|Edward Colston (1636-1721) was a merchant and
philanthropist, with business interests in the Caribbean island
of St. Kitts. He was an official on the board of the London-based
Royal African Company, which had control over the early trade
with Africa, including that in slaves.
Edward Colston (detail from Some
Who Have Made Bristol Famous).
Although only an occasional
visitor to his home city of Bristol, he briefly served as the
local MP and endowed a number of local almshouses, schools,
charitable societies and other benevolent institutions. As
a consequence of this, his name is prominently featured throughout
the city – for
example, Colston Avenue, Colston's School, Colston House, Colston
Hall. On his death, his body was carried by hearse from London
to Bristol, where, watched by a crowd of those who had benefited
from this charitable work, it was buried with suitable pomp
and ceremony at All Saints' Church.
Others associated with trade, and with
William Canynges (c1399-1474), merchant and benefactor
of St Mary Redcliffe Church.
John Foster (died 1492), salt merchant and founder of almshouse
on Colston Street.
Alice Chestre (died 1495), trader and benefactor, who paid for
the erection of a crane on Bristol Back for the commercial benefit
of the city.
Robert Thorne, the elder (died 1519), merchant and founder of
Bristol Grammar School.
John Whitson (1557-1629), merchant and founder of the Red Maids
Jane Martin (1729-1835), local fruit seller for over 50