Sunday, 4 July 2010

Legacies of British Slavery

Yesterday I gave a talk at a workshop organised by the Leqacies of British Slavery project which is analysing the slave owners who received the £20m compensation approved by Parliament as part of the compromises to achieve the start of the process of freedom for the slaves in the West Indies and some other British colonies through the slavery abolition act of 1833, and what the recipients did with the money. The workshop about London and the South East was the first of a series organised by the project team. It is is led by Professor Catherine Hall at University College London, and includes Nick (Nicholas) Draper whose excellent book The Price of Emancipation:. Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery published by Cambridge University Press at the beginning of the year. In my talk I reviewed some of the evidence of people embroiled in various ways in the slavery business across South London, and talked about some of those who received compensation. Workshops are being held across England over the next few months:

4 September Scotland Glasgow
25 September The North-east Newcastle
9 October The West & East Midlands Birmingham
23 October The North-west and North Wales Liverpool
27 November The South-west and South Wales Bristol

I will be speaking at the North East workshop.

What the team aims to do in these workshops is to present the aims, scope and limitations of the Legacies project, including preliminary data that is of particular relevance for each workshop region; to have presentations from workshop participants of their own work and plans for future research; and to discuss how the team can share and disseminate further work and build a national network of interested parties. Further details can be seen on:

The London workshop was well attended by a wide range of people including members of the Black & Asian Studies Association (, academics, postgraduate students, Black Caribbean-British family history and plantation researchers, and people involved with archives and local museums.

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