Harewood House 1

1834 Slavery Compensation: Who got the money ?

Sat  15 June 2pm to 6pm

This event is sponsored by  Birkbeck, University of London, www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk, and www.nabss.org.uk

In  1834 when the British  abolished slavery in the Caribbean the  government paid 20 million pounds in compensation to the owners of the enslaved Africans. The Africans got nothing.

Many people have wondered who exactly got that money and what they did with it. Which islands and plantations benefited ? What houses were built ? What institutions were established ? What was the cultural and economic legacy of this massive payout ? Can it be identified and quantified ? A team of scholars from UCL have been researching exactly these questions and more. Over the last 3 years they have collated research on several thousand beneficiaries and  created a searchable, user-friendly  website that covers...

  • Which individuals received monies.
  • How much they received
  • Which houses they lived in
  • What they bought with the money
  • Which cultural/ educational institutions they established or supported with the money
  • What islands/plantations/ individuals in the Caribbean were compensated
  • Exactly how banks and financial institutions used the money to further the needs of empire
  • The role of slave-owners as writers and historians
  • The connections between the compensation,  finance companies and political parties
  • Physical legacies; buildings, statues, parks, docks,railways, bridges, libraries
  • How to use the website to expand your own personal or professional or genealogical research

Professor Catherine Hall, Dr Nick Draper, Keith McClelland, Kate Donnington and Rachel Lang  will share their research,  demonstrate how to use the website and take extended questions on both topics

Saturday 15 June 2pm to 6pm. This event will start at 2pm, latecomers will miss out and may not get a seat

Venue: Birkbeck University WC1 E 7HX (entrance on Torrington Square side), Tube Holborn/Russel Square,Tottenham Court Road click here for map and to book 

Admission free only if booked via

If you wish to particpate in the live website demonstration please bring a laptop.

2pm Intro/ welcome 

2.05 About the project/demonstration of how to use site
3.0pm Q and A and audience tries out website 
4pm break

 4.20pm Welcome back. Preview of 'Is there a case for Reparation' ? on 10 March

 4.45 2nd set of speakers, specific individuals of note in London and how they used their compensation

5.15 Further questions and answer
5.45 Finish and networking

The Slaveholders of London project http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/project aims to develop the first systematic analysis of the extent and significance of slave-ownership in the formation of modern Britain. Drawing on the census of slave-owners in the British empire created by the Slave Compensation Commission in the 1830s to manage the distribution of the then enormous sum of £20m paid as compensation to slave-owners on the abolition of colonial slavery, the project will comprehensively document the people in nineteenth-century Britain who either owned slaves or otherwise benefited financially from slavery, and examine the different legacies of slave-ownership. A database Encyclopedia of British Slave-Owners will be created which will capture each of the several thousand slave-owners resident in Britain in the 1830s. It will be publicly accessible and act as hub for the local and regional efforts to show the linkages of communities in Britain to slavery.

The project will examine their roles and influence within British society in their lifetimes, and trace their major legacies after their deaths.