Sweet History landmark (photo)

Glossary

Aldermen
A member of an English county or borough, next in status to the Mayor

Almshouses
Houses founded by charity, offering accommodation for the poor.

British Empire
The geographic and political units formerly under British control - at the height of its power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the empire comprised about one quarter of the world’s land area and population, and encompassed territories on every continent.

Colony
A country or area under the political control of another country, and occupied by settlers from that country.

Commerce
The activity of buying and selling, especially on a large scale.

Congregation
A group of people assembled for religious worship.

Consulate
The place where state officials work, who are living in a foreign city and protecting the state’s citizens and interests there.

Customs
The official department that administers and collects the duties (taxes) levied by a government on imported goods.

Customs Officers
Officials who work in Customs, the official department that administers and collects the duties levied by a government on imported goods.

Debtors’ prison
A prison for those who are unable to pay a debt. Prior to the mid 19th century, debtors’ prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt.

Demerara
A region in Guyana, a country on the North East coast of South America. Also, the name of a light brown cane sugar coming originally and chiefly from that region.

Excise Men
Officials who prevented smuggling and collected excise duty, ie the tax levied on certain goods and commodities and on licences granted for certain activities,

Merchant Venturers
A private charitable organisation in Bristol which dates back to the 13th century, and which remained in effective control of Bristol Docks until 1848.

Middle passage
The sea journey undertaken by slave ships from West Africa to the West Indies with a human cargo.

Navigation
The process or activity of planning and directing the route or course of a ship or other means of transport, especially by using instruments or maps.

Negro
Old-fashioned and offensive word to describe a member of a dark-skinned group of peoples originally native to Africa south of the Sahara.

Patrons
People who give financial or other support to a person, organisation, cause etc.

Plantations
Large estates on which crops such as coffee, sugar, and tobacco are grown.

Press Gangs
Bodies of men employed to enlist men forcibly into service in the army or navy.

Quakers
Members of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian movement devoted to peaceful principles and rejecting both formal ministry and all set forms of worship.

Sugar loaf
A conical moulded mass of sugar.

Sugar refinery
An industrial installation where sugar is refined to remove impurities or unwanted elements.

Tavern
An inn or public house (pub).

Trade card
Small cards that businesses would distribute to clients and potential customers, which first became popular at the beginning of the 17th century. They functioned as advertising and also as maps, directing the public to merchants’ stores, as no formal street address numbering system existed at the time.

Transatlantic
Crossing the Atlantic, or concerning countries on both sides of the Atlantic, typically Britain and the United States.

Triangular trade
A system of trading agreed upon or participated in by three or more parties, in which a country pays for its imports from one country by its exports to another. This usually refers to the trade between Europe, African and the West Indies involving the ‘middle passage’ transportation of human slaves.