Robert BushMap maker, abolitionist, religious leader1801 to 1895August 25, 2016
James WrightMap maker, abolitionist, religious leader1801 to 1895August 25, 2016
George Culley Ashmead was baptised at St Paul, Portland Square on 3rd June 1801 aged 5 weeks, and had a sister Eliza, who was baptised there on 13th July 1803 aged 2 weeks. They were the children of Peter and Martha Rawbon who had married at St Peter on 10th September 1800. Curiously, both children were re-baptised at St Augustine on the 21st January 1810, as George Culley Hollis Ashmead and Eliza Hall Ashmead with their birth dates being stated as 29th April 1804 and 28th June 1805.
George became a land surveyor, Land Agent, auctioneer and map maker and was responsible for a number of maps of Bristol including a map of Blaise Hamlet, St Nicholas Church and others. His business was based at 19 Small Street, in part of what was Colston’s House. This was later demolished to build the Assize courts, as an extension of the Guildhall through from Broad Street, and G. C. Ashmead & Son then moved to 11 Small Street.
Like his father George became a Burgess man in 1830, by virtue of his having married Sarah Merrick at St Peter on 3rd February 1823. She was the daughter of a Burgess man - William Merrick.
Campaigned for the abolition of slavery
He became involved in various causes in the early 1830s, attending meetings on the Rights of Dissenters, and Anti Slavery. On the 13th April 1833, Geo. C Ashmead and William Tothill, as Secretaries to the Committee of the Bristol Anti-Slavery Association, wrote to the Bristol Mercury stating that “One Last Appeal must now be made to wipe off the foulest stigma which has ever stained the nation”, and asking for signatories to the “Petition For the Abolition of Slavery” to be transmitted to London by the 16th of that month.
Then on the 18th, nearly 400 Anti-Slavery delegates from all parts of the country assembled in London. They included the members of the Clergy and learned professions, Dissenting Ministers, Naval & Military officers and MPs. George attended as the delegate from Bristol. The next day they proceeded to Downing Street, presenting a solemn and impressive spectacle. They then met the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to present their case. The Slavery Abolition Act was passed in July and started the process to end slavery throughout the British Empire. However, as slavery still continued in America, the campaigning continued, and the Ashmeads were still involved. He was active in his life nearly up to his death, at the ripe old age of 94 years!
The memorial can be found on the 'Long Path' - go up the steps to the right of the café, walk up to the path junction and the grave is on your left on the corner.
He was active in his life nearly up to his death, at the ripe old age of 94 years. Away from his business, he was a committed Baptist and was a member of the King Street Chapel for 30 years until 1847. He had been the treasurer, then superintendent of the Sunday Schools and leader of the choir
There is a marker and photograph indicating the position of his grave on the community layer of the Knowyourplace map.
His grave reads:
In loving memory of GEORGE CULLY ASHMEAD Who died October 2nd 1895 Aged 94 years Also of SARAH for 53 years The beloved wife of the above Who died 18th January 1876 Aged 80 years Also in loving remembrance of SARAH ANNE Widow of the late EDWARD MARDON And eldest daughter of GEORGE C ASHMEAD Who died 12th July 1885 Aged 58 years Also ELIZA, widow of J MANNING And sister of the above GEORGE C ASHMEAD Who died 16th January 1889 Aged 85 years