Legacies of British Slave Ownership

Collection information, Senate House Library, London, UK

From the Reading Room – Legacies of British Slave Ownership
Posted on November 25, 2013 by Charles Harrowell

The collections of Senate House Library are rich with regard to published and manuscript material slavery and plantation life – especially in the Caribbean. Archival resources related to slavery are outlined here. One of the most important collections are the papers of the Newton Estate in Barbados -MS523.

Hannah Young – a PhD student has been reading a range of material from the papers and I asked her how she was using this archive;

I have spent the last few months trawling through the Newton Papers (MS523) kept in the Historic Collections section of Senate House Library. These papers, concerning the Newton and Lane families of Kings Bromley in Staffordshire, consist of material relating to the families’ plantations in Barbados. I am undertaking my PHD as part of UCL’s Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Project and my research is centred around exploring the issues of gender and power in British slave-ownership between the years 1763 and 1833. I was initially drawn to the Newton Papers because of my particular interest in female slave-ownership. For eleven years, between 1783 and 1794, the Newton and Seawells plantations were owned by two sisters, Sarah Holte and Elizabeth Newton. However, my current explorations have taken a somewhat different turn. It soon became clear that the majority of the material in collection related to the period after 1794. During this year both sisters died and the plantations were subsequently inherited by their cousins, Thomas and John Lane. For me the most interesting material in the collection is the considerable correspondence between Thomas Lane, who managed the plantations from metropolitan Britain, and his attorneys and overseers in Barbados. I have previously looked at some very similar material related to Anna Eliza Elletson, a London-based absentee who was heavily involved with the administration and management of Hope estate, her Jamaican plantation.  [...]

Continue reading at: http://www.senatehouselibrary.ac.uk/2013/11/25/from-the-reading-room-11/