History Walk: Edward Colston – why was he toppled?

An amble through central Bristol uncovering the history of Edward Colston and a century of protest and dissent

Event Details
Date: , 2021
Time: to
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN
Price: Free/donations
With: Mark Steeds, Roger Ball, Christine Townsend, Ros Martin
Series: Move on over: From Countering Colston to Black Lives Matter
Page Details
Section: Events
Projects: Edward Colston
Subjects: Slavery & Resistance
Tags: , , , ,
Posted: Modified:
Edward Colston sleeps with the fishes. Picture: courtesy of J. Backhouse

Meet at 3.30pm outside M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN

Walk ends at Bristol Cathedral at 5.30pm (approx.)

With the imminent launch of a so-called ‘consultative display’ featuring Edward Colston’s statue at M Shed it seems apt to expose his involvement with transatlantic slavery and reveal the myths that were created about him and his philanthropy.

This two hour walk visits churches in the city centre where, until very recently, ‘the life and work’ of Edward Colston was provided with religious legitimacy. Along the way we will share the most recent historical research regarding this man’s involvement with the transatlantic slave trade and discover how and why the Victorian elite created a ‘cult of Colston’. Towards the end of our stroll we discuss how elite institutions such as the Church of England and the Society of Merchant Venturers that defended Colston’s status as an icon of the city were challenged over a century of dissent and protest.

Note: this is not an M Shed event.

Colston Hall name change protest banner (2017)

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