I’ve just come across this video about the compensation records uncovered by the excellent Legacies of British Slave Ownership research project at University College, London. The film focuses on slave owners in London, but what was true of Bryanston Square also applied to Blythwood Square, and other similar locations, in Glasgow’s ‘merchant city’. As I’ve written before, it was a shock to discover that my ancestors’ names were among those appearing in these records. The four children of Glasgow merchant George Robb – the brother of my 3rd great grandfather Charles Edward Stuart Robb – all received compensation following the abolition of slavery in the early nineteenth century. Moreover, the Thomsons – the Glasgow family into which George Robb married – were deeply involved in trade with the West Indies, and a number of them owned both land and slaves there. Finally, as noted in the last post, it seems likely that my 3rd great grandmother Margaret Ricketts Monteith owed her middle name to a connection with the Ricketts family, who were prominent plantation owners in Jamaica.

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