Front of large medieval town hall with turrets
Guildhall, Gresham Street, London © Historic England
Guildhall, Gresham Street, London © Historic England

Slave Traders and Plantation Wealth

Between 1640 and 1807, it is estimated that Britain transported 3.1 million Africans (of whom 2.7 million arrived) to the British colonies in the Caribbean, North and South America and to other countries.

Wealth from the direct trade in enslaved people, from plantations and later from the compensation awarded following the abolition of slavery, was invested in Britain and can still be seen in many buildings today.

In this section we look at some of the personal fortunes made from the slave trade and the evidence that still exists of the slave trade's impact on Britain and people's lives.