Apologies to Abercromby Square fans but today's post about Dylan Thomas. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of some of his black and white films for a while and delighted to have stumbled across No Room at the Inn. And also Three Weird Sisters. Exactly the kinds of film he enjoyed watching himself, that's my Bank Holiday afternoon sorted!
Bank holiday coming up so I'm hoping to get a bit of proper research in, and maybe even get round to finally starting to write up, who knows!
In other news, there will soon ( hopefully) be a new exhibition making an appearance online at the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative in Charleston. Along with two colleagues from the history department at the University we've put together a history of Abercromby Square's role in the American Civil War, along with Liverpool and England's part in the commerce and conflict. Stay tuned for details.
My Spence tracking in his early years is proving rather difficult. So this is more of a process and research piece. I know he was the eldest of a large brood, born around 1816 ( I think he's the one born 30th Sept 1916 at Cazneau Street but still checking). I know his children and two wives, that his father owned a plantation in Jamaica, and that he spent several years abroad as a youth. His mother was probably called Elizabeth Jane ( Rebecca is another option but less likely), and his father also a James, and they had family connections in Scotland.
You'd think that would be a strong searching position wouldn't you, but his father proving rather elusive ( there were several Spence's in Jamaica, and they annoyingly flitted back and forth by the look of it). I know he was in Rowson St in Liscard by the 1850s, but before that he's proving a bugger to trace.
Ever so slightly tangential, but today's walk took me past the homes of two of the 1860's Abercromby square residents before they moved in. I'm still on my Civil War related kick so while I may add a picture of James Spence's former home on Falkner square, I thought the above might be of interest too.
Prior to moving into the Bishop's Palace, major Norman Walker, Confederate and former governor of Bermuda lived here, in what was Napier Terrace. The house is of particular interest as it is one of the places Jefferson Davis, former Confederate President, stayed when he was in Liverpool after the conclusion of the war.
Apologies for lack of posts, have been very busy week for a week off, though a very enjoyable week it has been.
The Spence book turning up more interesting nuggets. Captain Semmes, John Sliddell and J.M.Mason will be familiar names to anyone reading histories of the American Civil War and Britain, but I hadn't realised their social connections to Spence, or the fact that Mason was god-father to one of Spence's daughters! It really is a goldmine of interesting anecdotes.