Vandals desecrated the grave of an African slave before demanding “Put back the statue of Colston” in an attack of sick revenge.
Two tombstones marking the burial site of “Scipio Africanus” were damaged during the protest in Bristol.
This came after the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston was knocked down in the center of town earlier this month during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Vandals target the graves of Scipio Africanus in an apparent revenge attack brought about by the overthrow of the statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston
But a message left in chalk near the grave in the Henbury area suggests that not everyone is happy with the change in attitude.
He said, “Now look what you made me do. Stop protesting. Leave Elliott’s grave alone. Put back the Colston statue or things will really heat up.
The two Bristol graves paid homage to the slave and are seen here (left) in better times, before damage by vandals (right) makes them unrecognizable.
The words “Elliott” are believed to be the star of music hall GH Elliott, who used to play in blackface under the name “Chocolate Colored C ** n”.
It was reported last week that the Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewe wanted to remove the “deeply offensive” stage character from his headstone in East Sussex.
The ornate headstones seen here in their former glory were smashed in this week’s stupid attack
A message that vandalism was committed out of revenge was scribbled in chalk on one of the neighboring slabs of St Mary’s Church
He was concealed while cemetery officials were trying to find a close relative.
One of two tombstones dedicated to Scipio Africanus which was ransacked by thugs in Bristol following the overthrow of the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston
Scipio has two tombstones so that his story can be told about both.
The counselor representing the affected area in Bristol is now appealing to anyone who has witnessed the “latest vandalism” to contact the police.
St Mary’s Cemetery in Henbury, Bristol, where the two graves were hit by vandals yesterday in an apparent attack on revenge
Sharing a photo of the desecrated place on Facebook, Cllr Mark Weston said: “Unfortunately late last night, the classified grave of” Scipio Africanus “in St Mary’s cemetery, Henbury was badly damaged.
“It sounds like a retaliatory attack on the recent events involving the Colston statue. I am deeply saddened by what is happening.
Edward Colston’s statue was knocked down and thrown into the river at a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Bristol on May 25
“We have seen destroyed war memorials and vandalized statues and I have to wonder where it will end.
“Our story is not simple, and a person’s actions are rarely clear. Our nation’s past is a complex web of greatness, atrocity, heroism and wickedness.
Target of vandals: who was Scipio Africanus?
Historians believe that Scipio may have been born in the house of Charles Howard and was the son of a bonded West African woman.
The coat of arms of the Earl of Suffolk
Howard was the seventh earl of Suffolk and had a large house in the Henbury area.
Scipio was named by its “owners” after the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus.
The 18-year-old was thought to be a beloved member of the household because it was rare for a bonded person to have a formal grave in a cemetery – much less such an ornate one.
“We have good people who do bad things, bad people who sometimes try to buy back and everything else.
“This confusion becomes particularly evident when we apply the lens of modern morality to the actions of past centuries.
“If anyone has information about this latest vandalism, I urge you to contact the police.”
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees called on the public to refrain from racially motivated ‘tit for tat’ attacks in a question and answer session on Wednesday.
He said: ‘[Scipio’s grave] is an iconic piece of Bristol history and has been broken in half with a message left scribbled on the ground around it.
“We just don’t want to go the route. We do not want to abandon these invisible attacks against each other.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary are said to be investigating the damage to the headstone.