Monday, June 11, 2007

Parliament and the British Slave Trade




'Parliament & The British Slave Trade 1600 - 1807' has been produced for the Parliamentary Archives, to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of Britain's transatlantic slave trade. The website uses original source material, interwoven with narrative from expert historians, to tell the story of Parliament's complex relationship with the British slave trade. The aim of the website is to enable the public to explore the issues, encourage comment and online debate. The website will draw on and provide access to documents held by the Parliamentary Archives, including the Act of 1807 which abolished the trade, evidence taken by Parliamentary enquiries and petitions.
Some of the most interesting documents on the website include a certificate from 1681, signed by the Lord Great Chamberlain which permits tea, coffee and (hot) chocolate making in a part of the Palace of Westminster, a cartoon by James Gillray from 1792 satirising the boycott of sugar by the Royal Household, and, a letter signed by Africans working at Cape Coast Castle in 1749 in support of the Governor.
Access: Free