British slave owners compensated, slaves not compensated

This reggae music video is Burning Spear: Slavery Days. The lyrics are here.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Vast scale of British slave ownership revealed

46,000 Britons were slave owners on the day that slavery was abolished in 1833 and all received a share of a £17 billion compensation payout from the Government

Alexandra Sims

Sunday 12 July 2015

The shocking scale of British slave ownership has been revealed in scores of official records which have found that thousands of modern-day Britons are related to owners who received huge sums in compensation when the trade was abolished.

A five year project by University College London has compiled the identities of 46,000 Britons who owned slaves, mainly in the West Indies, on the day that slavery was abolished in 1833.

Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Benedict Cumberbach, Ben Affleck and author George Orwell are just some of the high profile ancestors [sic; descendants] of the slave owners revealed in the files.

Records from the Slave Compensation Commission show that some 800,000 Africans were freed upon abolition after being kept as legal property.

Upon their liberation the Commission paid out the modern equivalent of £17 billion in compensation to the UK’s tens of thousands of owners – the largest government pay-out since [sic; before] the 2009 bank bailout.

The colossal sum represented 40 per cent of government expenditure in 1834.

Read more: Buffalo Soldier: Story of former female slave in US army wins children’s book award

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Researchers from UCL led by Professor Catherine Hall and Dr Nick Draper have published the files into an online database which is available for the general public to access and search for the names of all those who received compensation.

John Gladstone, the father of prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, who owned nine sugar plantations, received the most money in compensation being paid £106,769 or the equivalent of £80 million today.

The great-grandfather of novelist George Orwell, Charles Blair, received £4,442 or the modern day figure of £3 million in compensation.

It is now thought that 10 per cent of Britons who died in the 18th century benefited from slavery and that up to 15 per cent of the British elite were connected to the trade.

A new BBC documentary named Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, reveals that slave ownership was not just reserved for Briton’s wealthy gentry however.

The two part programme, presented by historian David Olugsoga shows that middle-class families with occupations ranging from home country vicars to iron manufacturers also had a stake in the trade.

Other surprises included the discovery that 40 per cent of slave owners living in the colonies were found to be women who had inherited what was then regarded as human property through their partner’s wills.

See also here.

17 thoughts on “British slave owners compensated, slaves not compensated

  1. The economic advantages having been transferred through the time of slavery exists to the present day as one can see by the names mentioned such as Cameron, this club having to this day not only securing their corrupted gains from yesterday also having a aptitude for oppression this is within their genetic mindset, these same people passing laws and having influence on the repressive regime and militant doctrine of punishing the so called weak.
    A most informative insight this article exposes those in power who today are all part of a system of cruelty and destruction of our planet.


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