Search

New display in Canary Wharf explores London’s slave trade

09:00 14 October 2016

Portrait of William Ansah Sessarakoo from 1749, Picture: © National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of William Ansah Sessarakoo from 1749, Picture: © National Portrait Gallery

(c) National Portrait Gallery, London

A new display exploring the history of London’s slave trade in the 17th and 18th century comes to Tower Hamlets next month.

The Royal African display, which will be on show at the Museum of London Docklands in West India Dock Road, Canary Wharf, follows the journey of an African prince, William Sessarakoo, wrongly sold into slavery.

The free display will also explore William’s connection to the Royal African Company - one of the largest slave trade companies at the time.

William was born to a leading family in West Africa and grew up in the Royal African Company’s fort in Ghana before being sent to London to study by his father where he was tricked and sold by a slave trader.

Alex Werner, head of history collections, said: “This is a very important story to be told at the Museum of London Docklands. “Our site is steeped in the history of slavery and in our gallery, London, Sugar and Slavery, we explore how the slave trade shaped London.

“This new display, within this gallery, offers a new perspective and reveals the complex politics and bitter power struggle in London for the control of the slave trade in the 17th and 18th century.”

The museum’s co-curator, Dr William Pettigrew, said the new display is significant because the Royal African Company played a major role in developing the British slave trade.

Dr William Pettigrew said: “The Royal African Company was London’s most important contribution to the slave trade.

“Visitors to this display will discover how the government used the Royal African Company to develop the trade in enslaved African human beings and how Londoners led the parliamentary campaign to end the Royal African Company’s monopoly over the slave trade.”

The Royal African display opens to the public on November 25 and runs until June 4 next year.

Latest East London News Stories

19:00

Our nightly lookback at some of the news the East London Advertiser has reported since 1866, marking our 150th anniversary this year, reaches 1926 and the effects the General Strike had on the East End. The strikers paralyse the London Docks, force closure of London Hospital Outpatients and hijack motorcars to hurl into the River Lea. Nowhere is safe...

17:58

Church leaders are having to subsidize living accommodation for their missionary workers because of London’s rocketing rents which are forcing many out of the deprived inner city parishes where they’re needed.

10:50

Detectives have arrested a man in east London on suspicion of “encouraging terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications”.

09:09

The government’s threatened ‘Pay to Stay’ rental housing tax charge has been rejected in London’s deprived East End and won’t be adopted by Tower Hamlets council.

Yesterday, 19:47

Our nightly series celebrating the East London Advertiser’s 150 years in print reaches 1921 and the Poplar Rates Strike when 28 councillors refuse to set the LCC’s unfair charge on poor households at the same rate as the wealthy of Westminster. It is a point of principal, but council leader George Lansbury and his supporters would rather go to jail than put such a burden on the poor...

Mon, 21:41

A memorial has been unveiled to hundreds of orphans cared for by Thomas Barnardo’s charity who were buried in unmarked graves in London’s East End a century ago where the Victorian campaigner worked.

Mon, 19:00

Our nightly review for the East London Advertiser’s 150th anniversary reaches the Great War of 1914-18 and the first civilian tragedy on British soil—the German air-raid that hits Upper North Street School in Poplar, killing 18 infants and many other people. We report the nation’s shock and the angry public mood in the East End...

Mon, 11:01

A memorial tribute to hundreds of orphans cared for by Thomas Barnardo’s charity who were buried in unmarked graves a century ago is being unveiled today in London’s East End where the Victorian campaigner worked.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now