The firm was named after the Earl of Hardwicke, a 18th century Lord Chancellor whose legal opinion was used by slave owners to provide legal advice to justify slavery.
Transatlantic Slave Trade
From approximately 1525 to 1866, an unknown number of captive Africans were forcibly transported across the Middle Passage to serve as slaves in the New World. Life aboard slave ships was agonizing and dangerous; it is thought that 2 million slaves perished on their journey across the Atlantic.
Slavery has occurred in many forms throughout the world, but the Atlantic slave trade — which forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans to the Americas — stands out for both its global scale and its lasting legacy. Anthony Hazard discusses the historical, economic and personal impact of this massive historical injustice.
On 5 December, a small group of people carefully removed a sign marking Cassland Road Gardens in east London and laid it on the ground. Thus was one corner of the capital purged of its association with an offensive historical figure – John Cass, an early-18th-century slave trader.
The bronze statue, which had stood in Colston Avenue since 1895, had long been a focal point for public anger at the continued commemoration of people who had been involved in the city’s slave trade. A petition for its removal had gained thousands of signatures.
Across the Americas, the Spanish and Portuguese and then the Dutch were heavily involved in trading Africans to the New World. By 1663, England’s Royal Adventurers to Africa were fully involved as well, regularly offering slaves for sale in the West Indies for £17 each .
Many of the enslaved Africans were branded with the initials ‘DY’, standing for Duke of York. They were shipped to Barbados and other Caribbean islands to work on the new sugar plantations, as well as further north to England’s American colonies.