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Robert Wedderburn

(c. 1762—1835) radical


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(c.1762–1835?). Black working-class radical and advocate of freedom of speech. Wedderburn was born in Jamaica to James Wedderburn, a Scottish doctor and sugar plantation owner, and Rosanna, a slave. His father abandoned Wedderburn when he sold Rosanna to another estate when she was five months pregnant, stipulating that the child she bore should be free from birth. A series of resales permanently separated Rosanna from her son when still an infant, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother, a Kingston merchant and smuggler known as ‘Talky Amy’. Exposure to the injustice of West Indian slavery marked Wedderburn early, most notably when his 70-year-old grandmother was flogged nearly to death when accused of bewitching a white man's ship.

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From The Oxford Companion to Black British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.


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