Daughters of Igbo Woman

A Series of Bristol Events: Artists Resurrect the Voices of Women Impacted by the British Slave Trade

An international team of artists and film-makers are working together to resurrect the voices of three generations of women impacted by British slavery in a digital installation: Daughters Of Igbo Woman. Events will take place in Bristol at Georgian House Museum and Greenbank Cemetery in August and the Bearpit in October this year, accompanied by school workshops. Daughters of Igbo Woman is supported by Arts Council England, Bristol Culture and Journeys to Justice. Ros Martin, Project Director […]

Studio 2: Bristol Radical History Group highlights

Lady Blackshirts, The Smoke Dragon, Bristol's Aircraft Industry, From Wulfstan to Colston

                  A series of 10 minute 'taster talks' covering recently or soon to be published Bristol Radical History Group texts. These include: Lady Blackshirts: The Perils of Perception – suffragettes who became fascists [Rosemary Caldicott] During the 1930’s a small group of ultra-nationalistic women, who considered themselves feminists, joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Surprisingly some of these women were former high ranking […]

History Walk 1: Edward Colston

Why is our city dominated by this man’s legacy?

Starting with St Mary Redcliffe church, this walk takes in other historic Diocese of Bristol churches in the city centre where 'the life and work' of Edward Colston is still provided religious legitimacy on an annual basis. Along the way we will share the most recent historical research regarding this man's involvement with the transatlantic slave trade and discover how the Victorian elite created a 'cult of Colston' that is now said to form part of our city's 'identity'. At our final stop, […]

Edward Colston Research Paper #2

The Royal African Company and Edward Colston (1680-92)

Introduction This research article is an examination of the Royal African Company (RAC) and the role of Edward Colston (b. 1636 d. 1721) within the organisation as both an investor and executive. It is unsurprising that this history has not been previously collated in this form as Colston still retains a popular status amongst sections of Bristol’s population as a philanthropist and ‘city father’, his memory protected by powerful civic organisations. Although the depiction of Colston as a […]

Edward Colston Research Paper #1

Calculating the number of enslaved Africans transported by the Royal African Company during Edward Colston’s involvement (1680-92)

Introduction Edward Colston was an investor, official and eventually deputy governor of the Royal African Company (RAC) from 1680-92. Over this period the RAC purchased and transported tens of thousands of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic into a life of hard labour. This article aims to answer number of questions about the RAC’s involvement in the slave trade in particular during Edward Colston’s tenure. These questions are: How many enslaved Africans were purchased by the RAC between 1680 […]

Colston Hall, the first domino goes down…

It's official, today the board of the Bristol Music Trust (BMT) have announced the Colston Hall will be changing its name. Congratulations to the Counter-Colston campaigners and their supporters for all the work they have done over the last few years to highlight this issue. We have been having a laugh today reading some of the reactions... Apparently Tory Councillor Richard Eddy will now be boycotting the hall....is this because he will only go to venues that are named after slave-traders? […]

Renaming the Colston Hall: An opportunity to rediscover the hidden history of Bristol

The following statement by BRHG historians was published in the Bristol Post last week in response to Councillor Richard Eddy's article the week before entitled: Prominent Tory: Renaming Bristol's Colston Hall 'panders to tiny minority'. Almost a century ago in 1920 the Reverend H. J. Wilkins of Westbury-on Trym penned a biography of Edward Colston which began to expose the troubling history surrounding Bristol’s so-called ‘moral saint’ and ‘great philanthropist’. Wilkins was astounded at the […]

The Slave Trader ‘Celebration Season’

The onset of autumn in Bristol sees several idiosyncratic ceremonies, rituals and traditions that remember the locally born slave trader Edward Colston. Whilst public display has in recent years retreated, commemoration and maintenance of a partial historical narrative focused only on philanthropic endeavours persists ‘behind closed doors’. These closed doors are, for the rest of the year, presented to the Bristolian public as some of the most ‘open’ and ‘welcoming’, they include some of the […]

Abolitionists in Bristol

According to historians of the slave-trade in Bristol there were 'precious few' Abolitionists in the city - but at least there were some and not just in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The last Anglo-Saxon Bishop, St Wulfstan, managed to get the 400 year-old trade of slaves between Bristol and Dublin banned in the 11th Century. Still obscured, the only 'good' story you can get from slavery is the banning of it. Bristol Radical History Group member Mark Steeds will try to shed some light upon the […]

Colston and slavery still obscured?

At last year’s Merchant Venturers Charter Day service at the cathedral the Bishop of Bristol, stated that Edward Colston had: lived a life of significance... [and there]... may be still some speculation on some of the circumstances around his business roots right here The Bishop of Bristol’s clumsy attempt to rewrite history, effectively claiming that Colston’s involvement in the business of the slave trade was ‘speculation’ is unsurprising. A similar kind of air brushing occurred during a BBC […]

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