The British charity that manages six royal palaces, including the Tower of London, has launched a review into their historical links to slavery, The Times said Wednesday.

The chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which runs the regal sites across Britain, is leading the probe into their past relationship with the slave trade.

Lucy Worsley, who is also a television historian, told the newspaper her review was overdue and the charity had a duty to make public any slavery connections.

“;

var story_page_incontent_p2_target = jQuery( ‘#story_page_incontent_p2_target’ );

var width = jQuery(window).width();
console.log( ‘@@story_page_incontent_p2@@ width: ‘ + width );

if( width > 599 ){
console.log( ‘@@story_page_incontent_p2@@ INJECT’ );
story_page_incontent_p2_target.html( story_page_incontent_p2_code );
}

“We’ve been thinking really hard and planning all sorts of changes,” she said. “The time has come. We’re behind. We haven’t done well enough.”

The legacy of Britain’s colonial past and links to slavery have come under scrutiny during anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd during an arrest by US police.

UK protests saw a statue of a 17th century slave trader toppled in Bristol, and calls for streets honouring figures who profited from slavery to be renamed.

Heritage and conservation charity the National Trust published a report in September into links to slavery and colonialism in the 93 historic properties it manages.

The review, which included scrutiny of World War II prime minister Winston Churchill’s longtime home, Chartwell, in Kent, southeast England, provoked a backlash in some quarters.

The Charity Commission watchdog questioned whether by conducting the investigation the Trust was departing from its primary role of preserving historic sites.

Worsley insisted it was vital that HRP’s sites presented an accurate picture of their histories, however uncomfortable that might prove.

“It is always great to push people a bit into an uncomfortable and darker direction, because then you can see the historical causes of things like social injustice,” she told The Times.

The six HRP sites — which also include Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace in London, as well as Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland — are formally owned by the monarchy but placed in trust and run by the charity.

Worsley noted one particular focus of the review would be properties used by the Stuart dynasty, which spanned 1603 to 1714, and were likely to have links to “an element of money derived from slavery”.

In 1663, Charles II granted a charter to the Company of Royal Adventurers of England — which later became the Royal African Company — giving it a monopoly on the enslavement and trading of Africans for 35 years.

It led to the huge expansion of British involvement, with the country estimated to have enslaved and transported over 332,000 Africans by the end of the 17th century, according to the British Library.

© 2020 AFP

Enjoy good journalism?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Value Raw Story?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has cut advertising rates in half, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.


Report typos and corrections to:

[email protected]

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Maradona: A footballing great with a myriad of problems

Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina Dazzling, infamous, extraordinary…