Home > Display Post > Breaking Chains – Mary Ann Macham Memorial Fundraising

Breaking Chains – Mary Ann Macham Memorial Fundraising

Breaking Chains exhibition comes to an end on 29 February – if you haven’t seen it yet or want to re-visit, you’ve only got a few weeks.

Breaking Chains tells the story of Mary Ann Macham, an escaped enslaved woman, who became a North Shields resident  in 19th century and the part played by local people in campaigns to abolish slavery.

Mary Ann escaped a life of slavery in Virginia USA, stowed away on a ship bound for the Netherlands, eventually after long and treacherous journey arrived in North Shields on Christmas Day 1831.

She was met and befriended by the Spence family, well-known local business people, leading Quakers and supporters of the abolition movement.

She married a local rope-maker, James Blyth and enjoyed over 60 years of freedom.

Her final resting place is with her husband in Preston Cemetery but her name is not on his headstone.

As a lasting tribute, OLL volunteers are raising money to pay for a memorial stone to mark her grave. Grateful to generosity of Henderson Memorials, North Shields who are helping us with this and we are now fund raising to cover outstanding costs.

You can help us raise funds for Mary Ann’s memorial by donating to our crowdfunder page at:


Stone to be laid on the grave of James Blyth so that Mary Ann’s story is not forgotten.


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