Isaac Crichlow

I am primarily interested in the transference of African culture to the Caribbean through transatlantic enslavement, and it’s use by the enslaved in new contexts as a tool for resistance and survival.

My research, funded through a studentship with the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery (CSLBS) focuses on the West India Regiments, units of formerly enslaved soldiers, and their role in repressing acts of resistance by the enslaved populations of the British Caribbean between 1795-1840. I am exploring connections between the experiences of these soldiers in West Africa prior to enslavement, and their military capabilities. These units were viewed with suspicion by their commanding officers, due to both their skill and the explosive racial dynamics of Caribbean slave society. I argue that in response to these fears they used movement as a form of control, to ensure the loyalty of the Black troops. By analysing acts of resistance to their service in the British army detailed in military records, most notably mutinies and desertions, I hope to gain some understanding of how the men viewed their role maintaining other African peoples in bondage, and challenge notions of their loyalty.

In addition to working on my own research I am also involved with the work of the CSLBS. I have completed research for the cultural heritage organisation the Fulham Palace Trust, which culminated in the temporary exhibition- The Bishops of London, colonialism and transatlantic slavery: resistance. 


Supervisors: Prof. Matthew Smith (primary) and Prof. Benedetta Rossi (secondary).
Working Title: Black Troops and Resistance: Movement Control and Freedom in the Revolutionary Caribbean, 1795-1840
Expected Completion Date: 2024

Scholarships and Prizes

  • Legacies of British Slavery Studentship, 2021-2024

Conference Papers and Seminars

  • The First West India Regiments and the Demerara Uprising (1823), Guyana Institute of Historical Research conference, 23 June 2023
  • The Impact of the Haitian Revolution on the British Army (1793-1798), Institute of Historical Research History Lab Conference, 19 July 2022