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Catherine "Kitty" Despard was a former slave in Honduras who later married Colonel Edward Despard. She later became an advocate against the slave trade.

Biography

Earlier life

Catherine was formerly a slave in Honduras. She was later granted her freedom and was a kitchen maid at the house of the new Superintendent of Honduras, Colonel Ned Despard. He was an abolitionist who was against slavery, and they fell in love. They married and he wanted to grant the same freedom to every slave. He began freeing slaves but this was bad for business owners, including Ralph Hanson.[2]

Joining a cause

Ralph told the Crown that Ned was purposefully depriving the Crown of their share of the profits earned in the slave trade, and he was called back to England. He was locked up for being an enemy of the Crown and Catherine sent letters to Ned's powerful friends for help. They declined because of the dangers of going up against the Crown. Ned advised Catherine to finally ask Ross Poldark, and she took a letter to Cornwall.[2]

She gave Ross and Demelza a letter, and Ross agreed to help. She spoke to Demelza Poldark and they bonded because of their shared history of having worked in the kitchen for their eventual husbands. Ross, Dwight Enys and Catherine headed back to London to plan Ned's freedom, and Dwight encouraged her to speak up against slavery at a rally. She agreed and garnered lots of support. Ross later won Ned's freedom when he helped King George III.[2]

Notes and sources

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