The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery

The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery

by Nicholas Draper
ISBN-10:
1107696569
ISBN-13:
9781107696563
Pub. Date:
07/18/2013
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

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Overview

The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery

When colonial slavery was abolished in 1833 the British government paid £20 million to slave-owners as compensation: the enslaved received nothing. Drawing on the records of the Commissioners of Slave Compensation, which represent a complete census of slave-ownership, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the extent and importance of absentee slave-ownership and its impact on British society. Moving away from the historiographical tradition of isolated case studies, it reveals the extent of slave-ownership among metropolitan elites, and identifies concentrations of both rentier and mercantile slave-holders, tracing their influence in local and national politics, in business and in institutions such as the Church. In analysing this permeation of British society by slave-owners and their success in securing compensation from the state, the book challenges conventional narratives of abolitionist Britain and provides a fresh perspective of British society and politics on the eve of the Victorian era.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107696563
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/18/2013
Series: Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Nicholas Draper is Research Associate at the Department of History, University College London.

Table of Contents

List of plates vii

List of figures viii

List of tables ix

Acknowledgements x

A note on language xii

List of abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

1 The absentee slave-owner: representations and identities 17

2 The debate over compensation 75

3 The distribution of slave-compensation 114

4 The structure of slave-ownership 138

5 The large-scale rentier-owners 166

6 'Widows and orphans': small-scale British slave-owners 204

7 Merchants, bankers and agents in the compensation process 232

8 Conclusion 270

Appendices

1 MPs appearing in the Slave Compensation records 279

2 MPs whose immediate families appear in the Compensation records 294

3 'West India interest' MPs, 1820-35, not appearing in the Compensation records 299

4 Other MPs aligned to the West India interest over Emancipation 301

5 Church of England clergymen in Britain appearing in the Compensation records 303

6 Clergymen in Scotland appearing in the Compensation records 316

7 Absentee clergymen elsewhere appearing in the Compensation records 317

8 Nobility and peers appearing in the Compensation records 318

9 Rentier Baronets appearing in the Compensation records 323

10 Mercantile Baronets appearing in the Compensation records 330

11 Subscribers to King's College who later appear in the Compensation records 331

12 Donors to the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church throughout England and Wales, appearing in the Compensation records 335

13 Members of the Eyre Defence Fund connected with slave-compensation 337

14 Nominees as Sheriffs appearing in the Compensation records 338

15 Notes on largest mercantile recipients of slave-compensation 341

16 London bankers appearing in the Compensation records 347

17 Slave-owners and other connections to slavery in Marylebone 361

Bibliography 370

Index 389

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"... well-researched and argued book, and a major contribution to the study of British history and West Indian slavery in the first half of the nineteenth century." -Stanley Engerman, Journal of Economic History

"...well-researched and insightful book..." -Christopher Clark, American Historical Review

"....Draper's book is a vital reminder not only of the importance of slavery to British social history through the 1830's but also of the impact of slave emancipation as a force for political innovation and reform in British society during the age of abolition." -David Richardson, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Draper’s book is insightful, engaging, and finely nuanced." -Kevin Grant, Journal of Modern History

"Nicholas Draper's award-winning book is well researched, heavily annotated, and handsomely illustrated." -John David Smith, Canadian Journal of History

'Draper has written an outstandingly good and important work.' -H-LatAm

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