Historical timeline of Black History in the UK, the struggles the changes that have made an  impact, the inovators and activists

British Black 1800-1900 Timeline

HistOry & TIME

  • 1805

    After another failed attempt to end the slave trade under the Empire. In 1805, Wilberforce, with the encouragement of the Prime Minister Grenville, managed to get it passed and the British slave trade was over.

  • 1806

    With Europeans believing they could occupy any country in Africa, Britain went to war with the Dutch for Cape Town and the route to the East, culminating in a British Victory

  • 1808

    British ships under the name of the West Africa Squadron policed the waters, ensuring that no British vessels were continuing the slave trade. This, for the most parts, was unsuccessful.

  • 1811

    In the British owned Virgin Islands, Arthur Hodge was hanged for systematically torturing and murdering 60 men, women and children slaves. This almost caused a revolt of the slave owners, outraged by a white person being executed for killing slaves.

  • 1819

    The British put in an act that ensured all black people enslaved under British rule were registered. There were arguments debating whether slaves would be better off freed or enslaved. It was determined that once slaves were freed they were treated worse by white people, because they were no longer their property.

  • 1823

    By 1823, in Britain, new abolitionists and activists were demanding the immediate end of slavery throughout the British colonies, which went against the previous notion of it being a gradual process.

  • 1824

    Elizabeth Heyrick (an English philanthropist) at this time became the most influential leader of the British abolition of slavery with her pamphlet “Immediate, not gradual abolition” which criticising Wilberforce for making the assumption that the slavery would disappear naturally.

  • 1829

    The Black Joke a ship (Henriquetta), which was previously a slave ship, was captured off the Brazilians, was used in 1829 to capture a Spanish vessal and free 466 captives. The released captives would mostly end up living in Freetown, some would work in the ports of Liverpool and London.

  • 1831

    Sam Sharpe, a slave in Jamaica organised a protest of slave working conditions under the misapprehension that slavery had ended. The British attacked the slaves, so the slaves rose up in battle (the slaves amounted to anything from 20,000 to 60,000), inwhat is known as the Baptist War. The rebellion was crushed in two weeks, but the battles continued for three months. 300 slaves were killed, a further 340 were executed, including Sharpe and 140 were shipped off to Australia.

  • 1833

    Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, was an act of Parliament that abolished slavery in most British colonies, freeing more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa as well as a small number in Canada. It took effect on August 1, 1834. Negotiations started for reparations to the slavers for loss of revenue, the 46,000 slave owners would receive in total £20,000,000. However, the slaves would need to work for free an additional six years before they were freed.

  • 1838

    Emancipation Day occured on 1st August 1838, where 800,000 people who were enslaved in the Caribbean were freed.

  • 1840

    The World Anti-Slavery Convention was held in London and it was agreed that they would end slavery, with some controvery when they denied prominant female abolitionists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lady Byron were denied entry.

  • 1841

    On the American slave ship Creole 128 slaves rose up against the crew and took hold of the ship sailing it to the Bahamas as slavery had been abolished, where they would remain free.

  • 1849

    Thomas Caryle, a Scottish cultural critic, essayist, historian and lecturer, published an essay called "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question" which comented on the reduction, due to slaves leaving the plantations in the Caribbean to tend their own land. He went on to state that this was proof of black people being lazy, inferior and made by God to serve the whites.

  • 1861

    In 1861 Lagos, on the coast of Nigeria, is annexed as a British colony. Britain was in the prcess of attempting to stop the slave trade, which was being replled as a result of the Yoruba wars. So Britain annexed the port of Lagos.

  • 1863

    In Britain, the Anthropological Society of London was formed, founded by Richard Francis Burton and Dr James Hunt. They promoted the idea of there being two different species and that black people could never be as intelligent as white people.

  • 1865

    Freed Jamaican slaves were still unable to vote or own land with the British monarchy rejecting their plees, referring to them as lazy for not wanting to work on the white owned plantations. After a black person was taken to court for working on some abandoned land, the Morant Bay riots (protests) started resulting in hundreds of deaths. Afterward the riots ended, the Governor, Edward Eyre, arrested black people, executing 436, flogging 600 and burning around 1,000 homes. In Britain, many called for Eyre to be arrested (including Charles Darwin), while other praised Eyre (including Charles Dickens)

  • 1868

    Britain annexes Basutoland (Lesotho), the kingdom of the Sotho leader Moshoeshoe, to protect them from slavery raids.

  • 1874

    In 1874, the British took control of Ghana because the Asante wars were distrupting their trade and to aid the removal of slavery.

  • 1877

    In 1877, the British took control of South Africa after the discovery of gold and diamonds.

  • 1884

    In 1884, the Britain took control of Nigeria so they could produce products like palm oil and palm kernel and export trade in tin, cotton, cocoa, groundnuts and palm oil

  • 1885

    In 1885, the Britain established a protectorate in East Africa.

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