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John Gilmore

Politician, born in Jamaica into a family of wealthy plantation owners. Sent to England in 1723, he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford. He later studied medicine at Leiden in Holland, but broke off his course there when the death of his father obliged him to return to Jamaica in 1735. When his elder brother died in 1737, he inherited most of the family properties and continued to add to them by inheritance and purchase over the next 30 years. At the time of his death he was sole owner of thirteen sugar plantations in Jamaica, together with other real estate and about 3,000 slaves.

In 1737William Beckford became a member of the Jamaican House of Assembly, but by 1744 he had left Jamaica for Britain where he settled in London as a West India merchant selling the produce of his own estates ...

Article

John Gilmore

Writer, art collector, and owner of plantations in Jamaica. He was the son of William Beckford, on whose death in 1770 he inherited an enormous fortune. This came under his control when he attained his majority in 1781 and for many years enabled him to travel extensively in Europe, to fund his enthusiasm for building Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire as a Gothic extravaganza to house himself and the books, pictures, and works of art that he collected on a prodigious scale. In the 1790s his income was estimated at well over £100,000 a year, and in 1809 the poet Lord Byron hailed him as ‘England's wealthiest son’. From the 1820s the income from his Jamaican estates declined significantly, and he was forced to sell Fonthill and major parts of his collections. Beckford is remembered as the author of the novel Vathek an Orientalist fantasy published in ...

Article

H.R. Costello

Previously known as Cato, or James Cato (b. 1750), black crewman on Nelson's flagship, the Victory. Brown was originally known as Cato, following the common practice of slave owners of giving slaves Roman or Greek names. Brown is thought to have been a black Loyalist, a slave siding with the British during the American War of Independence. Living in Nova Scotia, he was of mixed parentage, his mother reputed to be a member of the prominent Liverpool merchant Gough family.

Cato left Nova Scotia, running away to sea while still a child, ironically serving on ships involved in the slave trade, and assuming the name James Cato. He later joined the Royal Navy and changed his name again, to James Brown, serving on one of the most famous ships of all time, Nelson's flagship Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 When ...

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Cecily Jones

Queen of England and patron of slave‐trading ventures.

1.Genesis of the British slave trade

2.Africans in Elizabethan England

3.Scapegoating ‘Blackamoors’

4.Attempts to expel Blacks

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David Dabydeen

Slave owner, instigator of the ‘coolie trade’, and father of the British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98). Sir John Gladstone was a leading member of the West Indian Association of Liverpool, a group of plantation owners and merchants trading with the West Indies in slave‐produced commodities. He owned sugar estates in Jamaica and British Guiana and was a passionate opponent of abolition. In 1830, in a series of last‐ditch attempts to persuade the government not to end West Indian slavery, Gladstone (then a member of Parliament and spokesman for the West India interest) argued that slavery was normal in primitive societies, and that West Indian Blacks had peculiar constitutions, enabling them to work easily under a tropical sun. He held up the dreadful prospect of freed slaves slaughtering the smaller white populations.

In 1833 Gladstone was deputed by Liverpool's West Indian interest ...

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Erin D. Somerville

The first Englishman to transport African slaves across the Atlantic. The son of a sea merchant and Mayor of Plymouth, Hawkins inherited the family sea business after his father's death. After early voyages to the Canary Islands, he moved to London in 1560 to seek support for voyages to the West Indian colonies, then under tight Spanish control.

Hawkins's first slave trading voyage departed for the west coast of Africa in October 1562. Upon arrival in Upper Guinea, Hawkins raided Portuguese ships for African slaves and other merchandise. Three hundred slaves were brought to Hispaniola, where he illegally sold them to English planters. The financial gains of the expedition were so extensive that Queen Elizabeth I supported an equally profitable second voyage in 1564, which moved over 400 slaves from Sierra Leone. A third slaving voyage in 1567 also supported by the Queen was not as successful ...

Article

John Gilmore

Also known as Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (c.1702–1773?), one of the very few victims of the transatlantic slave trade to survive and get back home. Son of an important Muslim cleric from Bondou in what is now the Gambia. In 1731, while on a journey down the river Gambia to trade and sell slaves, Job was himself kidnapped and sold as a slave, together with his servant and companion Loumein Yoai. The two were shipped across the Atlantic and sold, separately, in Maryland.

Job soon ran away. Although he was speedily recaptured, he was allowed to write a letter, in Arabic, to his father, asking him to try and arrange for his ransom. This was sent to London for transmission to the Gambia, and a copy came to the attention of James Oglethorpe (1696–1785 the founder of Georgia who was then deputy governor of ...

Article

Liliana Obregón

Bartolomé de Las Casas is a controversial figure, whose prolific and complex writings continue to raise questions after five centuries of study and debate. Though known as the most unrelenting advocate of Native American interests before the Spanish Crown, he endorsed the colonial system and played a role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade Throughout his life he denounced the violence and abuse that were inherent in Spanish policies towards Native Americans while he proposed more benevolent forms of colonization As a strategic reformist and in the hope of saving indigenous lives he initially advocated that imported African slaves be used in place of Native American forced laborers However towards the end of his life Las Casas regretted his promotion of black slavery and was deeply troubled by having condoned any form of human bondage Ironically through his repentance he became the first colonist of the sixteenth century to denounce ...

Article

John Gilmore

Historian of Jamaica and writer on slavery. Long was born in England, a member of a family that had long been settled in Jamaica and owned plantations there. Long himself spent only twelve years (1757–69) in Jamaica, where he was a judge, a member of the House of Assembly, and (for a very brief period) its Speaker, but he always identified himself with the interests of the Jamaican plantocracy, that is, the group of white landowners whose prosperity depended on the ownership of sugar plantations worked by slaves.

Long's major work was The History of Jamaica (1774 This contains an enormous amount of information on all aspects of the island and is still an essential source for historians of the Caribbean However the work is strongly marked by his partisan support for the plantocracy which leads him not only to emphasize Jamaica s importance to Britain ...

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Erin D. Somerville

English slave‐trading monopoly active between 1672 and 1713. The Company is credited with sending 5,000 ships to Africa carrying £500,000 of English goods, transporting over 90,000 African slaves to West Indian plantations, and importing 30,000 tons of sugar by the beginning of the 18th century.

The Royal African Company was formed on 27 September 1672 by a group of English merchants previously involved in the Company of Adventurers of London Trading into Parts of Africa. It suffered financial troubles from the start, blamed largely on the slow turnover of trade and the extensive credit granted to West Indian planters. The Company's funds were also crippled by its role in the construction and strengthening of forts on the West African coast, believed by the British Parliament to be essential to maintaining English interests in Africa.

The Company traded English textiles metalware and firearms to three regions of the West African ...

Article

John Evans

Son of a slave and a wealthy planter on St Kitts, Wells became a major landowner in Monmouthshire, South Wales, and Britain's first black sheriff. He was probably the wealthiest black person in the country at the time.

His father, William Wells (1730–94), left Cardiff with his brother Nathaniel for St Kitts to make his fortune in the sugar and slave trade in about 1749. He married a wealthy widow in 1753, Elizabeth Taylor née Fenton. She bore William two children, who died in infancy, before she herself died in 1759. Subsequently William fathered at least six children with various slaves, one of whom, Nathaniel, was born on 10 September 1779, the son of Juggy, his African house slave. He was baptized on 3 March 1783 at Trinity Church Palmetto Point By the age of 9 wells was living in London with ...

Article

John Gilmore

In the 18th and early 19th centuries the British colonies in the Caribbean were of considerable value to Britain as a result of the wealth created from slave‐grown sugar and other tropical produce, and from the profits of the ‘African trade’, which supplied the Caribbean plantations with their slaves. This wealth made it possible for those with financial interests in the Caribbean colonies, either as owners of land and slaves (whether residents in the colonies or absentee owners living in Britain), or as merchants in Britain trading in colonial produce, to influence the political process in Britain in various ways. The effect of all this, and the individuals involved, were collectively referred to as the ‘West India interest’.

From the late 17th century the various colonies in the Caribbean began to appoint what were called colonial agents in Britain a system that continued until the middle of the 19th century ...