CALL AND RESPONSE: THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW AND SLAVERY
VALE ROYAL ESTATE
Technical drawing of a feed and retention valve, 1870
University of Glasgow Library, Mirrlees Watson Co Ltd Archive, UGD202/3406
Mirrlees Watson Co Ltd started in 1840 in Glasgow and specialised in the manufacture of sugar machinery. This is a drawing to request a spare part for a boiler on the Vale Royal Estate in Jamaica. It is signed by “HS” on 23 September 1870 and endorsed as received by David Galloway on 13 October 1870. This is one of over 6000 drawings held. Each one has place and personal name data connecting Glasgow and the world.
“Archives like these are direct physical links with our shared past. Great wealth remained with Scottish plantation owners beyond the 1833 Abolition Act. They continued to source goods and services from Scotland rather than invest in the Caribbean infrastructure. Those inequalities have been passed down the generations. I am hopeful that we can learn from the past and move forward with new shared understanding.”
University of the West Indies