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Slavery and the slavery business have cast a long shadow over British history. In 1833, abolition was heralded as evidence of Britain's claim to be themodern global power, its commitment to representative government in Britain, free labour, the rule of law, and a benevolent imperial mission all aspects of a national identity rooted in notions of freedom and liberty. Yet much is still unknown about the significance of the slavery, slave-ownership and emancipation in the formation of modern imperial Britain. This essays in this book explore fundamental issues including the economic impact of slavery and slave-ownership, the varied forms of labour deployed in the imperial world, including hired slaves and indentured labourers, the development of the C19th imperial state, slavery and public and family history, and contemporary debates about reparations. The contributors, drawn from Britain, the Caribbean and Mauritius, include some of the most distinguished writers in the field: Clare Anderson, Robin Blackburn, Heather Cateau, Mary Chamberlain, Chris Evans, Pat Hudson, Richard Huzzey, Zoë Laidlaw, Alison Light, Anita Rupprecht, Verene A. Shepherd, Andrea Stuart and Vijaya Teelock. The impact of slavery and slave-ownership is once again becoming a major area of historical and contemporary concern: this book makes a vital contribution to the subject.

Chris Evans

pooled in Wales in the decades before 1834 and the potential for slave wealth to be deployed locally, but much further research is needed if the snapshot of the 1830s is to be broadened out into an understanding of slave-ownership as a historical process. That said, the 5,782 claims made to the compensation commissioners by absentee slave-owners are stark when it comes to Wales. Just sixty-nine had a Welsh dimension.13 (A comparable search for ‘Scotland’ yields 582 results; the equivalent for ‘Ireland’ gives 121.) This is a pitifully insignificant return. We are

in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
White women and colonialism in Barbados and North Carolina, 1627–1865

Whiteness, as a lived experience, is both gendered and racialised. This book seeks to understand the overlapping imbrication of whiteness in shaping the diverse material realities of women of European origin. The analysis pertains to the English-speaking slave-based societies of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and North Carolina in the American South. The book represents a comparative analysis of the complex interweaving of race, gender, social class and sexuality in defining the contours of white women's lives during the era of slavery. Despite their gendered subordination, their social location within the dominant white group afforded all white women a range of privileges, shaping these women's social identities and material realities. Conscious of the imperative to secure the racial loyalty of poor whites in order to assure its own security in the event of black uprisings, elite society attempted to harness the physical resources of the poor whites. The alienation of married women from property rights was rooted in and reinforced by the prevailing ideology of female economic dependence on men. White Barbadian women's proprietary rights as slave-owners were upheld in the law courts, even the poorest slaveholding white women could take recourse to the law to protect their property. White women's access to property was determined primarily by their marital status. The book reveals the strategies deployed by elite and poor white women in these societies to resist their gendered subordination, challenge the constraints that restricted their lives to the private domestic sphere, secure independent livelihoods and create meaningful existences.

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Catherine Hall
Nicholas Draper
, and
Keith McClelland

systematic historical critique’.8 And, one might add to this trinity, the family, that key institution of modern life. The essays in this volume reflect some of these issues. They were first delivered as papers at the conference at University College London on ‘Emancipation, Slave-ownership and the Re-making of the British Imperial World’ in March 2012. The conference was organised by the team working on the ESRC-funded project ‘Legacies of British Slave-ownership’ (LBS) and was an attempt to begin to look at British emancipation in the context of the wider imperial world

in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
Jonathon Shears

_v1.indd 79 16/03/2017 12:01 The Great Exhibition, 1851 the Emancipation Act of 1833 that slave ownership was made illegal. Britain exerted its status on the world stage to influence other nations to follow suit, and by 1851, slave-owning America looked increasingly out of step. As Richard Huzzey puts it, in distancing itself from America over the contentious issue of slavery ‘Britain had reasserted its identity as a land of freedom’ (2012: p. 2), explaining the frequent discourse of broken chains in nationalistic cant. The London press took every opportunity

in The Great Exhibition, 1851
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Family legacies: after abolition
Katie Donington

Robert junior wrote in 1807 that he feared for the fate of the next generation of Hibberts in the aftermath of abolition. On his death in 1835, the year after the enactment of emancipation, he left a £250,000 fortune built up through slave trading, slave ownership and the trade in slave-produced commodities. 1 Having inherited Birtles Hall from his

in The bonds of family
Barbadian women and slaveholding
Cecily Jones

of her husband’s real and personal estate, Elizabeth was also to receive ‘two negroes by names Pickaninny and Diego’. 16 The evidence that courts defended white women’s ownership of slaves points to a general recognition that the status of white ‘ladies’ derived in large part from slave ownership. To deprive white women of slaves was to erode the boundaries of whiteness, for it was in their ability

in Engendering whiteness
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Family matters: Slavery, commerce and culture
Katie Donington

deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery.’ The research for this book and the project from which it emerged – ‘Legacies of British slave-ownership’ – has been aided immensely by family historians who provided documents and information about their ancestors. Their efforts

in The bonds of family
Stephanie Barczewski

Portland had varied and significant links to slavery. Nicholas Draper calculates that 37 of the 616 English, Scottish and Irish peers (6 per cent) were compensated when slavery was abolished in 1834. Nicholas Draper, ‘Slave Ownership and the British Country House: The Records of the Slave Compensation Commission as Evidence’, in Madge Dresser and Andrew Hahn, eds, Slavery and the

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930
The metropole
Katie Donington

British Slave-ownership, October 2013. [accessed 31 August 2017]. 15 Livesay, ‘Children of uncertain fortune: Mixed-race migration’, p. 61

in The bonds of family