11 DECEMBER

‘LITTLE NEGRO BOY’ ‘TO BE DISPOS’D OF’ – APPLY AT ‘THE DOLPHIN TAVERN’

Slave in chains 1820 –
Royal Museums Greenwich – no known restrictions

[ 11 December 1744 ]

Today in 1744, a routine slave for sale notice appeared in the Daily Advertiser, and was repeated in the same paper again two days later. ‘To be sold. A pretty little Negro Boy, about nine Years old, and well limb’d. If not dispos’d of, is to be sent to the West Indies in six days Time. He is to be seen at the Dolphin Tavern in Tower Street.’1

Although African slaves in eighteenth century Britain were not unusual, those brought in to the country often found themselves shipped on to the West Indies once their ‘owners’ no longer found their services useful or worth the cost.  In Jamaica, Barbados and other British administered islands in the Caribbean there was always a high price for African men, women and children who could be put to work on the plantations.

THE AUTHOR OF ‘AMAZING GRACE‘ ON HIS USE OF THE THUMBSCREW ON SLAVE BOYS

[ 11 December 1752 ]

Today, John Newton is revered as the author of ‘Amazing Grace’ and other well known Christian hymns, but as a young man he earned an enviable income for several years as a captain of a slave ship.

BRITISH ‘BLACK AND TANS’ AUXILIARY POLICE SACK THE CITY OF CORK.

[ 11 December 1920 ]

On the evening of Saturday 11 December 1920, during a few hours of indiscriminate arson and looting, heavily armed British Black and Tans auxiliary police burned down three hundred homes and forty business premises in the city of Cork. 

FOREIGN OFFICE – DON’T LET IN ANY REFUGEES FLEEING THE NAZIS

Jews in Germany forced to march carrying star of David – 1938
Unknown author: Believed to be in public domain.

[ 11 December 1940 ]

On 11 December 1940, Thomas Snow, head of the Refugee Section at the Foreign Office, noted that ‘the Security Services and the H(ome) O(ffice) concur in refusing, on security and social grounds, to admit a single further refugee here.’4   A few months earlier the British government had gone as far as to make arrangements to receive as many as 300,000 Dutch and Belgium refugees, although only a tiny fraction of this number actually arrived, so it should have still have been possible to have accepted at least a similar number of the vast number of Jewish refugees who by late 1940 were attempting to flee Nazi occupied Europe, especially given the crippling wartime shortage of skilled labour in Britain.5 It is interesting to note that when a survey of British public opinion was taken by Gallup in February 1943, an overwhelming majority (78%) of those surveyed favoured admitting all Jews who might be in danger of being murdered by the Nazis, but even after the findings were published the government still failed to reverse its total ban on admission.6

FOOTNOTES

  1. Cited in David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History, Pan Books, London, 2016, p. 82 and also the Runaway Slaves in Britain Project, For Sale Advertisements, University of Glasgow, accessed online at https://www.runaways.gla.ac.uk/for_sale/Runaway%20Slaves%20in%2018th%20C%20Britain%20-%20For%20Sale.pdf
  2. John Newton’s diary 11 December 1752 quoted in James Walvin, The Trader, the Owner, the Slave, Jonathan Cape, London p. 5.
  3. John Newton, Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade quoted in James Walvin, The Trader, the Owner, the Slave, Jonathan Cape, London p. 51.
  4. Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1988 p. 108.
  5. Ibid., p. 132.
  6. Ibid., p. 131.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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