Western News

Remembering Edward Moulton-Barrett

KERIL WRIGHT, Observer West reporter

Thursday, March 01, 2007    

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ROSE HALL, St James

The Georgian Society of St James yesterday honoured Edward Moulton-Barrett, a descendant of 17th century slave owners and famed English poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, with a burial plaque at the Cinnamon Hill Barrett family cemetery at Rose Hall in the parish.

Barrett, a barrister, who died in 1992 and was buried at the 300 year old cemetery, was remembered as a philanthropist who was integral to the development of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

"This will stand here in memory for others to see," said Gordon Barrett, who along with his wife, Jan, journeyed to Jamaica from Miami in the US to represent the Barrett family at yesterday's ceremony.

Both Barrett and Jeannne Robinson-Foster, who officiated at yesterday's ceremony, remembered the famous Barrett family who came to Jamaica in 1660 and owned sugar plantations in St James. Descendants of slaves who once worked on the Barrett plantation in the parish now live in the nearby areas of Barrett Town and Barrett Hall.

Barrett also received commendations yesterday from head of the Department of History and Archaeology, Dr Swithin Wilmot, for his generous contributions to the department and was presented with a portrait of the late Barrett to hang in the department.

He said Barrett's donations to the university, which established a lectureship in archaeology and bought a land cruiser for the department's use, continue to this day to assist financially needy archaeology students complete their education.

Barrett was also fittingly honoured yesterday with the poem The Sleep written by his ancestor, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in a reading by founder of the Georgian Society, Geoffrey Pinto.

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