Greyfriar's Kirkyard

Beyond the Spectacle: Indigenous Edinburgh

Greyfriar's Kirkyard

Scotland EH1, United Kingdom

Created By: Beyond the Spectacle


In 1768, two Narragansett brothers, John and Tobias Shattock, traveled to Britain to plead their peoples' case in a land dispute. Leaving New York in early January, they landed first at Greenock and transferred to Edinburgh, arriving on April 15, 1768, under the charge of Edinburgh merchant Mr Alexander Moubray, who lodged them next door to his house. Arrangements were made to sail to London on the 18th. After storm delays, the brothers waited at Leith Harbour on April 21st when John began to show signs of smallpox. In quick succession, Tobias also started displaying symptoms. They were brought physicians and nurses, and Moubray's wife is said to have tended to them as if they were her own. Tragically, on May 6th at 4 a.m., Tobias passed away. The church community had come together around the two young men, and Tobias was given a Christian burial in Greyfriar's Kirkyard. Although this burial alongside Scotland's Protestant martyrs was intended as an honour, as Moubray communicated to Wheelock, Tobias's family back in Narragansett did not find out for several months and then only through newspaper notices.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Beyond the Spectacle: Indigenous Edinburgh


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