Monday, January 18th, 2010
We recently came across an article online that ties together Picton Castle‘s recent year-long voyage around the Atlantic Ocean.
You may know that our ship was named for a castle in Wales. Picton Castle was built in the late 13th century and has been home to the Philipps family, who are direct descendants of the original builder. A visit to the Picton Castle while the ship was in port at Milford Haven was a highlight of the voyage. On the Voyage of the Atlantic, the ship also visited Dakar in Senegal, a major port for the exportation of slaves from Africa. Many of the crew on the voyage have powerful memories of visiting Goree Island, the gateway through which slaves were loaded onto ships and carried away from their home.
This article tells the story of one particular boy who was brought from Senegal to Britain by an officer of the British army and given to Sir John Philipps as a gift. Named for the Philipps family castle, Cesar Picton was raised as a servant in the Philipps household. The family was against the slave trade so Cesar was educated and apparently mixed with the family on equal terms. An inheritance from Lady Philipps allowed Cesar to become a merchant, at which he was quite successful. Owning a home in Kingston and property in the country, Cesar died in 1836 at the age of 81.
On the Voyage of the Atlantic, particularly the passage from Africa to the Caribbean, the crew were mindful of the countless ships that had sailed that way before with cargoes of people. While Cesar Picton sailed a slightly different route, this other namesake of the Welsh castle draws together another connection on this voyage.