HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » David Cameron ancestors a...

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:46 AM


David Cameron ancestors among those given reparations when Britain banned slavery

The true scale of Britain's involvement in the slave trade has been laid bare in documents revealing how the country's wealthiest families received the modern equivalent of billions of pounds in compensation after slavery was abolished.

The previously unseen records show exactly who received what in payouts from the Government when slave ownership was abolished by Britain much to the potential embarrassment of their descendants. Dr Nick Draper from University College London, who has studied the compensation papers, says as many as one-fifth of wealthy Victorian Britons derived all or part of their fortunes from the slave economy.As a result, there are now wealthy families all around the UK still indirectly enjoying the proceeds of slavery where it has been passed on to them...

Among those revealed to have benefited from slavery are ancestors of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, former minister Douglas Hogg, authors Graham Greene and George Orwell, poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the new chairman of the Arts Council, Peter Bazalgette. Other prominent names which feature in the records include scions of one of the nation's oldest banking families, the Barings, and the second Earl of Harewood, Henry Lascelles, an ancestor of the Queen's cousin...Another illustrious political family that it appears still carries the name of a major slave owner is the Hogg dynasty, which includes the former cabinet minister Douglas Hogg...

But this amount was dwarfed by the amount paid to John Gladstone, the father of 19th-century prime minister William Gladstone. He received 106,769 (modern equivalent 83m) for the 2,508 slaves he owned across nine plantations. His son, who served as prime minister four times during his 60-year career, was heavily involved in his father's claim...Mr Hogg refused to comment yesterday, saying he "didn't know anything about it". Mr Cameron declined to comment after a request was made to the No 10 press office...

The British government paid out 20m to compensate some 3,000 families that owned slaves for the loss of their "property" when slave-ownership was abolished in Britain's colonies in 1833. This figure represented a staggering 40 per cent of the Treasury's annual spending budget and, in today's terms, calculated as wage values, equates to around 16.5bn.


On Wednesday 27 February 2013, the Encyclopaedia of British Slave-ownership will be available at this website.


The full story of how profits from slavery contributed to the position of today's ruling class has yet to be told.

6 replies, 1796 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply David Cameron ancestors among those given reparations when Britain banned slavery (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
malaise Feb 2013 #1
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #2
BainsBane Feb 2013 #3
malaise Feb 2013 #4
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #5
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #6

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:53 AM

1. So Eric WIlliams has finally been proven correct in his classic

Capitalism and Slavery. Of course we always knew how they enriched themselves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 03:56 AM

2. and we can read it online!



This is a well-researched and beautifully-written book. To read it is to remind oneself of the time when serious academics actually wrote well. The author is a major figure in the study of the history of the Caribbean and of the Atlantic slave trade. This particular work is widely acknowledged as his masterpiece and perhaps one of the most important books ever published on the subject. In it Williams makes an argument for the importance of slavery in the development of capitalism in Britain and later for the role of early industrial capitalism as a deciding factor in the abolition of the slave trade. It is well worth reading and still holds up these many years later.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:00 AM

3. Yes, but he talked about slavery as the economic foundation

of capitalism, by financing ship building and eventually manufactures. So under Williams's analysis, it wouldn't be just 1/5 of the English elite who profited from slavery. Rather, slavery made possible the accumulation of capital that led to industrialization--the very foundation of late 19th and 20th century economies.

This article is about reparations to Britons who owned slaves in the British West Indies following abolition there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to BainsBane (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:10 AM

4. I know this article is about reparations

but it's all connected and Williams was attacked big time by the English.
For the record that was Williams' PhD thesis at Oxford. He was a Rhodes Scholar before entering politics in Trinidad and Tobago.

There is a serious ongoing discussion about reparations in the Caribbean.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread