Samboo's / Sambo's Grave...
The Inscribed Plaque...
More about Samboo's Grave...
Samboo/Sambo (the gravestone is spelled Samboo, but most other references are Sambo) came to Sunderland Point around 1736, the servant of a ship’s captain, and died in Upsteps Cottage (1 The Lane). That much is certain. Whether (as oral tradition has it) he died of a broken heart because he thought his master had left him when he went to Lancaster, or died of a sickness on arriving in a strange country, or died of some other cause is lost in time. What is certain, though, is that his story touched the hearts of people for over 200 years.
Presumably Sambo had not been baptised and therefore could not be buried in consecrated ground in Overton in 1736. Today his grave is well tended and has many visitors.
In 1796, the Rev James Watson, retired headmaster at Lancaster Grammar School wrote an elegy to Sambo, which is engraved on a brass plate attached to the grave.
Most visitors to the Point go to the Grave. Schoolchildren regularly paint stones with messages which are left on the grave or nearby.
Samboo’s Grave is in the middle of Sunderland Point. The inscription reminds us that more than 200 years ago there were already influential members of local society who recognised a common humanity in which all men are judged by their worth, not their skin colour.
While many are under the impression that Samboo was a slave, he was almost certainly a crew member of a West Indian trading ship. The Reverend James Watson’s verse on the grave was written in 1796, and can still be seen today:
The style is taken from Gray’s ‘Elegy in a Country Churchyard’ first published in 1751; but the content is a forerunner of Martin Luther King’s famous oration in 1963:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Full many a Sand-bird chirps upon the Sod
And many a moonlight Elfin round him trips
Full many a Summer’s Sunbeam warms the Clod
And many a teeming cloud upon him drips.
But still he sleeps -- till the awakening Sounds
Of the Archangel’s Trump new life impart
Then the GREAT JUDGE his approbation founds
Not on man’s COLOR but his worth of heart
Tide tables should be consulted before visiting. Both the
Causeway and car park are likely to be under several feet of water for 1 to 2 hours before and after high tide.
DO NOT RISK IT!
The grave is well tended, as it has been over two centuries
The plaque on which Reverend Watsons verse is inscribed
An imaginative layout for pebbles with messages