Database reveals Britain's slave history

By Jon Bauckham, 28 February 2013 - 10:41am

Compiled by historians from University College London, the free resource contains the names of British slave owners during the 1830s
 

Thursday 28 February 2013
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A vast database revealing the names of men and women involved in slave ownership during the early 19th century has gone online.

Put together by historians at University College London, the database forms part of a wider academic project entitled Legacies of British Slave-ownership and comprises records regarding the £20 million paid out to slave owners in the 1830s.

Not only can family historians click through to find how much owners were awarded, but discover how many individuals had been enslaved at each property.

Those behind the project hope that the availability of the records in the public domain will lead to a greater understanding of slavery’s legacy and its impact upon society.

“Our overall finding is that colonial slave-ownership was of far greater significance in Britain than has previously been recognised,” says project leader, Professor Catherine Hall.

“What we have done is to establish the life-trajectories of some 3,000 absentee slave-owners, and analysis of this has allowed us to trace the legacies of slave-ownership in Victorian Britain.”

Following yesterday’s launch (27 February), the same team will begin work on a second project to develop full histories of slave ownership dating back to 1763, using the 4,000 estates identified in the compensation records.

 
 
take it further

► Search the database at www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs

 

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