About the event
When: Thursday 16 March, 5pm to 8pm (last entry 7.30pm)
This March, the Bank of England Museum is marking Women’s History Month with a free hybrid talk by Dr Lila O’Leary Chambers, historian of race, slavery, and commodification. More details, including how to register for this talk, can be found below.
The museum will be open until 8pm, so feel free to explore the museum before or after the talk.
Early Modern British Women and the Financing of Transatlantic Slavery
Thursday 16 March, 6.15pm to 7.15pm. Free, but registration is essential.
The event is fully booked in-person, but you can still register to attend online. Registration for online attendance closes at midnight on 15 March.
About the talk
Between 1660 and 1752, over 1,000 British women saw financial opportunity in trafficking enslaved African people across the Atlantic, and financed slaving voyages in both private ventures, or most commonly, through corporate entities like the Royal African and South Sea Companies.
This talk will offer illustrative examples of individual women from a range of backgrounds, based on research conducted through the Register of British Slave-Traders Database Project. Through investing in these institutions, this cohort of women - many of whom were connected to the City of London - acquired or maintained property, exerted financial control over subordinates, donated to charitable initiatives, sponsored material culture, and supported their heirs. Even when such investments did not prove profitable, the connections forged from participating in these Companies advanced the careers of male family members, or offered women themselves greater economic autonomy at the expense of stripping it from those held in bondage. By tracing the movement of British women’s money into and out of the trade in enslaved people, this talk tangibly connects the financial, social, and intimate worlds of white women in Britain to the development of early modern capitalism.
About the Speaker
Lila O’Leary Chambers is historian of race, slavery, and commodification in the early modern Atlantic world. Currently a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, she formerly worked as a Research Fellow on the Register of British Slave-Traders Project at UCL.