Research project

SIR - Thank you for publicising the recent Lousada gathering at the Museum to see the superb drawings of John Bacon. We are engaged in the Museum with a major research project to reveal the full story of Emil Baruh Lousada 1744-1832.

He owned Peak Hill, he built Peak House, he had extensive interests in the Jamaican slave plantations, possibly the triangle of trade and trade between the West Indies and the New England colonies.

When did his family first go to Jamaica? Was he involved as a bondholder investing in Spain before Napoleon’s invasion? Was he involved in the flight of the Spanish Royal family?

Did he trade in the new markets of South America? Did his ships supply Wellington’s army in the Peninsula?

His story is bound up with the emergence of Sidmouth as an aristocratic resort and of British Jewry.

Peter Orlando Hutchinson, that inveterate teller of tales knew the old man. He invited him in for supper without his parents.

POH thought he died on February 29, 1832 and planned his burial plot in his garden where the Peak Hill road meets Cotmaton Road.

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When looking for strawberries, young POH nearly fell into the grave which had not been used (his family took the body for burial in London).

He did not know Mrs Lousada, but at one of her London receptions she was accosted by a man who said he had been invited to one of her Sidmouth balls.

“Perhaps so,” she replied. “We invite rag, tag and bobtail down there.”

Graham Thornton

Researcher, Sidmouth Museum.