The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership has been established at UCL with the generous support of the Hutchins Center at Harvard. The Centre will build on two earlier projects based at UCL tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: the ESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project (2009-2012), and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833 (2013-2015).
Colonial slavery shaped modern Britain and we all still live with its legacies. The slave-owners were one very important means by which the fruits of slavery were transmitted to metropolitan Britain. We believe that research and analysis of this group are key to understanding the extent and the limits of slavery's role in shaping British history and leaving lasting legacies that reach into the present. The stories of enslaved men and women, however, are no less important than those of slave-owners, and we hope that the database produced in the first two phases of the project, while at present primarily a resource for studying slave-owners, will also provide information of value to those researching enslaved people.
The LBS database and website: from 1 January 2019 we are moving to annual updates of the published database and website: please see the notice about this by clicking Full Details below.
From time to time, the project sends out newsletters with details of forthcoming events and other news related to the project. Click Full Details to see them.
The LBS project has a blog, which you can access here. After originally running between May 2013 and December 2015 we have revived the blog in November 2017. We have written about individual case studies, made comments on sources and the research process and anything else which attracts our interest. Different members of the research project contributed posts and we have also had the occasional outside contributor.
In Legacies of British Slave-ownership. Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain, published by Cambridge University Press, we re-examine the relationship between Britain and colonial slavery in a crucial period in the birth of modern Britain. Click on the Full Details link below to read more about it.
On this page we will occasionally highlight recently published work which might be of interest to users of this website. Doing so does not endorse the opinions of the authors; but we mention them here because of their potential interest.
Click Full Details below for Christer Petley, White Fury. A Jamaican Slaveholder and the Age of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2018), Daniel Livesay, Children of Uncertain Fortune. Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture / University of North Carolina Press, 2018), Margot Finn and Kate Smith (eds), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (UCL Press, 2018), Katie Donington, Ryan Hanley, and Jessica Moody (eds), Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery (Liverpool University Press, 2016) and Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Duke UP, 2015).
Britain's Forgotten Slave-owners, a two-part BBC programme based on LBS and presented by David Olusoga, was originally broadcast in July 2015. Click Full Details to see more about this.
When using the biographical entries in this website you may come across references to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Ancestry.co.uk (or Ancestry.com), Find My Past or ScotlandsPeople. These sites require payment or subscriptions so clicking on links to them usually produce a page restricting access unless you log in. For more on this issue, click Full Details below.