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Slave Owners of Bloomsbury – LBS, UCL

22nd October 2017 · 11:00am - 5:00pm

In person | Virtual event

 Slave Owners of Bloomsbury – LBS, UCL

The Legacies of British Slave-ownership project traced the contentious lives and legacies those slave-owners who lived close to the newly-founded UCL and was first shown at UCL to mark Black History Month 2011.

Alongside Bloomsbury’s associations with literary and cultural gentility runs a less comfortable story of exploitation and oppression as many British colonial slave-owners settled in the area’s streets and squares in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Bloomsbury became the centre of ‘West Indian’ life in London. The development of the area, with Portland Place being laid out in the 1770s, Bedford Square in 1775-1780, Gower Street c. 1790, and Russell Square in 1800, coincided with the deepening of ties between London’s mercantile and professional classes and the slave colonies. These streets attracted absentee slave-owners and others connected with the sugar trade. The parish church of St George’s was one of the major ceremonial centres for this community of Britons living off the proceeds of slavery. As well as slave-owners, Bloomsbury was home to many of the merchants and bankers who traded the products of the slave plantations and supplied slave-owners with British goods on credit. But slavery was only part of the connections between Africans and the area, and the exhibition also celebrates these other African presences.

Open from 11am – 5pm

FREE – Just Turn Up

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