Sir Robert Strange

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Sir Robert Strange was born in Kirkwall, Orkney, and apprenticed to an engraver in Edinburgh. Strange fought for the Jacobites in the 1745 wars, and, it is said, engraved the plates for the banknotes to the issued by a revived Stuart government.

After the failure of the rising Strange was exiled to France where he spent time in Rouen and Paris before returning to London in 1750.

On his return Strange worked as an engraver and print dealer, In 1760 Strange travelled to Italy and returned to England in 1765 with an international reputation. Strange was knighted in 1787 and died in 1792 in his house at 52 Great Queen Street.  55 and 56 Great Queen Street are presently the site of the Freemason’s Hall.  It is most likely number 52 is part of this extensive site.

The National Portrait Gallery holds a significant collection of his engravings https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp11065/sir-robert-strange?role=art including a number of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie.

James Cruikshank of Ballards Valley, St Mary’s, Jamaica

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James Cruikshank inherited lands in Jamaica inherited from his father and shared with his brother, who predeceased him in 1812 (James Cruikshank profile and legacies summary). A death in 1831 means James Cruikshank held slaves in Jamaica for his whole life, something not recorded on the memorial, other than through references to Jamaican property.

A death in 1831 means James Cruikshank died one month before the Baptist War an 11 day fight for freedom of approximately 60,000 enslaved people in Jamaica.

James’ daughter married Charles Cornwallis Dansey. Dansey saw action in the Napoleonic wars and after the death of Mary returned to London where he is recorded as living in Woolwich, He held the position of Chief Fire Officer at the Royal Laboratory, part of Woolwich Arsenal between 1839 and 1846, a period when the arsenal fell behind in research. The 1841 census records him living in Charlton.

Ballards Valley in 1832 is reported as an estate of 307 enslaved people. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/estate/view/2378.