Here we look at Yorkshire's part in the British slave trade and the impact left in our historic environment.

Harewood House

Henry Lascelles (from 1690 to 1753) was a banker and sugar importer who held shares in 21 ships involved in the slave trade between Barbados and Africa. He bought land in Yorkshire with the fortune he amassed.

In 1759 his son Edwin Lascelles, Baron Harewood (from 1712 to 1795), laid the foundation stone of Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG.

Room containing gilt edged furniture and a grand piano and decorated with gilt framed oil paintings.
The music room at Harewood House © Reproduced by kind permission of the Earl and Countess of Harewood

Sneaton Castle

In 1820 James Wilson (birth unknown, died in 1830) bought Sneaton Castle, Whitby, Yorkshire YO21 3QN. Wilson also owned a sugar plantation in St. Vincent, where in 1827 he employed 231 'negroes'.

In Whitby he set out to be a pillar of the community. In 1823 he rebuilt the church of St. Hilda in Sneaton and between 1826 and 1830 was MP for nearby York. In his first Parliamentary speech he opposed the immediate emancipation of slaves.

Sneaton Castle is now a conference centre.

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