The diverse heritage of Liverpool was recognised by the installation of a memorial stone at Liverpool Parish Church on Saturday 3 October, commemorating the first recorded black resident of the City. Historian Laurence Westgaph has traced the presence of a black community in Liverpool over the centuries, and the first recorded resident has been identified as Abell, an enslaved African, who was buried in the churchyard of Our Lady and St Nicholas on 1 October 1717.
A memorial stone was unveiled by Cllr Anna Rothery, the first black Lord Mayor of Liverpool. The Rector of Liverpool, The Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, said: “We cannot hide from our past, and there is no institution from this era of our history which is free from the taint of this horrific trade.
We cannot give justice to Abell and other enslaved Africans, but we can give them the dignity of naming them when we can, and we can give them status within the history of our city.”