Free Events

Slavery and the City

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | 20 September 2020
St Paul's Tube Station | Free

‘It is not lawful to put it into the Treasury, because it is the price of blood’. These are the words of abolitionist John Newton as he preached from St Mary Woolnoth in the City in 1788. But the abolitionist’s tale is only one side of the coin in the City’s involvement in the horrors of the slave trade.

We will explore sites and institutions with direct links to this history and hear why the apologies have recently been made, whilst wandering within the story packed streets and alleyways of the Square Mile.

Register here

Working Plan of Route:

  1. Noble Street – London Wall – discussion of the ancient nature of slavery in London, yet how different Roman slavery was to the transatlantic slave trade. Also referencing Septimus Severus – Roman Emperor from Africa who died in Britain in 210 CE
  2. Guildhall yard – Story of Zong massacre trial that took place inside Guildhall
  3. 18 Old Jewry – Meeting place for the Committee for Abolition of Slavery
  4. Rothschilds building, St Swithin’s Lane – the story of the compensation payments
  5. St Mary Woolnoth, King William Street, site of reformed slaver and abolitionist preacher John Newton
  6. Post Office Alley – importance of the post office, and also home of certain Lord Mayor and involvement with slavery, and extraordinary story from Pepys diary
  7. Change Alley – story of South Sea bubble
  8. 2 George Yard – James Phillips printers and bookshop – abolitionists – published daily schedule of work of an enslaved person, also printing of the diagram of the slave ship.
  9. Jamaica Coffee House St Michael Alley – importance of sugar and work of anti-abolitionists
  10. Bank of England – why have they issued an apology?
  11. Lloyds – Leadenhall – story of insurance and modern day apologies
  12.  Philpot Lane – a) site of Grant Oswald, the horror of Bance Island, and b) Brabant court – Georgian House – what the compensation money bought
  13. Fen Court – Gilt of Cain – a place to end and reflect, Lemm Sissay poem and sculpture by Michael Visocchi.

Tour groups will not exceed 6 people.

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