The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 13.193887, -59.543190

4 Annotations

Terry F  •  Link

Barbados was settled by British in 1627-1628. Its main product was cane sugar, raised on large plantations. The African slave labor force was supplemented by the mid-to-late 1600's by Irish and Scottish indentured servants and slaves.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Barbados was the seed crystal for the slavery regimes of the Restoration colonies.... In 1661, almost exactly at the moment that the strong Restoration push to establish slavery on the mainland was getting under way, Barbados became the first English colony to legislate extensively on slavery....[esp. with the landmark] Act for the Better Ordering and Governing of Negroes (1661), considered "absolutely Needful for the publique Safety. [397] " This Act served as the template for similar Acts in other Restoration colonies as far north as New England. E.g., in South Carolina "in 1669/70...a mixed expedition of English and Barbadian adventurers established continuous settlement under the sponsorship of [Samuel Pepys' nemesis] proprietor Anthony Lord Ashley (later the Earl of Shaftesbury).....[T]he Barbadians insisted [lands] should be granted to importers of 'negroes as well as Christians.' Ashley had also drafted (with the assistance of John Locke, his secretary) the "Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina," which confirmed in the course of establishing religious toleration that Carolina slaveholders would enjoy the same absolute power over their slaves that Barbados' "better ordering" statute had guaranteed. [399]...Carolina's first general statute,An Act for the Better Ordering of Slaves [February 1690/91, a] version of the Barbadian Better Ordering Act of 1661.400]
("Transplants and Timing: Passages in the Creation of an Anglo-American Law of Slavery," Christopher Tomlins, University of California, Irvine, Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2012-24, 2009)…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Since many Scots were present on Barbados, one way or tother, I found it interesting to see how early the University of Glasgow began to receive endowments from Scots trading families involved in the Caribbean and therefore slavery.

Cambridge and Oxford are currently reviewing their records and similar reports to this should be forthcoming during the early 2020's.

The lack of endowments during the Diary years and for decades afterwards indicates to me that income from slavery-related undertakings was at that time tenuous and formative.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A shout out to the British Library, which is undertaking conservation projects during Covid-19. A very good use of their time! One of this month's efforts focused on slavery in Barbados:

"Britain's slave plantation model began in Barbados in the 17th century before spreading throughout the Caribbean. Built on the enslavement of men, women, and children from Africa, it was a lucrative system that generated excessive wealth for many slave owners and drove the British economy. As the anti-slavery movement gained momentum in the late 18th century, plantation owners and merchants throughout the empire blamed abolitionists for their own economic woes. In tandem with calls to abolish slavery, they demanded reciprocal compensation on the basis that laws protecting inanimate property also applied to slaves. This campaign had political support from absentee proprietors in the UK parliament and when the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act came into force, it was in conjunction with a system that enabled 46,000 slave owners, including more than 80 MPs, to claim compensation.

"The British government paid a total of £20 million - 40% of its national budget - to compensate thousands of slave owners; the equivalent of approximately £17 billion today. It required enormous borrowing by the government, so much that the debt was not fully repaid until 2015.

"This statistic was announced to the world in a 2018 Fact Of The Day tweet by the UK Treasury and prompted a sharp rebuke by historian David Olusoga. The tweet was pitched as a pat on the back for UK taxpayers’ contribution towards abolishing slavery. Instead it was an unsightly reminder that 21st century taxpayers had continued to fund the ill-gotten gains of human enslavement."

What this excerpt doesn't say (it may make the point later) is that money paid off the owners who lost the use of their slaves, not the slaves who had lost years of their lives, their dignity, their homes, and often their families.

Lots of information -- but not about the 17th century -- at…

My thought: The British government paid off the WWI and WWII debt to the USA at least 30 years before this. Perhaps the Americans had a higher interest rate?

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.