The slavery connections of Marble Hill House
By Dr Laurence Brown School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of the Manchester
This report was commissioned in November 2008 as part of a project to explore the slavery connections of four historic properties in the stewardship of English Heritage. Archival research was carried out on Bolsover Castle, Brodsworth Hall, Marble Hill House, and Northington Grange to examine the impact of slavery-generated wealth on the development of these properties.
The research follows the 2007 survey by Miranda Kaufmann on the family history of 33 English Heritage properties and their slavery connections. Using databases on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the compensation paid to British slave-owners in the 1830s, Kaufmann’s study focused on those who owned property in slave colonies, held government office in such colonies, invested in slaving or traded in slave produced goods, were engaged in abolitionist debates or legal decisions on slavery, or who owned black servants.
The aims of this report are to provide more detailed information on the economic, social, and cultural connections that linked Marble Hill House to Atlantic slavery. The report examines the relative importance of slave-generated wealth in the fortunes of Marble Hill’s occupants and how these changed over time. It then details the extent to which wealth from slavery shaped the physical development of the estate and its aesthetic design.
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