Book Week Scotland 2022: The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy:Scotland & Caribbean Slavery with Dr S Mullen

book week scotland 14 - 20 nov

Wednesday 16 November, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Dr Stephen Mullen discusses his new book, The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy: Scotland and Caribbean Slavery, 1775–1838.

The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN

Dr Stephen Mullen (University of Glasgow) will be at the Mitchell Library to discuss his new book The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy: Scotland and Caribbean Slavery, 1775–1838 which assesses the size and nature of Caribbean slavery’s economic impact in British society.

The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy, a grouping of West India merchants and planters, became active before the emancipation of chattel slavery in the British West Indies in 1834. Many acquired nationally significant fortunes, and their investments percolated into the Scottish economy and wider society. At its core, the book traces the development of merchant capital and poses several interrelated questions during an era of rapid transformation, namely, what impact the private investments of West India merchants and colonial adventurers had on metropolitan society and the economy, as well as the wider effects of such commerce on industrial and agricultural development.

The book also examines the fortunes of temporary Scottish economic migrants who travelled to some of the wealthiest of the Caribbean islands, presenting the first large-scale survey of repatriated slavery fortunes via case studies of Scots in Jamaica, Grenada and Trinidad before emancipation in 1834. It therefore takes a new approach to illuminate the world of individuals who acquired West India fortunes and ultimately explores, in an Atlantic frame, the interconnections between the colonies and metropole in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Free event – book online


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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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