Guildford Anti-Slavery Committee

Article from 'The Herald' newspaper reporting an anti-slavery meeting at Epsom chaired by Henry Drummond, 1826 (ref. G52/12/15).

Article from ‘The Herald’ newspaper reporting an anti-slavery meeting at Epsom chaired by Henry Drummond, 1826 (SHC ref. G52/12/15).

The Guildford Anti-Slavery committee was formed in February 1824 to cooperate with the national movement ‘for the mitigation and gradual abolition of slavery’.

Comprising a large number of local clerics, and Henry Drummond Esq of Albury Park (who’s daughter, Louisa, later married Earl Percy, Duke of Northumberland), the committee distributed publications in banks and libraries and raised money for the anti-slavery cause.They also lobbied in Guildford, Godalming, Haslemere, Bagshot, Epsom, Ewell and Leatherhead and presented a petition to Parliament calling for action. The committee were part of a growing movement which nationally, between 1828 and 1830 deluged Parliament with over 5000 petitions. In December 1831, measures to increase activities resulted in the sending of 150 handbills, 2 signs, 100 circulars to influential persons in the area and a public lecture granted by the Mayor of Guildford.

Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 which covered all children under the age of six. However, it was not until several years later on 1 August 1838 that all enslaved men, women and children in the Caribbean finally become free.

Click on the image of the article from ‘The Herald’ newspaper to see a larger copy, when it opens click on it to enlarge.

The list of attendees at the first meeting of the Guildford Anti-Slavery Committee (SHC ref G21/9) showing Henry Drummond MP and local landowner John Peto Shrubb, along with local traders, bankers, solicitors and clerics. Click here to read a pdf (PDF) copy of a transcript of the list of attendees.

Image of Henry Drummond MP (1786-1860), the owner of Albury Park, was an abolitionist and spoke at the Guildford Anti-Slavery Committee in 1832 (SHC ref PX/3/40; courtesy of Dr Maurice Burton)

Henry Drummond MP (1786-1860), the owner of Albury Park, was an abolitionist and spoke at the Guildford Anti-Slavery Committee in 1832 (SHC ref PX/3/40; courtesy of Dr Maurice Burton)

Read our Marvel of the Month about the abolitionists in Surrey https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/culture-and-leisure/history-centre/marvels/abolitionists-in-surrey

Sources:

Guildford Anti-Slavery Committee minute book, 1824-1831 (SHC ref G21/9)

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