Slavery and the English Country House
Madge Dresser and Andrew Hann (eds.)
English Heritage, 2013
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The British country house has long been regarded as the jewel in the nation’s heritage crown. But the country house is also an expression of wealth and power, and as scholars reconsider the nation’s colonial past, new questions are being posed about these great houses and their links to Atlantic slavery.
This book, authored by a range of academics and heritage professionals, grew out of a 2009 conference on ‘Slavery and the British Country house: mapping the current research’ organised by English Heritage in partnership with the University of the West of England, the National Trust and the Economic History Society. It asks what links might be established between the wealth derived from slavery and the British country house and what implications such links should have for the way such properties are represented to the public today.
In order to improve access to this research, a complete copy of the text is free to download from the left hand side of this page.
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Here is a link to a fantastic database created at UCL of the legacies of British Slave-Ownership, the buildings, collections, institutions, businesses, and families funded by slavery. You can search individuals, firms, and locations to find links to slave-ownership (eg. David Cameron’s ancestry). Browse physical, cultural, historical, imperial, commercial legacies, which include the British Museum and the National Gallery (many benefactors owned slaves). It sources the records of compensation claimed by slave owners for releasing slaves when slavery was abolished. There is also a blog running and various items of interest picked out. It’s a really good and important resource that hits home how much this country was built on the work of slaves.