27 Jul 2023
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Craigavon Rd, Sunderland SR5 3PA
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The site is owned and managed by English Heritage
This feature is part of the Black History Collection.
'One of the first with north east connections was William Hylton of the Sunderland family with ancient roots. Through an association with Sir Edwin Sandys, a counsellor of James I, he went to New England in 1621 as part of a rescue mission for the Mayflower settlers. William was said to be the first settler in what was to become New Hampshire. A number of County Durham place names in the area he settled suggest there may have been more north easterners attracted to that area.
A relative, Anthony Hylton of South Shields, a master mariner, followed in 1623, taking settlers to Jamestown, Virginia. The Hyltons were sea farers who also forged links with the Caribbean. Anthony Hylton acquired a tobacco plantation, was
appointed Governor of St Kitts & Nevis in 1625 and later became a tobacco merchant selling on the London market.
Hylton descendants settled in Maryland, Carolina and Jamaica before 1700. Like many of the first settlers, involvement in the slave trade and slavery grew out of acute labour shortages in their new lands.
Members of several other north east families were early arrivals in America and the Caribbean, among them the Pinckneys of West Auckland, the Howards of Brampton, the Colvilles of Newcastle and branches of the Northumbrian Fenwicks, Ogles and Ordes.'
- Remembering Slavery, John Charlton, collectionsprojects.org.uk
'The Hylton’s were a sea faring family who forged links with the Caribbean. Sir William Hylton was a mariner and salt merchant who went to America in 1621 and settled in New Hampshire. Anthony Hylton from South Shields (probably a relative of Sir William) took settlers to Jamestown, Virginia in 1623. It is probable that William and Anthony were connected to the Hyltons at Hylton Castle.
Descendants of William Hylton settled in Maryland, Carolina and Jamaica before 1700. Records show that Ralph Hilton of South Shields went to Jamaica in the 1740s and owned slave plantations there. Like many of the first settlers, involvement in the slave trade and slavery grew out of labour shortages in their new lands.
The Hylton surname is widespread in Jamaica today, through descendants of enslaved Africans who worked on the Hylton plantations.'
- Sunderland Council
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