A new three-year project, the Structure and Significance of British Slave-ownership, 1763-1833, will begin in the UCL History Department on the 31st December 2012. Funding of £1,557,440 has been awarded by the ESRC (with a 25% contribution from the AHRC). Professor Catherine Hall will lead the project as the Principal Investigator, with Keith McClelland and Nick Draper as Research Associates. Rachel Lang will be the Project Administrator. Two post-doctoral researchers and two PhD students (yet to be appointed) will complete the team.
Building on the highly successful Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, the overall aim of the new project is to examine the nature and significance of Caribbean slave-ownership in the formation of Britain in the crucial coincident years of the peak of the slave-economy and a decisive period in the industrialisation of Britain. In order to accomplish this, the intermediate objective is to develop a comprehensive history of the ownership of all 4,000 estates in the British West Indian colonies between 1763 (1754 in the case of Jamaica) and the end of slavery in 1833/4.
The project team will construct a collective biography or prosopography of the slave-owners who were resident in Britain in this period, tracing their commercial, political, social and cultural presence and impact in Britain, and will then make this material available online in their Encyclopaedia of Slave-owners. The encyclopaedia will allow users to link estate-ownership with other extant records on enslaved people, notably the Slave Registers. The new data will be used to re-examine the relationship between Empire, slavery and early imperial Britain.