The Watford Observer has teamed up with Watford Museum and its curator Sarah Priestley to take a journey back to the town’s past through items or places of historical significance.

The seventh item in ‘a history of Watford in 50 object is the Grade II listed gravestone of George Doney in St Mary's Churchyard.

October is Black History Month and the museum is using this opportunity to share some of the town's diverse heritage which dates back more than 300 years.

Sarah said: "According to his gravestone, George Doney was captured and enslaved as a child in Gambia before being transported to Virginia. He came to London as a child and was employed by the 4th Earl of Essex to work at Cassiobury.

Read more: Watford's notorious bodysnatching past

"Here he became a man of high status within the household and inspired the Earl of Essex to actively support and contribute funds to the Abolitionist movement. When he died in 1809 he was greatly mourned.

Watford Observer:

"Standing in a quiet part of St Mary’s Churchyard with the backdrop of the beautiful Bedford Almshouses, his gravestone became listed by Historic England in acknowledgment of his outstanding life."

You can find out more about Watford Black History Month via this link.

Watford Museum has reopened to the public. You can visit on Saturdays at present with pre-booking essential. Housed in the former Benskins Mansion, the Grade II listed building holds treasures of Watford history from Cassiobury to printing to Watford Football Club. To find out more, visit