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Etta Dunn - The Baronets O' Blackness

5th November 2020

Etta Dunn is an actor, writer, award-winning publisher and award-winning poet. Her work has been published in various anthologies, broadcast on radio and performed on stage in the Tron, Glasgow.
      Her first published writing was factual. During the first fourteen years of her working life she authored and co-authored several genetical research papers.
      After a visit to New York for a meeting of the International High IQ Society, Etta wrote a poem about her experience of New York which was later published. This gave her the incentive to carry on with creative writing. 
      In 2010 she graduated MLitt from Glasgow University. For her editorial project she published a poetry anthology of some of the M.Litt students' work, including her own. “Quill to Quark: Passionate Poets, Provocative Poems.”        
      From 2008 to 2015 she served as Chair of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and is now a Federation ambassador.
Her publishing imprint is Fleming Publications.
(www.flemingpublications.com). 


The Baronets O' Blackness

An embarrassment o' riches
thon Scots slave owners hud
afore tha abolition.
A black manservant ance a sign o' wealth,
a chattel, a thing tae be bocht an sold
lik a fine bred racehorse
ur a sack o' sugar ur baccy
noo wantin wages. Whit next?

Wedderburn wis beelin an refused
Hud he no looked efter Joseph Knight
a' the wey frae Jamaica an nursed him
back tae health? Aye but noo Knight 
wantit tae be free an tae be mairrit
tae his love Annie Thomson,
a white maid-servant in the same hoose
but the maister widnae allou it.

Knight, noo an educated man
took his maister tae court an loast
but wi' the support o' the colliers an
Johnson an Boswell, Knight won oan appeal
quotin the Somersett case an Habeas corpus
an 'no man is by nature the property o' anither.'
Lord Kames an the panel o' judges ruled 
tha' slavery wis agin Scots Law.

In Jamaica, the Wedderburns hud nae
sympathy fur slave rebels
hingin wan an burnin anither alive.
An the parallel wi' their ain Jacobite 
faither's execution in London
wisnae loast oan John when James,
face lik stane an hert as cauld,
said, 'Ah've seen worse.'


Aye shuir his father wis hingin
nearly deid when he wis split open
an his innards ta'en oot an burnt
richt afore his ain een.
John the Younger, noo the new
Baronet o' Blackness saw it a'.
It's sma' wunner, but tae Scots' shame
tha' the lads wur the wey they wur.