National Trust slammed for asking children to write poems lamenting British Empire
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Apr 06, · Illinois is offering to pay off up to $40, of new homeowners' student loan debt in a bid to attract new buyers as part of a new $25 million scheme.. The Illinois Housing Development Authority. Apr 06, · The National Trust has come under fire for encouraging children to write poems critical of the British Empire while on school trips. The poems were written as part of the trust's Colonial. Apr 21, · The money market account lets you write checks. That can come in handy in certain situations. But like at most banks, writing more than six checks .
By Danyal Hussain For Mailonline. The National Trust has come under fire for encouraging children to write poems critical of the British Empire while on school trips. The poems were written as part of the trust's Colonial Countryside project, which saw primary school pupils given tours of country houses. They were then invited to write verses about the former owners of the homes and their connections to the British Empire.
Now, some National Trust members have slammed the project, accusing the trust of asking children to 'denigrate their own history'. It is the latest criticism of the charity, after it was accused of 'lecturing' the public and 'demonising' history for publishing a report into 93 historic houses' links to slavery last September.
One of the houses that saw schools pupils shown around and asked to write poetry was Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon. A child also wrote a poem about Lord Curzon, viceroy of India from to Students were shown a sword and scabbard at Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon that was looted during the relief of Lucknow from the Indian mutiny of There, they were shown a sword and scabbard looted during the relief of Lucknow from the Indian mutiny of According to the Times, one student wrote: 'Stolen by the English; a freedom sword, a stolen freedom sword.
In another case, a child wrote a poem about Lord Curzon, viceroy of India from to It read: 'He thinks he's strong, trying to take over India. I am the one keeping their souls trapped here but am I really the evil one? Should they resent me. Do they already resent me for imprisoning them for all these years? It is believed that the children were particularly upset by animals killed and kept as decorations in stately homes.
A National Trust spokesperson told MailOnline: ' Colonial Countryside is a creative writing project for school children at 11 places in the National Trust's care.
It brings children together with writers and historians to use their creative skills to discover the stories behind these places. Corinne Fowler, professor of postcolonial literature at the University of Leicester, led the programme.
She said: 'Colonial Countryside pupils produced work which expresses the fullest possible range of approaches, perspectives and emotions, from critical to curious to expressions of wonder. Jack Hayward, of the pressure group Restore Trust, said: 'We don't have a problem with an objective assessment of history.
We have a problem with people being subjective about history. The National Trust had been accused of 'wokeism,' after it published a report into 93 historic houses' links to slavery last September. Hilary McGrady, the trust's director general, insisted she was not woke, but accepted the timing of the report's publication was 'not brilliant in the middle of trying to deal with Covid and everything else'.
Hilary McGrady, director-general of The National Trust, has insisted she is not woke as she defended the trust's report into 93 stately home's links to slavery and colonialism. Restore Trust was established following furious criticism of a report detailing links between 93 of the Trust's properties and historic slavery and colonialism.
Pictured: Chartwell in Kent. The report was published after a summer of protests by the BLM movement, in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US while being restrained by police officers. Protests in London saw a statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square vandalised with the words 'was a racist' sprayed beneath its feet, while in Bristol, a statue of slave trader and merchant Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour.
George Nathaniel Curzon was viceroy of India from to and foreign secretary from and He was elected as a Conservative MP in and travelled widely in Asia, writing articles that became influential politically.
In he was appointed Viceroy of India and created a Peer of Ireland. During his time in India, he established the Imperial Cadet Corps, an elite unit designed to give Indian princes and aristocrats military training. He also oversaw the Indian famine between and in which 1 to 4. Curzon was criticised for his response to the famine. He held the Viceroy role until before returning to Britain and becoming Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
However, he was passed over for the job in favour of Stanley Baldwin, partly because of his membership of the House of Lords. From that point on, Lords have been barred from leading political parties and becoming prime minister. Ms McGrady revealed the trust received complaints from its members over the report, as well as redundancy plans, with of its 12, full-time staff losing their jobs. Restore Trust was established following furious criticism of the charity over the report.
The group, described as a forum where members can 'discuss their concerns about the future of the charity', says visitors should not leave venues feeling their history has been 'demonised'.
They say there has been a 'relentless diminution of standards' at the Trust and have accused the charity of 'patronising' and 'lecturing' the public. Restore Trust, which has supporters, has also hit out at the charity for underestimating its 'open-minded' members who 'understand that history is complicated'. The group hopes to restore the Trust's 'apolitical ethos' and help it return to 'doing what it does best' by maintaining historic buildings, interiors and artefacts, gardens and countryside to the 'highest standard'.
It also aims to help restore 'the aesthetic experience' of the Trust's historic houses and gardens 'so that visitors can enjoy them visually, spatially, and sometimes peacefully, without intrusive interpretation. Another goal noted on the Restore Trust's website is 'to use history responsibly as a tool for understanding, not as a weapon. The campaign was launched by National Trust members who hope to remind bosses of the purpose of the charity following outrage over its apparent 'woke agenda.
Among the 'main concerns' of Restore Trust are the colonialism and slavery report, which it said has 'serious shortcomings and is one-sided in its conclusions'. Members added it was 'not clear that the report is an effort to promote better understanding of country houses in their context rather than an attempt to portray country houses and the families associated with them in a negative light'.
One of Restore Trust's founding members said: 'This idea that history is being suppressed is wrong, but I think what people object to is being told a one-sided or subjective version. They also raised concerns over the closure of smaller historic properties and proposed redundancies of curators. A spokesperson for the National Trust said: 'We listen to concerns and criticism and are in regular contact with supporter groups and are always interested in hearing constructive feedback.
Chartwell , Kent. Chartwell's land has history dating back to the 14th century and it is thought to have been built on as early as the 16th century, with Historic England noting that some of the Tudor brickwork is still visible on external walls. T he report draws on his leadership during the Bengal Famine of , his 'exceptionally long, complex and controversial life' and his position as Secretary of State for the Colonies as the reason for its inclusion on the list.
The National Trust said it does not want to censor history, but added that it has a duty to inform its visitors about the origins its properties above, Churchill's former home, Chartwell. Bateman's is a Grade I listed building constructed in and was the home of author Rudyard Kipling from until his death in The National Trust lists the home of Rudyard Kipling because 'the British Empire was a central theme and context of his literary output'.
Despite noting his opposition to slavery, the home of poet William Wordsworth - Allan Bank in the Lake District - is included because his brother, John, served as Commander of an East India Company ship in and captained two successful voyages to China. His father, Samuel Shepheard Senior, was one of the founding members of the new East India Company and the South Sea Company and the report notes his family fortune was built on overseas trade. Blickling Hall is a stately home built in and was inherited by William Schomberg Robert Kerr, 8th Marquess of Lothian in the 19th century.
According to the report, Windham was one of only 16 MPs to vote against the Abolition Bill in and, as Secretary for War and the Colonies in , he believed abolition would result in Britain's economic ruin.
Hatfield Forest Shell House , Essex. Houblon came from a large family of bankers and traders and the family name appears in documents dating from that indicate the Houblons had established a business partnership with the plantation-owning Hankey family.
The house itself was built by Jacob Houblon III in and the report states it is closely linked to the story of West Indies trade in the eighteenth century.
The interior and exterior are embossed with shells from the Caribbean, West Africa and the Indo-Pacific. Cowrie shells are associated with the transatlantic slave trade, according to the National Trust. Trust experts say Ickworth was owned by Admiral Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol whose family had strong links to the slave trade. The report states that the Hervey family is linked to Jamaican plantations through a marriage settlement made at the time of the union in of Elizabeth Hervey and Charles Rose Ellis, Lord Seaford.
It includes a list of named enslaved men, women and children on the Montpelier Estate in Jamaica, who were to be transferred along with other property including a sugar works.
The National Trust states that Oxburgh Hall is included because the son of former owner Sir Richard Bedingfeld served for much of his career as a British government colonial official in the West Indies.
Jonathan Peckover was a tradesman and managed the Wisbech and Lincolnshire Bank in a banking hall adjoining the house. The National Trust's report states that the Peckovers were Quakers, many of whom believed that all people are created equal in the eyes of God and campaigned for the abolition of slavery. The hall was later inherited by Henrietta Cavendish Holles who married into the Harley family in Henrietta's daughter married William Bentinck, whose father was a plantation owner.
The Trust go on to say that in , Wimpole was purchased by Philip Yorke who, as Attorney General, stated that runaway enslaved people coming to Great Britain or Ireland from the West Indies were not free. This gave slavers the legal right to enforce their return to the plantations.
Ankerwycke , Surrey. The Trust's report details how the Ankerwycke Estate was purchased in the early nineteenth century by John Blagrove the Younger, a plantation owner. At the time of his death, he was the owner of 1, enslaved men and women in Jamaica. The report states: 'In his will, he left each of them a dollar 'as a small token of my regard for their faithful and affectionate service and willing labours to myself and my family'. Ashdown House , Berkshire. Ashdown House was built by William Craven who had a share in the colony of Carolina and was appointed a governor of the Hudson's Bay Company and Commissioner for Tangier.
This Grade I listed building was built between and for Francis Sykes, an East India Company official who returned to Berkshire from India with wealth and a taste for luxury, according to the Trust. The report also says it's thought Sykes returned with at least one servant, stating: 'his will mentions the 'Black servant Thomas Radakissan'. This castle was built in the 14th century to help defend the area from the French during the Hundred Years' War. After it came under the ownership of Lord Thanet in the 17th century, it was sold to Parliament to help pay fines and subsequently fell into ruin.
The Trust says the castle, now a Grade I listed building, was saved from destruction by John Fuller who bought the castle in The report states: 'Fuller inherited an estate near Bodiam and a plantation in Jamaica, including enslaved people, from his uncle, Rose Fuller MP. John and Rose Fuller were anti-abolitionists. A typical Georgian terraced house in Chelsea, Carlyle's House was the home of author, biographer and historian Thomas Carlyle.
The report notes Carlyle's essay, published in Fraser's Magazine in , which advocated for the reintroduction of slavery to the West Indies. It also states that in his work Shooting Niagara: And After? The National Trust state that Onslow married Elizabeth Knight 'who had inherited a substantial fortune from her uncle, including a plantation in Jamaica that was reliant on the labour of enslaved people, and the proceeds of his business transporting and trading enslaved people'.
He had it transported back to Clandon park where it remains. The Trust states that last year, they struck an agreement to return Hinemihi's carvings to New Zealand in exchange for contemporary carvings to form a new meeting house.
Claremont's gardens, which are owned by the National Trust, is one of the oldest surviving gardens of its time, dating back to the 18th century and is Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The Trust has included the estate on its list as Pelham-Holles held numerous political posts, including Secretary of State for the Southern Department responsible for the American Colonies.