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.
On 28 September 2016 the new Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership at UCL was launched.
We were delighted that the two-part BBC programme, Britain's Forgotten Slave-owners won the BAFTA TV award for 2016 in the ‘Specialist factual’ category (awarded 8 May 2016).
The first of two episodes, presented by David Olusoga, was broadcast at 9.00pm on Wednesday 15th July 2015 on BBC2, the second a week later. For more information see the BBC website page and BBC programme page.
We were also delighted that Britain’s Forgotten Slave-owners, broadcast by the BBC on 15 and 22 July 2015, won the Royal Historical Society Public History Prize Winner for Broadcasting, 2015.
The Legacies project was awarded the History Today Digital History Prize 2016.
On this page we will occasionally highlight work which has been recently published by other historians and researchers 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 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).
The book, Legacies of British Slave-ownership, published by Cambridge University Press, reports on the first phase of our project. Click on the Full Details link below to read more about it.