Remove slave trader statue from Chester

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!

Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere was a joint owner of a number of plantations on St Kitts and Nevis between 1822 and 1834. He was appointed the Governor of Barbados in 1817 meaning he was involved with overseeing the operation of plantations, slaves being shipped in and out of the island through purchase and sales of African people and the overall use of slaves on the island. He also received a considerable amount of compensation (around £920,000 in today's currency) for the loss of 420 enslaved people, at the time of release, on his estates.

Work began on his monument in 1864 and it was finally erected in October 1865, 8 months after his death. It is said to represent his distinguished cavalry career in the military. The pedestal is even engraved with a list of major conflicts he was involved in, but there is no mention of his links to the slave trade and how he profited from it. Even his Wikipedia page only dedicates a paragraph to his connection whilst his military career is outlined in detail.
The statue stands on a “prestigious site” opposite Chester Castle and in January 1972 became a Grade II* listed building meaning it is viewed as a “ particularly important building of more than special interest”.

We are petitioning to have the statue removed from its “prestigious site” in Chester and possibly placed into a museum where people will be able to learn about Combermere’s full history.

We do not believe that the removal of these statues and the changing of street names is the sole way to remove the systemic racism that is deep rooted in our country and its history. It is also not a way for us to try and “remove” the past as this is not possible. We are also not discounting the achievements of these commemorated individuals but rather revealing the reality that comes with / behind some of their success.

We do however believe that in doing this we are taking small steps towards educating the UK about our TRUE history and hope that this education will create some change in the fundamental issues our country was built upon.