Jmw turner the slave ship VideoThe Slave Ship: Digital Story jmw turner the slave ship
Abolition of the Slave Trade
It seemed that an overdue and heroic national sacrifice that had burdened generations of British taxpayers with a debt of shame had finally been paid off. How could the ending of the slave trade not be a good thing? Of course, the reality was not so simple; this money was not paid to the slaves but to over 46, slave owners as compensation by taxpayers.
Unsurprisingly, the Bank of England soon deleted its ill thought out tweet. As not only was it offensive in that it only told part of the history, it was also inaccurate on a number of fronts.
The apprenticeship system was supported by British state funded police forces who would punish apprentices according to a tariff, including a torture treadmill to discourage laziness. The British slave trade was enormous and very profitable. Those slaves deemed too unruly, too sick or weak were thrown overboard.
On arrival in the Americas they were sold to the highest bidder. The brutality meted out by the traders and owners makes for shocking reading. The slave owners were the beneficiaries of the compensation payment at the largesse of the British taxpayer, as some argued jmw turner the slave ship would help end the slave trade. Slave owners argued that since slaves were their thf that could be bought and sold, they should be compensated in the same way as when a government compensates landowners when it takes over land to build a new railway or canal.
The campaign for the abolition of slavery agonised over the payment of this compensation as it was contrary to their belief that one human could own another. Learn more here compensation of slave owners by taxpayers is not an isolated example of their power and influence in Britain.
On the 29 November the Liverpool based ship Zong threw its cargo of slaves overboard after the ship reportedly ran low on drinking water as a result of navigational errors. The owners of the ship claimed compensation for the loss of the slaves from their insurance company who disputed the claim. Jmw turner the slave ship matter ended up in court in the case of Gregson v Gilbert [3 Doug. KB], with the ship owners successfully arguing that killing slaves was legal in some circumstances and hence the insurance monies were due. Jmw turner the slave ship case was appealed subsequently, the hearing again being over seen by the Earl of Mansfield when new evidence emerged of the murder of slaves in batches, including after heavy rain had fallen thereby ameliorating the water shortage.
No member of the crew was ever tried for murder despite the efforts of the abolitionist and self-taught lawyer Granville Sharp.
The publicity surrounding the case assisted the abolitionist movement and the Zong massacre as in came to be known, gained notoriety and even resulted in the artist J. W Turner painting his work The Slave Ship in as a representation of the massacre. Britain is still grappling with its shameful past. It seems that there still thhe long way for Britain to go in facing up to its brutal history. Search for:. Recent Comments.]