Sunday, 29 June 2014

every town and city in britain profited from the slave trade

Slavery is a profitable trade - and was a very important part of the British Empire:

In the city of Bath:

Time for Bath to confront slave trade past, says star of 12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor

By ChronReports  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave
 Comments (7)
Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, thought to be favourite to land an Oscar for his role in 12 Years A Slave, has called for Bath to confront its historic links to the slave trade.
The film, which takes an unflinching look at the brutal world of plantations in America in the 1840s, has been tipped to sweep the board at the Oscars after winning over critics and audiences in the US.
And Chiwetel, who plays Solomon Northup in the film, believes that the whole issue of slavery needs to be addressed in the UK.
He claims that people in the UK have a “reflex fear” when it comes to slavery and are afraid of talking about the issue and the impact the trade had on the country.
He said: “There is this reflex fear that once you expose something, once you talk about it, you are really talking about your society. That is why we don’t really investigate what Bristol or London or Bath would be without the slave trade. Because we really like those cities and the people who live there it is easier to close the door on it and let it go.”
The 36-year-old London actor added: “I want the book that the film is based on to be taught in every school because it speaks to human respect.
“No one is ever too young to start understanding what that means or where prejudice has led the human race in our history. And could again, very easily.”
He added: “People have a fear of questioning societies to which they owe their whole system of reality. Not just in the States, but wherever slavery was a prevalent part of the culture and wealth of the culture, and whatever countries still have benefits of that today.”
The film’s British director Steve McQueen believes 12 Years A Slave should become standard reading in schools. He said: “This subject should be on the national curriculum, its a no-brainer.”
Between 1730 and 1745 Bristol was the world’s leading slave port and the city’s wealth is largely built on the trade. An estimated 500,000 Africans were carried into slavery in ships which sailed from Bristol.
Bath was one of the era’s most fashionable towns for the elite linked with the fortunes of Britain’s transatlantic trade. William Wilberforce, credited with the abolition of slavery in Britain, lived in Bath for a time and his committee, the ‘Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade’, regularly held public meetings in the city.
According to English Heritage, the connection between Britain’s stately homes and African slavery has long been hidden from public knowledge. It has published a book, ‘Slavery and the British Country House’, seeking to unearth British slavery connections.
The study identifies hundreds of surviving estates built between 1660 and 1830 from slave-generated wealth, seventeen of which are in the South West region, including Leigh Court in Somerset, Oldbury Court near Bristol and Badminton House, most famous for horse trials. Dyrham Park, now a national trust site, was owned in the 17th Century by Bath MP William Blathwayt, a keen advocate of the slave trade.
An exhibition at Bath’s Holburne Museum in 2002 displayed private collections from some of the West Country’s stately homes, including a portrait of Edward Southwell posed in front of Kings Weston House in Bristol. A black male servant was also in the painting.
12 Years a Slave will open in UK cinemas this Friday and it is already tipped to win several Oscars. The film, based on a book of the same name written by Solomon Northup himself and published in 1853 after his escape, documents the story of a free black man living in the north of America who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Britain’s involvement in the slave trade has been studied by secondary school pupils in England since 2008 but Chiwetel Ejiofor believes that not enough attention is given to such complex a subject. Chiwetel argues that the book should be studied in schools alongside Anne Frank’s Diary and lessons about the holocaust and the two world wars.
Children's Minister Kevin Brennan has said: "Although we may sometimes be ashamed to admit it, the slave trade is an integral part of British history. It is inextricably linked to trade, colonisation, industrialisation and the British empire. It is important that children learn about this and the links to wider world history, such as the American civil rights movement - the repercussions of which are still being felt today.”

Time for Bath to confront slave trade past, says star of 12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor | Bath Chronicle

In Bristol:
Bristol slave trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
BBC - Legacies - Immigration and Emigration - England - Bristol - Legacies of the Slave Trade - Article Page 2
Jay Doubleyou: bristol and slavery

In London:
Slavery and South East London

In Manchester:
How much did Manchester profit from slavery? | Revealing Histories

And most important of all, in Liverpool:
BBC - Liverpool Local History - American Connection - Introduction to the Slave Trade

The organisation English Heritage has pointed out that the magnificent houses on the tourist trail were mostly financed by the slave trade:


Slavery and the British Country House | PDF | 1.00 MB

Madge Dresser and Andrew Hann (eds.)

The British country house has long been regarded as the jewel in the nation's heritage crown. But the country house is also an expression of wealth and power, and as scholars reconsider the nation's colonial past, new questions are being posed about these great houses and their links to Atlantic slavery.

This book, authored by a range of academics and heritage professionals, grew out of a 2009 conference on 'Slavery and the British Country house: mapping the current research' organised by English Heritage in partnership with the University of the West of England, the National Trust and the Economic History Society. It asks what links might be established between the wealth derived from slavery and the British country house and what implications such links should have for the way such properties are represented to the public today.

Slavery and the British Country House | English Heritage
Researching slavery connections | English Heritage
How Bristol's gracious mansions mask the shameful past of Britain's links to slavery | UK news | The Observer
The stately homes built on the back of slaves - Home News - UK - The Independent
Slavery and the British Country House: - The Historical Association

Britain's banks have, to a large extent, been built on the slave trade:
BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the Building of Britain
Barclays admits possible link to slavery after reparation call | Business | The Observer
Bristol Past: Early Bristol banks
Sweet History? :: Corn Street – Exploring the growth of banking and trading in Bristol

And in turn, bankers would buy a nice house in the country:
Looking for records of slavery or slave owners | The National Archives
Bristol Mayors - a collection of historical data
Cave baronets - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Village Hall : Sidbury Village Website
Appointments « Lord Lieutenant of Devon

Every town and city in Britain profited from the slave trade:
West Country slavers - Sidmouth Herald
County gained from slavery | Exeter Express and Echo
Summary of Individual | Legacies of British Slave-ownership
Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And every British person profited from the slave trade...
Fancy a nice cup of tea - with plenty of sugar?
BBC - A History of the World - Object : Early Victorian tea set

The slave trade was profitable from most Atlantic ports from Europe:
Ports of the Transatlantic slave trade - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool museums

It would have been interesting if Africans had colonised Europe...
Aamer Rahman (Fear of a Brown Planet) - Reverse Racism - YouTube

Of course, it's still happening today:
‘Slavery is happening in every town and city in Britain’ - Yorkshire Post

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