The rewards of slavery

October 2021 Forums General discussion The rewards of slavery

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    Young Master Smeet

    A fascinating and troubling website.

    In 1833 Parliament finally abolished slavery in the British Caribbean, Mauritius and the Cape. The slave trade had been abolished in 1807, but it had taken another 26 years to effect the emancipation of the enslaved. However, in place of slavery the negotiated settlement established a system of apprenticeship, tying the newly freed men and women into another form of unfree labour for fixed terms. It also granted £20 million in compensation, to be paid by British taxpayers to the former slave-owners. That compensation money provided the starting point for our first project. We are now tracking back to 1763 the ownership histories of the 4000 or so estates identified in that project.

    For example, anyone who has seen the mansions around Clapham common will be unsurprised that, despite the presence of the infamous sect, this character was present.

    Awardee [Mortgagee-in-possession]
    Jamaica St James 5 (Hazelymph Estate) £4121 19S 0D [216 Enslaved]

    Some entries list individuals who owned literally thousands of slaves, and who received many thousands of pounds in compensation for loss of their 'property'.  The website, intriguingly, looks at the firms that benefited from such bounties.  The great wealth of Britain is inextricably bound up in the wealth torn from human bones in the vilest way.

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