could take Chiesa or Barella.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
22 Posted 10/11/2021 at 20:40:16
On a slightly more frivolous vein than seeking our compensation from the Italians, I am being reminded each day on Facebook of our trip down the East Coast of the US just 3 long year ago. About now we were having dinner at the Kennedy Space Center with having our photo taken with an astronaut. It was pretty special.

But a few days earlier, we were in Williamstown, a reproduction of a pre-independence town. There was a drama and at the end, we went to speak with him. His dad was in the forces and back in the 60s there were places he could not go – but the whites were happy for him to defend their country.

He then told a couple of examples from history. If an owner started beating a slave, then by raising his arm to protect himself the slave was guilty of attacking his owner and it was punishable with death. Having then hanged the slave, the owner could then apply for compensation for the loss of the slave, his asset.

We also got into an interesting conversation with our server in the restaurant who was Afro-American (AA). Her mother was against her working there because it was so "white" and we had noticed that very few AAs were among the visitors. We mused if all the people working in the gardens and doing the menial tasks were AAs, would people notice and be shocked? All three of us concluded - probably not.

I don't think those of us on this side of the pond really understand. Not sure we do yet either. But the essence is you do get equality by lowering the privileged, that causes resentment – you get it by raising the disadvantaged.

Ken Kneale
23 Posted 10/11/2021 at 20:48:16
Danny 10 - what sensible comments
Tony Everan
24 Posted 10/11/2021 at 21:35:38
Thank you for the article Stephen, this is an incredible thread enhanced by many posters above.

I find it interesting what Danny says about not erasing history but confronting it and being educated by it. What better way to hit home than having some physical reminder of the past.

I’d like to see a monument and a plaque of some sort at the site that tells this story of slavery so that it can educate future generations and not be forgotten.

I’ve had the idea of having a free ‘history trail’ around the stadium site that could act as a link with the past and is accessible both physically and educationally for fans and even casual visitors, even schools, on non match days.

We may even poach a few new supporters off the back of it ? The investment could make commercial sense as well as being a social one. It would create more footfall for businesses in the locality. A grant to support it, fully or partially, could be applied for.

I could do some research and work on it Farhad, if you’re reading.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 11/11/2021 at 06:40:47
My Grandfather, Bert McAlister, being a native of Belfast, was in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Bill. I have his cap badge and medals, including the Burma Star, framed and on the wall. When I eventually get around to getting mine done, I'll put them alongside his.

He adopted Liverpool as his home city and Everton as his team. He would never really talk too much about Burma, other than occasionally over a half a glass of bitter in the Arkles. Yes, a red pub, but it was his local as he only lived about 6 doors down on Arkles Lane in later life.

He was very proud of Liverpool and educated me on the history and heritage on many trips to the museums, buildings and city centre.

It will be an interesting and potentially emotive debate on the stadium name, Mike. I personally think the sponsorship will just take over and the site name will remain, much in a similar manner to Eastlands / The Etihad.

But then as much as I see myself progressive, I also like a bit of history and heritage. So it would be nice to see something relating to the city and maybe Goodison Park? Don't get me wrong: I'm not into this "New Goodison Park" type of labelling; it's not Goodison. But a reflection on our past in our future home. Maybe that's where stand naming and even the plazas surrounding the stadium come into play?

All we can do is debate, unless we're asked for opinion and consensus by the club. That would be a nice gesture from them in my opinion.

Stephen Vincent
26 Posted 11/11/2021 at 12:24:05
Danny, I'm sure that I have seen somewhere that the Archie Leitch trusses from the Bullens Road and Gwladys Street stands are to be referenced at the new ground and parts of The Old Lady will be retained at the People's Project.

The Old Lady has hosted more top division games than any other ground in the UK, is the joint oldest football stadium in continuous use and holds countless firsts. She needs to be respected and remembered.

Bill Gall
27 Posted 11/11/2021 at 14:20:11
Danny,

My father-in-law was from the Four Squares in Liverpool. I am not sure of what Regiment he was in but, from an old photo, the cap badge looks like a gun carriage. Both him and his mate volunteered to join this expeditionary force and the wife said their caps were like what the Australian caps are with the brim turned up one side, and I don't know if it is the correct name but the wife said they were called the Chindits.

Like most men at that time, they never talked much about the wartime, they just said it was something that had to be done and they done it. But he did one night open up a bit while he had been drinking, and the tales he told about what they had to eat to survive and how their native guides would go out at night and come back with body parts would make your hair curl.

John Keating
28 Posted 11/11/2021 at 14:26:11
Bill,

Royal Artillery in Burma. India and Far East against the Japanese. Horrendous.

Raymond Fox
29 Posted 11/11/2021 at 15:23:16
I don't think it makes any sense to have John Bramley-Moore mentioned when we name the stadium; acknowledge the history within the stadium by all means.

Our country's part in slavery was deplorable from whichever angle you look at it. If you look at history though, slavery has unfortunately been practiced by almost every civilisation since time began.It still exists today, as you well know.

Barry Rathbone
30 Posted 11/11/2021 at 22:36:50
Does it matter?

You can go on forever dredging up history to self flagelate but why? What is the point?

People interested in such matters know the major ports, including Liverpool, grew up on slavery, Those who don't prefer a karaoke bar and lecturing about this stuff at every opportunity just turns the message to white noise. Totally counter-productive.

It's a footy stadium, not one of the Stations of the Cross. The name Bramley-Moore will be superceded by something commercial and in 10 years no one will remember Bramley-Moore Dock.

(No apology for "white" btw).

Paul Ferry
31 Posted 12/11/2021 at 08:58:40
'The major ports' Barry (Rathbone)?

No.

Two-thirds of all trade went through London in 1700. London was by far the major port but lost its prominence to Liverpool over the next century, a city, Liverpool, that grew from 22,000 in 1750 to 443,900 in 1861, primarily as a consequence of Atlantic trade and related jobs, including the triangle.

Liverpool grew on slavery. The other main 'beneficiary, was Bristol, but Bristol was already an established port in 1500 when Liverpool was a fishing village and latest estimates suggest that whereas Bristol 'benefitted' from slavery by 440% our city did so to the tune of 18,000% of tonnage and wealth from a much smaller base.

A minor 'beneficiary' was Whitehaven. No English port on the south or east coast or north of Whitehaven benefitted from slavery in any significant way and the same is true of Scottish ports who always looked east rather than north with the exception of the Glasgow area.

There is no point at all in 'whitewashing' our city here; the Toxteth lot make Colston look like Geoff Nulty.

Rick Tarleton
32 Posted 12/11/2021 at 15:52:11
Politically, my instincts are left wing, but I am from a family that provided Lord Mayors of Liverpool and who were intrinsically involved in the slave trade.

History cannot be changed, I might wish that the Tarletons had been more like the Wilberforces, but it just isn't true.

However, I do feel that it might be a good idea for Everton to start looking for a name for the new stadium as soon as possible and to refer to it by its new name, rather than as the Bramley-Moore development.

Not over-keen on the Kenwright Arena, however!

Jerome Shields
33 Posted 12/11/2021 at 22:47:11
History and Liverpool will throw up these connections.

I found this myself when I researched the Pickfords and Todd Naylor families for my friend (a Pickford). His relative, Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell, and the fraud and loss of the family fortune I did not tell him about. Yes, they did trade in South America.

I think that Lyndon in his last paragraph has the right approach, but don't have any confidence in those in charge at Everton, who will only react when it bites them on the ass.

Michael Lynch
34 Posted 12/11/2021 at 23:42:15
I'm sure we won't be naming our stadium after a slave-trader, so it's probably time the club stopped referring to the site as Bramley-Moore Dock. Now we've got the build underway, it's no longer a dock, it's a football ground.


Brian Wilkinson
35 Posted 13/11/2021 at 03:39:47
I reckon the Usmanov Stadium or USM Arena look a certainty.

Hope people have checked up the name Usmanov to ensure he is not a long-distance relative to anyone connected to things 200 to 300 years ago.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 13/11/2021 at 11:20:55
I still don't get this erasing of history thing.

Back to my German experience. When I go to Berlin, there is still the Reichstag (Parliament), where one of the most evil dictators responsible for the most terrible attrocites and a World War once reigned. Now its a symbol of European unity. But the name hasn't changed.

Just a short walk away, The "Fuhrer Bunker" where he spent his last days before killing himself to escape justice and was burned by petrol is now covered by a car park. But there is a very detailed information board explaining what the site means. And symbolically, Germany's memorial to the 6 million is literally across the road.

Don't hide from history. It happened. It may have been right. It may have been wrong. You can't change it, just learn from it and make things better from the lessons learned. But you won't learn those lessons by closing your eyes, putting your hands over your ears, and pretending it never happened.

We could go on forever about this. The young US nation's treatment of the native American tribes?

I digress slightly. Bramley-Moore Dock. There is no shame in the name – just the historical context of the time.

Michael Lynch
37 Posted 13/11/2021 at 13:04:39
I'm not so sure about that, Danny. I mean, if we were building our stadium on the site of Hitler's Bunker, I'd be slightly doubtful about attaching that name to our ground, whether for historical value or even for shock value.

Bramley-Moore Dock was named to honour a man who was a slave-trader. You can make the argument that times were different then, but this is the 21st century and I really don't see any reason to honour him any further in the name of our ground.

Having detailed information boards is a good thing, memorialising a slave-trader in the name of our ground is not, in my opinion.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 13/11/2021 at 13:25:39
It won't be called the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, Michael.

My point is: don't hide from history and try to sweep it under the carpet.

Believe me, from my Catholic Liverpool upbringing, that's what many families have done in the past. We ignored wrongs. The "nothing to see here / it never happened" brigade will achieve less than accepting that shit happened and it was wrong. Acknowledging, confronting and learning from the past is way more powerful than ignoring it.

Of course don't glorify it. But don't ignore or erase it. Sorry to repeat myself, but Germany is a very good example of this.

Barry Rathbone
39 Posted 13/11/2021 at 14:35:36
Pul Ferry 31

If your answer is "no" can you give me a list of MAJOR ports of the 1800s NOT benefitting from the slave trade, please?

And don't be so sanctimonious no one is "white washing" history the question is why dredge (dyageddit? - maritime reference marvellous) such matters when a much better job of it exists just a few minutes up the road.

The club isn't building another maritime museum it's a footy ground ffs.

Stu Darlington
41 Posted 14/11/2021 at 19:18:42
Liverpool's involvement in the slave trade indeed makes very harrowing reading as many posters on this thread have highlighted. But apparently it wasn't the only form of slavery in these parts.

I recently read a pamphlet published in the late 19th or early 20th Century entitled “The White Slaves of Widnes“ which described the working conditions of men working as bleach packers in the local chemical industry in Widnes, about 12 miles from Goodison as the crow flies.

The job entailed mixing powder with chlorine gas by hand. No protective clothing apart from a self-supplied scarf wound round the mouth and nose; no Health & Safety then... It was heavy, piece work and only young men could cope. The chlorine caused all their teeth to fall out and turned their lungs to water by the time they were in their mid-20s.

Mortality was extremely high, but not shown in official figures as men who were overcome by chlorine gas were given a tot of brandy and then sent home. Hence they died at home, not at work. All this for a few pence a day.

No, these men were not slaves taken from their homes in chains and forced to work thousands of miles away; their chains were much more subtle. It was either work in terrible conditions for a pittance or starve. Leave your job and lose your home as it was owned by your employer – sounds like a great definition of freedom to me.

Apologies for rambling on a bit and probably off thread but my point is slavery is not solely about the slave triangle; there are other forms of slavery, closer to home and not nearly so well remembered. Should the factory owners, cotton masters and early capitalists be similarly vilified?

As others have said, it's just a footie ground and Goodison Park will just be another memory for my grandkids.

As Danny quite rightly says, let's acknowledge history, learn from it, and move on.


Don Alexander
42 Posted 14/11/2021 at 19:49:35
I heard there were moves afoot to re-site the old Wankdorf Stadium on Hitler's very own hole.

Oh well, another opportunity that never came to pass.

Bill Watson
43 Posted 15/11/2021 at 17:06:41
One of the ironies of the abolition of slavery was that the slave owners were very, very substantially compensated for the loss of their 'assets' but the actual slaves recieved sod all.

There's no chance the new stadium will be named The Bramley-Moore Stadium as the naming rights will be a significant part of offsetting the stadium loan costs.

My own view is that the Bramley-Moore slavery link (the man not the dock) should be recognised and what better place than in the pumphouse.

Neil Copeland
44 Posted 15/11/2021 at 17:42:34
Just call it Transition Park... covers all bases and is so Everton.

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