When the United Kingdom abolished slavery in 1833, the government of the day paid out £20m in compensation — not to slaves, but to their owners. What happened next to that money has been tracked by a team of historians from UCL, whose new site, Legacies of British Slave Ownership, launched today, as Ian Steadman reports for the UK’s Wired site.
Building upon the work of historian Nick Draper — who spent three years researching the name of every slave owner in the British Caribbean at the time of slavery’s abolition — the UCL team have spent another three years following the money from the point of compensation. The hope is to shed light on the real impact of slavery on the history of the UK in all spheres of life, seeing the immediate impacts on the physical, cultural, artistic, political and other effects of that money.
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