This talk will discuss the parts played by freedom and liberty in developing England’s contribution to the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans. It argues that Britain’s relationship with slavery has largely been viewed in terms of Britain’s contribution to the abolition of the trade. It suggests that British identity, British ideas, British institutions did much to develop the trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It examines the political deliberations that surrounded the Royal African Company – a monopolistic trading corporation formed to develop England’s slave trade that would become, by the middle of the eighteenth century, associated with some of the earliest embryonic arguments for the abolition of the slave trade. The lecture will examine the role that Britishness and freedom played in developing the largest forced-intercontinental migration in human history.
Speaker: Dr William Pettigrew, University of Kent
William Pettigrew is Reader in History at the University of Kent. He currently runs a Leverhulme Trust project examining the history of England’s seventeenth-century international trading corporations.
This event is the first in the series of eight talks titled The British Business of Slavery, curated by Deborah Lavin.
Tickets: individual tickets £5, students and participating society members £3. Series ticket £30, students and participating society members £21.
Talk dates and titles:
Freedom’s Debt, the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade (1672 – 1752)
Tuesday, 6 October 2015 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
First Prime Minister of the London Empire: William Beckford, Jamaican Planter & Lord Mayor of London (1709 – 1770)
Tuesday 13th October @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Law’s Ambiguous Struggle with Slavery
Tuesday 20th October @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
George Hibbert M.P. (1757-1837) and the Defence of British Slavery
Tuesday 27th October @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Unfortunate Colonel Despard: “Governor of Belize”, Anti-racist, Democrat, Executed as a Traitor 1803
Tuesday 3rd November @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Slavery and the Shaping of British Culture
Tuesday 24th November @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
A British-Owned Congo: Roger Casement’s Battle with Slavery in Peru (1910-1914)
Tuesday 1st December @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Identifying Unfinished Business: The UK Modern Slavery Act (2015)
Tuesday 8th December @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm