A PLAQUE commemorating a slave trader who was responsible for the death of more than 300 Africans has been stripped from a wall in Brecon

Brecon Town Council said the plaque in Captain's Walk was due to be reviewed, but this was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But before any decision could be made, the plaque, in memory of 17th century slave trader Captain Thomas Phillips, disappeared from the wall.

Dozens of memorials have come under fire since the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday as part of a Black Lives Matter protest.

Authorities across the country have faced calls to remove other tributes to controversial figures as many, include the plaque in Brecon, feature on the “topple the racists” website, created by campaigners from the Stop Trump Coalition.

It lists around 60 statues and memorials across the UK they argue should be taken down, because they “celebrate slavery and racism”.


The plaque in Brecon is for Thomas Phillips who lived in the Welsh town and captained the infamous slave ship the Hannibal in 1694 for a horrifying journey.

Under his command its said he was directly responsible for the tragic deaths of 328 of the 700 enslaved Africans on board, with the commemorative plaque only erected in 2010.

A petition had recently been set up online to get the statue removed, with more than 500 people signing it.

"We understand that Captain Thomas Phillips is an important figure in our town’s history, but he does not deserve commemoration in our streets," the petition said.

"This plaque was only commissioned in 2009 and should be replaced with something more appropriate to our community, something that contributes towards a clearer and more honest future for our residents, and the many visitors we receive each year from around the world.

"The (proposed new) plaque we propose would bring recognition to those he enslaved and the fact that this abhorrent practice happened (and is still happening) and should not be glossed over.

"It will be placed to educate people of what really happened and to act as a memorial to the generations of humans that have suffered directly because of slavery.

"We must recognise and be conscious that our town benefited from the enslavement of people and although we cannot change history we also can not evade it."

But after the plaque was stripped from the wall, the organisers said the petition "does not condone the manner in which this plaque has been removed".

A spokesperson for Brecon Town Council said it stands against racism and discrimination.

"We are proud of our town’s diversity and we celebrate and defend the cultural heritage of all our citizens," they added.

"Earlier this year, the town council committed itself to review the plaque located in Captain's Walk which noted Captain Thomas Phillips’ connection to the town.

"Work to remove or review the plaque was unfortunately delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"As the plaque has now been removed before the town council could complete its work, the town council, in consultation with the local community and interested parties will take time to consider what, if anything, should take its place."

The decision to place the plaque on the wall in the town more than 10 years ago was marred by controversy, but the council defended its stance.

A statement from Brecon Town Council in 2010 said: "We are not commemorating Captain Phillips' period as a commander of a slave ship.

"We are commemorating the fact that in his journal written in the 1690s, he was one of the first recorded persons of his time to make such liberal remarks on race."