Anti-racism campaigners call for 'The 'Black Boy' pubs to be renamed

Anti-racism campaigners call for ‘The ‘Black Boy’ pubs across Britain to be renamed – despite many being named after King Charles II

  • There are at least 25 pubs called ‘The Black Boy’ or similar in England and Wales
  • A Twitter row has erupted over one pub named The Black Boy in Manchester 
  • Other Twitter users have pointed out other examples of similarly named pubs
  • It comes as a ‘racist’ sign was taken down in the town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire 

Anti-racism campaigners are calling for pubs called ‘The Black Boy’ to be renamed amid growing protests by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Critics say the name has racist connotations, especially as some of the pubs’ signs feature faces of African children.

But the demands have angered others who insist there is nothing offensive about the name – which was a nickname given to King Charles II in the 17th century due to his dark hair.

Debate erupted online over one pub in the Manchester area named ‘The Black Boy’ after critics launched a petition to have the name changed.

Meanwhile the owner of another in Oxford has said it will not change its ‘outdated’ name following complaints on social media, because it wants to preserve its history.

Yesterday, part of a sign for The Green Man and Black’s Head Royal Hotel in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was taken down for its ‘resemblance to a racist doll’ after thousands of campaigners demanded its removal.  

It comes as today Everards, which owns the Black Boy in Headington, Oxford, hit back at social media claims that the name makes black people feel ‘alienated’.

Pubs across Britain named ‘The Black Boy’ could be next to come under scrutiny from anti-racism protesters. Picutred: The Black Boy in Winchester, Hants

Yesterday part of a sign for The Green Man and Black’s Head Royal Hotel in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was taken down for its ‘resemblance to a racist doll’ after thousands of campaigners demanded it. Pictured: The Black Boy in Sevenoaks

The sign for the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales (pictured left) and the sign for the Black Boy pub in Retford,Nottinghamshire (pictured right)

People eating and drinking ar the Black Boy Inn, Palace Street in Caernarfon, Wales

As reported in the Oxford Mail, one man took to the private Oxford Community group on Facebook this week to speak about the pub’s name.

He said: ‘In this day and age with a multicultural setting, I wouldn’t describe it as appropriate.’ 

 Another person added: ‘It has always made me uncomfortable too. It should be changed – I’m sure it puts lots of people off.’

A spokesperson for Everards told the Oxford Mail: ‘It’s a 16th century pub which was rebuilt in the 1930s and therefore is an important part of the local story.

“We understand that the pub has been called The Black Boy since at least 1805 and wherever possible we prefer to keep each pub’s history alive and retain the original name.’

It comes as a debate erupted over the name of one pub in the Manchester area named ‘The Black Boy’. Pictured: The Black Boy in Headington

In Manchester, a row has erupted on social media site Twitter over one pub called ‘The Black Boy’ in Wythenshawe, in the south of the city. 

 The debate was sparked by one account, Manc Pictures, who said: ‘So this is my local pub called “The Black Boy” and there’s now a petition to get the name changed.

‘Honestly not sure what to make of it, to me it’s not racist at all.’

Some rushed to defend the pub, including one who said the name had ‘nothing to do with race ever’.

But another, named Michelle, said: ‘I always hated the name when I taught around there if I’m honest. I think it should be changed.’ 

Other pubs have also come under pressure from Twitter users, including The Black Boy in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

One Twitter user  argued the pub’s name should be changed.

He said: ‘I’m not sure how appropriate having a pub call “The Black Boy” is?

‘Seems the people of Retford are rather comfortable with what is a highly offensive name of a business.’ 

Another called for the Ye Olde Black Boy in Hull to be ‘destroyed’, while another Twitter user defended the user of the name generally, saying it has ‘nothing to do with a young slave’ but instead is to do with King Charles II.

Across England and Wales, there are at least 25 different pubs called ‘The Black Boy’, or similar.

But the name, which is said to have a number of origins, including the soot darkened faces of chimney sweeps, is often thought to be a reference to King Charles II.

The English Monarch, who ruled from 1660 until his death, aged 54, in 1665, was nicknamed ‘Black Boy’ by his mother, Henrietta Maria of France, due to his dark hair and complexion.

There are at least 25 pubs in England and Wales named ‘The Black Boy’ or something similar, MailOnilne has found

‘The Black Boy’ or similarly named pubs across England and Wales 

Here is a list of The Black Boy or similarly named pubs MailOnline could find in England and Wales:

The Black Boy – Winchester, Hants

Blackboys Inn – Blackboys, Kent

Black Boy – Sevenoaks, Kent

The Black Boy – Sidcup, London

The Black Boy – St Albans, Herts

The Black Boy – Oxford, Oxfordshire

The Black Boy – Reading, Berkshire

The Black Boy – Swansea, Wales

The Black Boy – Solihull, West Midlands

The Black Boy – Bewdley, West Midlands

The Black Boy Inn – Bridnorth, West Midlands

The Black Boy – Newtown, Wales

Black Boy Inn – Caernarfon, Wales

The Black Boy Inn – Hungarton, Leicestershire

The Black Boys – Aylsham, Norfolk

The Black Boy – Weeley, Essex

The Black Boy – Sudbury, Suffolk

The Black Boy – Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

The Black Boy – Nether Heage, Derbyshire

The Black Boy – Manchester

The Black Boy – Retford, Nottinghamshire

Ye Olde Black Boy – Hull, East Riding

Blackie Boy – Newcastle

It was a nickname that was taken up those who supported Charles II attempts to restore the monarchy and it is believed a number of pubs changed their name to The Black Boy as a possible show of allegiance.

Other suggestions for the name’s origins including the misspelling of a nautical navigation marker, a ‘buoy’. 

The row emerged last night after a sign depicting a boy with a black face was taken down amid growing calls for it to be removed. 

Over 28,000 people signed a petition demanding that the caricature be taken down from the 18th century Greenman pub sign in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

Derbyshire Dales District Council said on Monday it would remove the sign with ‘immediate effect’ but when the head was taken down on Monday evening, locals said they had done so to protect it. 

In a Facebook post, Mr Redfern said the head would be given ‘a lick of black paint’ and claimed the move was to save it from vandalism.

The petition against the head drew inspiration from an anti-racism demonstration in Bristol, which saw protesters topple the statue of slave trader Edward Colston before dragging the monument into the harbour.

The Grade II-listed pub sign, which arches over St John’s Street, depicted the face of a black man, which one anthropology student from the town said resembled the a golliwog.

A golliwog is a 19th century rag doll which is considered racist for its exaggerated and offensive features.  

The anthropology student said: ‘I think people are ashamed of it.’

‘Having it in the middle of the street in a small town is so unwelcoming.

‘It should have been taken down a long time ago and put in a museum.’

Matthew Holt, an international relations student from Ashbourne, also signed the petition, stating: ‘It seems such an obvious racist sign.

‘I think it’s important we address our history; we can’t change it but this shouldn’t be displayed in the public eye.

The pub sign, with ‘resemblance to a racist doll’, has been removed after thousands of campaigners demanded it

Derbyshire Dales District Council took down the sign after a petition with more than 28,000 signatures

‘It should be in a museum where we can learn about it with a description to contextualise it.’  

Their demands prompted Derbyshire Dales District Council’s decision to remove the monument from the sign.

A council spokesman said earlier: ‘We’re removing the head from the sign with immediate effect.

‘We agree that the sign itself is not only a public safety concern right now, but that this is an issue that requires urgent discussion and consultation.

‘The sign was gifted to the district council a number of years ago and is currently protected by a Grade II structure listing.

‘Legally, only Heritage England or the Secretary of State can remove this listing, which means we need to take on board the views of our own councillors and local people before taking forward any representations. This will happen soon.’   

However, a petition has also been launched which seeks to keep the monument in place, with supporters stating it is a part of history.

The sign, which is officially recorded as the longest single inn sign in the country, had a carved wooden head on it before it was removed

Following the petition, hundreds have now signed a counter-petition to save the imagery

On the petition page, which has garnered more than 2,700 signatures, organiser Shaun Redfern, 17, from Ashbourne, described the sign as a tourist attraction which ‘should be kept because of the history for the town’.

He said: ‘I believe that the sign is not even the smallest bit racist.’

He added: ‘Are we supposed to deny our past now and get rid of old artefacts?’

A sign saying ‘save Me’ was hung from the head on Monday evening before the face was taken down.

Global Black Lives Matter protests were sparked when George Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost ten minutes and a number of petitions are demanding controversial monuments in the UK are taken down.

Thousands of people have signed two new petitions calling for the statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes to be taken down from Oriel College at the University of Oxford.

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