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Slavery and Abolition Vol. 31, No. 2, June 2010, pp.

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NOTES AND DOCUMENTS Parliament and Slavery, 1660 c.1710

Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

The discovery of the texts of several abortive bills that would enable the regulation of the status of slaves by Parliament at Westminster provides an opportunity for a preliminary exploration of a hitherto unknown discourse about slavery in late seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century England. The proposed legislation focused on the spiritual welfare of slaves and the associated need to eradicate the traditional belief that baptism conferred manumission. These documents suggest that slavery was recognised as legal in England as well as in the colonies but also indicate the existence of radical proposals to institute more humane treatment of slaves. Introduction Historians of the rise of a humanitarian sensibility capable of opposing slavery disagree on whether this sensibility developed in the mid eighteenth century or earlier.1 The documents published here demonstrate that some of the elements of such a sensibility existed in England in the later seventeenth century and that several leaders, including Charles II and archbishops of the Church of England, saw Africans and Indians as potential members of a Euro-American Christian community. Although historians of Atlantic slavery have written extensively on laws instituted in the British colonies to eradicate the belief that conversion conferred manumission, they remain unaware of the attempts to legislate against it in England.2 The documents below provide an insight into the cultural framework that shaped attitudes to the Atlantic world from the distinctive perspective of the metropole at a time when the social construction of race and concurrent justication of the enslavement of Africans and Indians were beginning to embed themselves into colonial laws.3 They demonstrate the existence of a hitherto largely invisible debate about slavery in
Ruth Paley is Section Editor, House of Lords 1660 1832, History of Parliament, 18 Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2NS, UK. Email:; Cristina Malcolmson is Professor of English, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, 04240, USA. Email:; Michael Hunter is Professor of History, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK. Email: ISSN 0144-039X print/1743-9523 online/10/020257 25 DOI: 10.1080/01440391003711107 # 2010 Taylor & Francis


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

England and also illuminate some of its details, showing that the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries witnessed a lively, if ultimately unproductive, discourse in which proposals were put forward that would affect the status of slaves throughout the nascent empire. These documents demonstrate that the racialisation of slavery in England was still very uid and that the English in England were far less engaged in erecting enduring barriers to converting slaves to Christianity than the English in the colonies. Some even expressed outrage at the treatment of Africans.4 They also suggest that in seventeenth-century England, slavery was not considered exclusive to Africans, but could be imposed on other Indells, a category that included Indians.5 One of the earliest attempts to legislate for slavery occurred in February 1674 when an unknown member of the House of Lords proposed the insertion of a clause regulating in what Manner, and upon what Terms, Slaves, either Blacks or any other Foreigners, not being Christians, may be used in England into a master and servant bill.6 The bill and the amendment died without further consideration when Parliament was prorogued less than two weeks later. In 1674 the most successful of the American plantations was Barbados, where the economy depended on unfree labour, and the terms slave and negro were becoming synonymous.7 Despite the distance and difculties of travel, information about the treatment and working conditions of African labourers there was readily available to the political and trading elite of England. Just a year earlier, the inuential Presbyterian minister Richard Baxter had criticised conditions in Barbados in a way that suggests that he was well aware of the evils of chattel slavery, as well as of the difculties imposed by the planters on Quaker attempts to evangelise among the slave population. Baxter also denounced the African slave trade. He maintained that Christians could enslave fellow Christians under certain circumstances but seems to have accepted the widespread popular belief that, when non-Christians were enslaved, baptism emancipated them.8 The record of the 1674 amendment is so uninformative that we cannot tell who introduced it, why he did so, what he hoped to achieve or how much support he could command. An examination of those named to the committee to consider the bill suggests a wide range of possible motives. They included several individuals with interests in the slave trade and/or American and West Indian plantations where slavery was beginning to ourish, and who may well have worried about the status of slaves they brought to England. Among them were the earls of Berkeley and Shaftesbury who were or had been members of the Royal African Company. Shaftesbury was one of the proprietors of Carolina, as was the earl of Craven. Others also had connections to slavery. Lord Berkeley of Stratton had two brothers who were proprietors of Carolina, one of whom (Sir William Berkeley) was governor of Virginia. The earl of Burlington also had brothers with interests in issues relating to or arising from slavery. One was Roger Boyle, earl of Orrery, who was closely associated with Richard Baxter. Another brother, the natural philosopher Robert Boyle, had an administrative interest in the colonies and a nancial interest in overseas trade. He had been a member of the Council for Foreign Plantations (16611664), and was an investor in and for a while a director of the East India Company. A founding member of the Royal Society and a leading proponent of the new experimental

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science, he was intrigued by the question of skin colour. As a committed Christian and leading protagonist of missionary work, he was profoundly aware of the need to ensure that indels were encouraged to turn to Christ.10 The spiritual welfare of slaves was also something that must have mattered to the seven bishops who were appointed to the committee. Three of them (the bishops of London, Salisbury and Rochester) had been involved in detailed discussions about the creation of an American bishopric only two years earlier.11 One might have thought that men like these would have been most interested in the legal status of slaves in the plantations, but there were already a number of individuals in England whose legal status was questionable. Since slavery existed in parts of Europe, these probably included slaves of non-African origin. Cartwrights case, allegedly heard in 1569, revolved around a savage attack by a master on a slave he had brought to England from Russia.12 In 1702 in the course of an enquiry stemming from the conversion of a young Portuguese Jewish girl, the House of Commons heard from Judith Pacheca who described herself as a Jew, and a slave but who gave no indication of her ethnicity.13 Some 20 years earlier the monster, a deformed man from the Indies agreed to be exhibited as a freak for six months but then found himself being kept like a slave and had to go to court to regain his freedom.14 There were also African slaves in England.15 Advertisements offering rewards for information leading to the capture of runaway negroes, such as that for Anthony of middle stature, very bushy hair, much pock broken, and in old ragged cloaths were not uncommon. Such individuals were rarely described as slaves but offers of large rewards (3 in Anthonys case) in the absence of any attempt to label them as thieves strongly suggests that they were unfree.16 The rst documented kidnapping and forcible deportation of an alleged slave took place in 1687 but there were probably earlier ones: in 1684, on learning that his slave had been converted to Christianity, Gerrard Sly threatened to send him into slavery into Maryland, where he should have cause to curse his godfathers and godmother.17 Sly clearly clung to the peculiarly Protestant belief that baptism conferred manumission. This belief proved almost impossible to eradicate. Charles IIs instructions in 1660 suggest that even then, the idea that baptism amounted to manumission was being denied at the most senior levels.18 Heneage Finch, later earl of Nottingham, who as Lord Keeper and then as Lord Chancellor stood at the head of the English legal system, was similarly convinced that baptism did not affect the legal status of slaves.19 Similar statements were made in pamphlets published in 1702, 1711 and 1727.20 In those colonies where slavery was or would become established, the question of baptism had to be confronted and resulted in piecemeal local legislation which, unlike some of the draft bills transcribed below, did little to ensure the spiritual welfare of their slaves. One of the earliest such measures, insisting that baptism did not confer freedom, was passed by Virginia in 1667.21 The effect of baptism continued to be a source of worry to those who brought their slaves to England as well as a source of hope to slaves.22 Slave owners faced an additional complication in that Cartwrights case, mentioned above, appeared to suggest that, baptism or no baptism, slavery could not exist in England. Since


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

Parliament never claried the status of slaves in England, those claiming ownership were forced to rely instead on a handful of somewhat opaque legal judgements including the inuential YorkeTalbot ruling (1729) which declared that slave status did not alter on coming to England and that baptism did not confer manumission.23 In 1772, when Manseld made it clear during the Somerset hearings that the proper authority to decide the question was parliament, an attempt to obtain leave to introduce into the Commons a bill to regulate the status of slaves brought into Great Britain or Ireland was shelved without debate.24 It is a matter of some interest therefore that while the draft bills at documents 1, 3, and 6 refer only to slaves in the plantations/colonies (and in the case of document 3 specically to Barbados), document 4 seems to refer to all slaves and indels irrespective of domicile. Like the abortive attempt of 1674 to tack provisions for the treatment of slaves onto a master and servant bill, it would appear that, if passed, it would have conrmed the legality of slavery in England. Commentary Documents 1, 3, and 6 transcribed below are draft bills that address both the spiritual welfare of slaves in the plantations and the nancial welfare of their masters by trying to compel Negroes and Indells to be taught about Christianity while at the same time specically declaring that baptism did not confer manumission. Documents 2, 5, and 7 add signicant contextual information. The Tanner Manuscripts: Document 1 Document 1 is already known to historians. It survives in a volume of manuscripts collected by the antiquarian Thomas Tanner (16741735). Tanners collection included material from the papers of William Sancroft (archbishop of Canterbury 16771690) and his predecessor Gilbert Sheldon who became archbishop in 1663 but who had held that post in all but name since 1660. The bill was rst noticed by C.M. Andrews in 1908.25 Andrews does not suggest a date for the item, but the Virginia Colonial Records Project suggests a possible date of 1619. This is almost certainly wildly inaccurate. Parliament did not sit between 1614 and 1621 so it is unlikely that a bill would have been drafted at that time and the hand suggests the second half of the seventeenth century. Internal evidence suggests a date between November 1661 and the revolution of 1688. Like the other draft bills transcribed here, it does not question the existence of slavery but is concerned with ensuring that conversion and baptism would not equate to manumission. Christianisation is linked to increased civillity and the duty of religious instruction is imposed rmly on ministers of the Anglican church. The terms of the bill echo sentiments being expressed in the early 1660s. In 1660 Charles II instructed his council for foreign plantations To consider how the natives and slaves may be invited and made capable of baptism and in 1663 the assembly of Barbados was asked to recommend the baptism of negro children and the instruction of adults in the Christian faith to ministers on the island.26 Another

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indication of a date in the 1660s is that the author(s) of the bill either did not know or had not considered the possibility that slave-owner opposition might rest on reasons other than worries about the consequences of baptism. By the latter half of Charles IIs reign it had become clear that resistance to religious instruction was based on a much wider range of fears: that allowing time for instruction would affect productivity and prot; that in order to receive instruction slaves would have to learn English and gather in large groups, thus facilitating insurrection; and that converts, being more perverse and intractable were less saleable.27 The Boyle Papers: Documents 25 Documents 25 are held among the papers of Robert Boyle at the Royal Society.28 A few volumes in this deposit notably BP 3 and 4 contain material relating to religious affairs including papers about Boyles well-documented concern with the mission eld.29 Of particular interest is An Account of Religion in the Plantations drawne up at the Instance of some Gentlemen Members of the Honourable House of Commons, & then presented to the Lord Bishop of Winton . . . by Morgan Godwyn Clerke.30 Godwyn, an Anglican minister in Virginia and Barbados from 1666 to c.1675, belonged to an Anglican network centred on Christ Church, Oxford which provided him with links to inuential political and religious leaders, including George Morley, Bishop of Winchester, to whom it would have been natural to circulate such a manuscript. Godwyn has become crucial to Atlantic studies as an early witness to the brutality of slavery. His published treatises argue not that slavery should be eliminated, but that Africans and Indians are human beings with souls, who should be provided with access to Christian baptism.31 Godwyns Account can be dated to 1675.32 Although Godwyn was soon persona non grata among slave owners in the colonies, he found support in England. In 1680 he published The Negros and Indians Advocate, dedicated to William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury.33 He was rewarded with the beneces of Woldham, Kent (1680), and Bulkington, Warwickshire (1681), and an opportunity to preach in Westminster Abbey (1685). Godwyn himself could have been the source for the draft bills in the Boyle Papers. There are many verbal and conceptual links between his works and the bills, and he strongly advocated legislation of this kind. In 1681 in his Supplement he suggested lobbying some grave and discreet Men, (Persons of Esteem and Repute with the more eminent Merchants here, who trade into those parts) to secure such a law.34 Boyle had established this kind of reputation through his work with the Council for Foreign Plantations, the East India Company and the New England Company, of which he was Governor from 1662 to 1689. By 1685, Godwyn had spoken about the issue with Sir Robert Southwell, clerk to the Privy Council, Fellow (16621701) and President of the Royal Society (16901695).35 Perhaps Southwell was an intermediary between Godwyn and Boyle. Other possible points of contact include John Locke, who had been Godwyns tutor at Christ Church; John Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury (16911694) and FRS (16721694); John Fell, dean of Christ


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

Church, and bishop of Oxford (16761686); and Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury (16891715). Fell and Burnet had discussed missionary work in the East Indies with Boyle in 1681.36 Godwyns Account was published in a reorganised and shortened form by Francis Brokesby in 1708. He omitted the criticisms based on Godwyns personal experience, but emphasised the need to provide viable livings for Anglican ministers and to support efforts to convert Africans and native Americans to Christianity. Brokesby used Godwyns tract in part to signal support for the new Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, founded in 1701 through the efforts of Burnet and Thomas Tenison. Brokesby refers to the drafting of a bill like those transcribed below.37 The Societys colonial ministers were perennially concerned not with opposing slavery, but with convincing slave owners that Africans and native Americans should be baptised.38 Papers of the Bishop of London (who held a spiritual jurisdiction over the American colonies) similarly reveal a preoccupation with bringing those of African and native American descent to baptism.39 Godwyn and Boyle had common interests and acquaintances: possibly Godwyns experiences of Barbados helped inspire both the draft bills at documents 3 and 4 and the remarkable Proposals for the propagating of the Christian Religion (document 5). The two draft bills cover, as might be expected, the issue of baptism and manumission but the tone is very different to that of document 1. Document 3 specically adds that negro slaves are to be permitted to attend Christian Congregations or assemblyes on Sundays. It is noteworthy that the word Christian is used rather than Anglican since, in the wake of worries about Quaker activities, a Barbadian statute passed in 1676 equally specically prohibited negroes from attending Quaker meetings. The clause was also in direct conict with a Barbadan law of 1661 which prevented slaves from leaving their plantations unless they were in livery or had a pass. Similar laws were beginning to appear in other colonies.40 These documents show that Boyle was signicantly interested in the bills. There are seven documents in all, and three different versions of an Act of Parliament. In the case of document 3 (BP 4, fols 11820v, which includes two copies) and document 4 (BP 3, fols 161v4 and BP 4, fols 145146), an unknown hand has written one copy and one of Boyles scribes has written another, suggesting that they came from outside sources. For document 5 (BP 35, fol. 176; BP 4, fol. 127; BP 4, fol. 128) all three copies are in the hand of one or other of Boyles scribes. The content and format of document 5 suggest that Boyle himself may have been responsible for drafting it.41 The author of document 4 clearly believed (like the Observator in document 7 and abolitionists such as Granville Sharp a century later) that failure to proselytise would trigger divine punishment. He also demonstrates his concern (as did Baxter) that the conversion experience must be a genuine one and not inspired by so improper & meane Motives as the freedome of their Bodies from the Service of Men. The bill also goes much further than documents 1, 2, or 6 by criminalising attempts to prevent religious instruction by Force, Terror, Scoffs, or otherwise, to hinder the work of Christian missionaries or to compel slaves to work on Sundays and Christian holy days.42

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As noted below, the draft at document 3 was probably drawn up before the revolution of 1688, but remained current after William and Mary were proclaimed as joint monarchs in February 1689. Conversely, document 4 with its integral references to the King & Queens Majesty must have been drawn up after that date but before Boyles death in December 1691. Perhaps they then took on a life of their own. In March 1695, the governor of Barbados remarked that the keeping of Christian holy days will be the great obstacle, most of the planters thinking Sundays too much to be spared from work.43 This is possibly a reference to document 3, and, if so, the explanation might lie in the way that the 1688 revolution triggered signicant changes in the church. John Tillotson, appointed archbishop of Canterbury in May 1691 and a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1672, had at least some acquaintance with Boyle. Boyles friend and ally, Gilbert Burnet, became Bishop of Salisbury in 1689. Tillotson and Burnet were both close to the new queen. Like Boyle, they were committed to spreading the gospel in the American colonies, and perhaps therefore also in securing the fundamental religious rights of slaves.44 Another inuence may have been John Locke, appointed a commissioner of trade and plantations in 1696. The contradictions between his attitude to slavery and his libertarian philosophy have attracted much scholarly attention, but Lockes denition of slavery is an extreme one (requiring the master to have total dominion including the power of life and death); had these bills passed, American and West Indian slaves would have been in what Locke called a state of drudgery, similar to what van Cleve has recently dubbed near slavery.45 Locke may have interpreted the compulsory labour of persons of African descent as something falling short of his own abstract denition of slavery akin to what Lord Chief Justice Holt in his ruling in Chamberlain v Harvey (1697) described as a slavish servant.46 If this view is correct, then it suggests that Locke, like his friend Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, saw compulsory servitude as a benevolent system of organising labour rather than as a real life example of the extreme condition that he described in his Second Treatise. For the next 150 years apologists for slavery would describe it as a benign institution based on a reciprocity of obligations that provided individuals with cradle to grave security. They argued that slaves were better off than free workers because they were not bound by the vagaries of the economic cycle: slaves had no need to fear unemployment, disability, sickness, or old age. These apologists compared the involuntary labour of slaves to that of men impressed into the Navy or who enlisted in the Army. There was some truth in such observations. The English labouring classes were technically free but very few had full political rights and all were subject to restrictive master-and-servant laws which imposed penal sanctions for work-related offences, including attempts at wage bargaining or improving working conditions and leaving one master in order to work for another. Such offences were tried before lay magistrates who were often interested parties. Conceptually, there is a world of difference between free and unfree labour but in reality the differences were rather more difcult to detect. As Douglas Hay and Paul Craven have recently remarked, The devil is in the details, of law and social practice, repression and bargaining.47


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

In view of the distinctive form of chattel slavery practised in the English colonies, perhaps the most remarkable clause in document 4 is the nal one which put all slaves, Christian or not, under the protection of the laws of England and outlawed correction exceeding the bounds of Common Humanity. This links directly to the even more radical propositions in document 5. The rst clause of this document deals with baptism and manumission. The remainder amounts to a declaration of civil rights for slaves running directly counter to the practices that were becoming embedded in the laws of the slave colonies.48 By this document, slaves were not to be considered as mere chattels: they were to have rights to property and protection from cruel masters. Even more remarkably masters were to be prevented from separating married couples (though only if Christian) and slave testimony in courts of law was to be considered good except in matters touching their masters. Masters were to be obliged to ensure that their slaves received religious instruction. Evangelising African slave traders was also recommended so that slaves would be predisposed to the missionary message and persuaded to embrace the journey to the American plantations as an opportunity to gain accesse to knowledg, Arts & Sciences. By way of background, it is worth noting document 2 (BP 4, fol. 144). It presumably results from Boyles attempts to persuade the East India Company that it should have missionary as well as commercial objectives.49 Supercially, this document a copy of a clause in a letter from Andrew Riccard, the powerful governor of the East India Company suggests that he was successful. Regrettably, it cannot be taken at face value. At the time it was written St Helena was a spectacularly unsuccessful colony with a woefully small population. From the point of view of the East India Company anything that attracted (and retained) settlers to St Helena was worth a try; similar considerations did not apply to other territories. This document is dated, but otherwise dating the Boyle documents with any precision is difcult. The process of composition and revision often offers valuable clues. Many papers in the archive are in hands that can be identied and sometimes linked to named individuals, including Robert (Robin) Bacon and Hugh Greg, two of the amanuenses on whom Boyle relied most in his later years. Bacon was apparently employed by Boyle from the 1670s and Greg from c.1680.50 Other hands are of scribes who have not been identied by name, such as hand C, an amanuensis who appears mainly to have worked for Boyle c.1680. The archive includes copies of documents that came into Boyles hands and, where multiple copies survive, conclusions about composition can sometimes be drawn from their mutual relationship. The primary text of document 3 is BP 4, fols 118119, in a scribal hand with scribal corrections and alterations.51 BP 4, fol. 120, is a copy in hand C.52 In addition there are two changes in the text in fols 118119, one of them signicant the insertion of & Queenes in the hand of Hugh Greg.53 This implies that alterations continued to be made to the original after it had been copied and that both the original and the copy predate the accession of William and Mary, but that this change was made after it.54 Although James IIs parliament was formally dissolved in July 1687, it had not actually sat since November 1685, so the earliest versions of these bills were probably drafted

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before that date. Perhaps they were related to attempts to give a colonial jurisdiction to the then bishop of London (Henry Compton) in April 1685.55 The primary text of document 4 is BP 3, fols 161164. As noted above, it was clearly composed after February 1689.56 The insertions and deletions made following the original composition of the document, as indicated in the apparatus, are quite substantial and precisely worded, perhaps revealing a legal or expert mind at work. BP 4, fols 145 147, is a copy of this in the hand of Hugh Greg. The insertions made to BP 3, fols 161164 are integral to this copy and the material there deleted is here omitted.57 The primary text of document 5 is BP 35, fol. 176, in Bacons hand. There are also two copies in BP 4, fols 127 and 128, one in Gregs hand and one in Bacons. The latter is incomplete, which implies that Boyle used his amanuenses to make multiple copies of the document for distribution to interested parties (thus illustrating his active involvement in the campaign which it was intended to promote). The Gibson Papers: Document 6 Document 6 is held at Lambeth Palace Library among the Gibson papers, which largely consist of the papers of Thomas Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury (16941715). Document 6 was written by an unknown scribe but it contains annotations in Tenisons hand. Intriguingly, the main annotation 1st draught suggests the possible existence of others. The reference to the Queen dates it to between 1702 and 1714; it has been catalogued as c.1711 possibly because the sentiments echo those of Fleetwoods Sermon. Brokesbys references to a bill provides a possible date of c.1708. The anonymous author of A Letter from a Merchant of Jamaica (1709) appears to refer to a bill considered in the Commons in March 1710.58 Described as a bill to regulate the slave trade, it included a proposal to provide for religious instruction.59 At the very least this debate indicates that questions concerning baptism and manumission were still troubling some of the political elite in England although, given the wider concerns expressed by the documents in the Boyle Papers, the very simplicity of the draft is somewhat startling. The elaborate arguments advanced by the soi disant Jamaican merchant suggest that those wider concerns still existed but clearly they no longer commanded inuential support. The Press: Document 7 Document 7 is extracted from the Observator, a polemical whig newspaper whose articles took the form of a debate between a countryman and the eponymous Observator himself. It contains a radical, natural rights critique of slavery and the slave trade but stops short of calling for abolition, concentrating instead on an appeal for more humane treatment and (protestant) missionary work. The author was clearly aware of Godwyns work and of the even earlier proto-abolitionist writings of Bartolome de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapas, as well as of the formation of the Society for the


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

Propagation of the Gospel and recent publications by Brokesby and the anonymous merchant of Jamaica. 60 The Observators place among a cluster of publications in 17081710 suggests the existence of a concerted campaign to inuence public and parliamentary opinion. The statute governing the Royal African Company was due to expire in 1711 and from at least 1705 the Company had been lobbying hard for the restitution of a monopoly of the slave trade. For those interested in the spiritual welfare of slaves, the continuing debates over the Companys future provided a chance to campaign on their behalf. That opportunity was destroyed by the governments disastrous decision in the winter of 17091710 to impeach the controversial high Tory clergyman, Dr Henry Sacheverell, which led to popular riots and the fall of the ministry. A bill that would cause controversy at home and be difcult to enforce in the colonies was not a practicable proposition. This probably explains why document 6 concentrates on the relatively simple issue of baptism rather than attempting to provide more elaborate protection for the welfare of slaves. Nevertheless, the very fact that such bills were drafted at all provides us with an insight into the pre-history of abolitionist thought. The individuals who drafted them believed that slavery could and should be conned within the boundaries of Christian, civilised behaviour, hoping perhaps that with a little help from Parliament it might be possible to construct a system in which labour relations in slave-holding colonies could imitate the hierarchical social values of free labour in England. In their view Africans had the potential to become full members of the community albeit at the lowest levels.61 They were not abolitionists but their distinctive view of the place of Africans within the Atlantic world nevertheless commands our attention.62 These documents raise new questions about the way in which slavery was conceptualised on opposite sides of the Atlantic. They also suggest the need to re-examine the factors that inuenced the emergence of a social construction of race. This is not to argue that the English in England were not racist; rather, that the cultural basis of their racism was far more ambiguous than the form that emerged in slave-holding colonies. The proponents of these bills did not doubt the superiority of English forms of religion and social organisation. They genuinely believed that
some Persons, nay Nations, seem to be born for Slavery, particularly many of the Barbarians in Africa, who have been such almost from the beginning of the World, and who are in a much better condition of Life, when Slaves among us, than when at Liberty at Home, to cut Throats and Eat one another, especially when by the Slavery of their Bodies, they are brought to a capacity of freeing their Souls from a much more insupportable Bondage.63

Even the radical sentiments expressed by the Observator did not prevent him from doubting that a person of African descent could compose an eloquent funeral oration. Nevertheless, this was a racialisation that recognised the common humanity of slave and master and which rejected the extreme form of racism that regarded individuals of colour as sub-humans who could properly be treated as chattels.

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The documents Document 1 (Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Tanner 447, fols 52 53)64 An act for the Baptizing and better ordering of Negroes & Indells in the King of Englands Plantations in America Whereas the chiefest meanes of the improvement & advancement of his Majestys Plantations beyond the seas in America consisteth & dependeth much in or upon the increase of Negroes & Indells daily brought unto the severall English plantations there, who though being debarred from all instruction & knowledge of, & in the Christian Faith, & kept in blindnes & ignorance thereof as meare brutish slaves, yett notwithstanding some & diverse of them, when, & soe soone as they have attained the knowledge of the English speech, or language, they will frequent the English Churches & Congregations in time of Divine service, as being very desirous & willing to Embrace the Doctrine of the Gospell of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ & to be instructed in & taught the Knowledge of the Christian Faith, And because those plantations are best carried on & managed by bodily labour, & the said Negroes & Indell [sic] being a people stronge & able & most tt for the same service & labour in those parts and are likely more & more daily to Encrease there, who being well ordered & guided by and under the said Government & direction of the English nation in their services & labours they will be reduced in short time ,in. to greate Civillity, & be very instrumentall & a speciall meanes the better to advance & improve those plantations, & the sooner to bring the same into some good and profttable use maturitie, and perfection:65 Bee it Enacted therefore by the Kings most Excellent Majestie the Lords Spirituall & Temporall & Commons in this present Parliament assembled, & by the Authority of the same, That all & every such Minister or Ministers of the Gospell by Ordination of & in the Church of England, & as are resident within his Majesties said plantations in America, Doe and shall from henceforth hereafter, not only every ,Lords. 66 daie, or other convenient times in the yeare duly Catechize, teach & instruct in the Christian Protestant Religion, and in the Grounds, and Principles67 thereof, All such Negroes & Indells in the said Plantations, as shall be desirous & willing to learne and Embrace the Knowledge of the Gospell of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to be taught & instructed therin, & in the Christian faith68 & protestant religion, but alsoe shall Baptize ,both. Men, woemen & Children of beleeveing parents in the same Faith, and admitt them and every of them to be Partakers of the blessed Communion, & holy Sacrament of the Lords supper, according to the doctrine & discipline of the Church of England Established by Law: Provided nevertheless and bee it Enacted /fol. 53/ by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act nor any thing therein Contained shall extend in any sort to impeade, restraine or impaire the Jurisdiction, power, Authority, liberty or Privilege of any Governor or Governors Master or Masters, planter or planters of or in those his Majestys said Plantations in America, of, or in their Government & Rule over the said Negroes & Indells there, or of, or in their Commerce or Trade, & usuall69 or accustomed way or manner of receiving, Entertaining keeping, & imploying the


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

said Negroes and Indells in their business, service or services, but they & every of them may Continue to doe the same in all things as Formerly, And that they the said Negroes & Indells Male & Female and their Children shall & may Continue bond men & bond woemen unto them during their Naturall lives, according to the order and practice of other Christian Governments in those the aforesaid Plantations. The baptising and Admitting them the said Negroes And Indells and their Children into Christian liberty and society or any Law, Custome Usage, Matter or thing to the Contrary in any wise Notwithstanding. Document 2 (Royal Society, BP 4, fol. 144) Clause in the Companys Letter written to St: Hellena Dated 9th December 1670 Sent on Ship Unicorne As for our Negroes that shall be brought to you, or that you have there already, we desire that they may be carefully instructed in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that you will by your lives & conversations give them good examples, that they may be encouraged70 therein, and when they shall give a good accompt unto you of the knowledge of their Faith & live up thereunto accordingly, that then they be baptized; and after that time to serve Seaven Years and no longer, and then to be free Planters And so desiring you to promote the worship and Service of God, Wee leave you to his Protection and remaine This letter was signed by Andrew Riccard Governor & thirteen of the Comittees To the Governor & Councill at St Helena Document 3 (Royal Society, BP 4, fol. 118119) An Act on Barbados Whereas there are many thousands of Negroes and Blackes being indells and without71 the knowledge of the true God or of the meanes of salvation by Jesus Christ in the island of Barbados and many other Islands & plantations beyond the seas ,belonging to. 72 the Kingdomes of England & Dominions & territoryes thereunto belonging, which Negroes or Blacks are bought and sold by merchants and others inhabiting the said Island & plantations as their proper goods, and few or none of them are or are like to be converted to the Christian Religion because if they are soe converted they become free, and their severall masters and Owners loose their property in them it being against the grounds and Rules of Christianity that one Christian should be a slave to and sold by another. And whereas there is noe probable meanes to convert the said Negroes soe ,long. 73 as they continue slaves & vassalls and are att the absolute disposall of their severall owners and proprietors unless some remedy be therein had, and the meanest soule being of more real value than the whole world

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makes it a great ,Christian. duty to nd out some remedy in the premisses. To the End therefore that the said Negroes and blackes may bee ,encouragd to turn to and receive the. 75 Christian Religion and profession of the true faith in Jesus Christ to the Glory of God and the salvation of ,their. soules, & that the owners thereof may not76 loose their property and benet of the said Negroes and Blackes Bee it enacted by the King77 ,& Queenes. most Excellent /fol. 118v/ Majestey and with the Advise and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled That from the day of [. . .. . ..]78 all and every Negroe and Negroes Blacke and Blackes which now and or hereafter shall bee and their Children in the said Island and plantations, who shall turne to the Christian faith and be baptized into the same shall notwithstanding79 such their turning to the Christian faith and ,baptism. 80 be servants 81 to their former owners & proprietors and shall doe them such service as they ought to ,have done.,82 before their Conversion to the Christian faith, and shall be disposed of assigned and sold by such owners & proprietors to such person and persons as they shall thinke tt & in such manner & forme as heretofore hath been used to be done as83 if they had never turned to the Christian faith or been baptized anything in this statute to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding Itt being here by enacted & declared to be the true intent and meaning of this Act that the said Negroes & blackes may ,become. 84 Christians and that noe loss or Prejudice ,shall happen. 85 by their being Christians to any person or persons who is are or shall bee owner or proprietor owners or proprietors of any ,such. Negroe or Negroes blacke or blackes whatsoever /fol. 119/ And bee it enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all & every such Owner & Owners & proprietor & proprietors of any Negroe or Negroes Blacke or Blackes shall permitt suffer & give leave ,to. all & every such Negroe or Negroes Blacke or Blackes in the said Island and plantations aforesaid to goe to heare Gods Word att the Christian Congregations and assemblyes on every Lords ,day. comonly called Sunday. Document 4 (Royal Society, BP 3, fols 161v4) An Act to remove86 certain discouragements & Hinderances of the Conversion of the Indels Whereas it is the Duty of all Christians to desire and endeavor the Propagation of the Christian Religion as they have oportunity, and especially of Masters of Families to take care that their Families and Servants be well instructed therein, yet so little sence thereof87 have many of our Traders & Planters beyond sea who have many Negros and other Indel Servants, that they not only neglect the Instruction of their Souls for the service of God, whose ,bodily. labour they use for the service of themselves, but willfully keep them in Ignorance least if they should be baptized into the Christian Profession they should thereby, as they believe88 become infrancised & free from their Service: Which is such an Impiety, as is not only a great Reproach to the Church of England, but may justly be feared may provoke some severe judgment of God if not spedily reformed. To the end therefore that /fol. 162/ neither those poor Creatures may be induced to the Profession of89 Christianity by so improper & meane


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

Motives as the freedome of their Bodies from the Service of Men, nor any Master Mistress or other person be longer permitted upon any such pretence or otherwise to hinder the Recovery of their souls out of the slavery of Satan. Be it ,declared &. enacted by the King & Queens Majesty, 90 the Lords Spiritual & Temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same, That no Negro or other indel who being in the State of Servitude shall be baptized into the Christian Profession ,hath or. doth by such Baptisme acquire any State of Civile Freedome, or become thereby infranchised from the Service of such Master or Mistress to whom he or she was before ,servant.,91 or shall be adjudged deemed or reputed, for such cause only to be a free man or free woman, but shall remaine notwithstanding the same in such state of ,servitude. 92 to his or her respective Master and Mistress as if the same person had not bin baptized. And to the end that so great Impiety may be the more effectually reformed, and the Reproach therefore removed, and the Judgment of God averted, Be it likewise enacted ,by the Authority aforesaid,. that if any Planter Trader or other person having /fol. 163v/ Negros or other indel Servants, shall by Force, Terror, Scoffs, or otherwise however restrain or discourage any such servants or servant from receiving Christian Baptisme, or from learning or being instructed in the Christian Religon, or shall compel or necessitate any such servant93 to work in any Plantation, or unnecessarily at any ordinary Work, upon any Lords day or upon any day observed ,in. 94 the Church of England in commemoration of the Nativity, Passion, or Ascension of our Saviour, every such person being thereof duly convicted by the Oath of two witnesses or other notorious Evidence of fact shall forfeit the service of every such servant so restrained or discouraged, or compelled or necessitated to work as aforesaid, to the King & Queenes Majesty their Heires & Successors, and every such Servant shall from thence be, and be taken & adjudged to be their Majesties Servant to all intents and purposes and in as full and ample manner as he or she was servant to the former Master or Mistress.95 And be it also enacted by the Authority ,aforesaid. that if any person shall by word or Deed hinder or discourage any Indel, who is not his or her proper Servant or Slave from being converted to or instructed in the Christian ,Religion., or shall hinder /fol. 164/ or discourage any person from endeavoring to convert or instruct any Indel in the Christian Religion, every such person being thereof duly convicted as aforesaid shall be bound to his or her good Behaviour and shall suffer such further punishment by Fine and Imprisonment as the Circumstances of the Misdemeanor shall deserve. And because the Christian Religion doth positively injoine ,and require in all who profess the same. Humanity & Charity to all Mankind, and an inoffensive and winning Carriage towards Indels, be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Slaves, who are or at any time shall be in the possession of any Subject of the Kingdome of England or any the territories thereunto belonging, shall be reputed and adjudged Subjects to the Crown of England, and be in the Protection of the Lawes as to their Lives and limbs in all respects as if they were free. And if any person, in correcting96 or punishing the faults of any Servant or Slave, or

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otherwise, shall exceed the bounds of Common Humanity ,in any such manner as extends not to life or limb,. every such person being thereof duly convicted as aforesaid shall suffer such Punishment by Good Behaviour, and Fine & Imprisonment as in cases of Misdemeanor, as the Circumstances thereof shall deserve. Document 5 (Royal Society, BP 35, fol. 176) Proposals for the propagating of the Christian Religion and converting of Slaves, whether Negroes or Indians in the English Plantations That there be a Law declaring that no slave upon his professing of the Christian Religion, shall thereby be freed of that service he oweth to his Master, but that he and his posterity shall remaine in the same condition of perpetual Service97 under the same Dominion to his Master as before except in so far as is by Law provided for. That every Slave imbracing the Christian Religion, & walking suitable thereto, shall and may be dominus bonorum suorum may have & purchase Goods & Cattels,98 in which he may have as full propriety & power of disposing of as any freeman. And that the Law be patent for him, for the preserving or recovering of99 his Property. That all Christian Slaves have their Lives and the dominion & property of the same securd to them from all whosoever100 their Masters not excepted, so as none of them shalbe killd or destroyd, but as the Law shall direct or allow. That Christian Slaves marryd, and the Husband & wife belonging to one Master, shall not be sold separately, nor disposd of or transported, but so as they may live together, or so near to one another, as that they may live a Christian & conjugal life. That methods may be laid down, how slaves may be redrest when injurd, or not furnisht by their Masters in necessarys, or cruelly & unreasonably usd most suitable to the several Countrys they live in. That the Evidence of Christian Slaves de digni, may be good except where their Masters are any way concernd That all Masters of Slaves not only allow their slaves to be instructed, but be obligd to take some suitable care to cause or instruct & catechise their Slaves in the Principles of the Christian Religion. That care be taken in Africa & America in those places where the English have factorys & converse with the Natives to instruct these they converse with, in the Principles of the Christian Religion: It being a means to better these people, & likewise have inuence on these they sell as Slaves to the English to persuade them, that by their Slavery, their Condition wilbe betterd by their accesse to knowledg, Arts & Sciences. Document 6 (Lambeth Palace Library, MS 941, 72)101 1st draught102 A Draught of a Bill For Converting the negros &c In the Plantations


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

[Two lines heavily scored through, apparently reading For better avoiding of any disputes that may arise concerning such negros as are or may be baptised at the Plantations.] Whereas, There is an undoubted obligation upon all Persons professing the Christian Religion to shew a Prudent zeal to promote & propagate the same Religion and Whereas the Neglect thereof in the Plantations Factories and other Settlements belonging to the Crown of England seems chiey to be occasiond by a mistaken Opinion that the Interest of the Master in his Negro or servant, is taken away or lessend by the Negro or Servant becoming a Christian. To prevent such Neglect, Be it 103 Enacted & Declard by the Queens most Excellent Majesty by & with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall & Temporall & of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled & by the authority of the same, That no Negro or other Servant who104 shall hereafter105 be baptizd, shall be thereby Enfranchisd nor shall such Baptism be, or be Construed to be any Manumission of such Negro or Servant, or in any Measure or Degree be, or be Construed to be any Diminution or Prejudice of or to any just Right or Property which the Master or Owner of such Negro or Servant had or might legally claime in or to such Negro or Servant at the Time of such his or her Baptism. Document 7 (The Observator, 28 January to 1 February 1709/10)106 A letter from a Gentleman relating to the African-Trade, with Propositions concerning the inhuman Cruelties exercisd towards the Negroes, and keeping them still Pagans, whereas the French &c. teach them Christianity. Reexions on our contrary Practice as dishonourable to our Nation and Religion, a Hinderance to the Propagation of our Faith, and enough to bring Judgments upon us. Country-m. We must remember our Promise about the African-Trade, Master, and consider the Papers sent us about it. Obs. With all my Heart, Roger; and I will give the following Letter and Propositions the Preference, because the Author shews himself to be a Person of Honesty, and much above the ordinary Rate of Sense.
SIR, For Mr. Observator, Believing you are a Lover of your Country, and of Mankind, I take the Freedom to send you these Propositions, and the enclosd. Tis strange that we should be so partial as to think the Liberties of others is to be sacricd for us. We talk of national Sins: I could wish we had nothing of this to answer for. But really I do not see how we can in Justice expect either Peace or Safety, whilst we sport away others Lives, or treat Men like Dogs. I leave the Matter to your own Thoughts. I doubt not but you will do it Justice; it much aficts Your most humble Servant, Philanthropus.

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Propositions, &c. relating to the African-Trade. As Men, all are equal. A Man can lose that Equality only by his Contract or his Fault. His Fault or Contract alone gives no Right over his Descendants. Success in a just War can in Reason and Humanity give the Conqueror Right only of Reparation and Security. 5. Victory in an unjust War confers no Right. 6. He that buys of him that has no Right, acquires none. 7. By the Temptation of a Market, the Negroes are inducd to betray, steal, and make War upon one another. 8. Those that are sold, and their Descendants are made perpetual Slaves. 9. They are not usd with Humanity, nor have the Protection of the Laws. ( To any Purpose. A Fine of 40 or 50 l. paid in Sugar, &c. upon killing, without Cause. A Power in the Government, &c. to bind a Master over for Cruelty; but seldom or never done.) 10. The Custom of Slave-making was introducd and connivd at only to induce Men to be less cruel upon Success in War. 11. Slavery is so indecorous a Thing in civil Society, and so dishonourable to human Nature, that in Europe, where Men pretend to much Reason and Civility, they grew ashamd of it, and layd it aside. 12. Of late much Blood has been spilt, and vast Treasures have been expended for Britains Liberty, and the Liberties of Europe. From which Practices it evidently follows, that Liberty is so dear and invaluable, as no Price can reach it: That to rob Men of it, is the highest Injustice, whatever Advantage may accrue to others by so doing. The African-Trade in Slaves, as managd, is an Invasion upon the Rights and Liberties of Mankind. This being the Cause of Man in general, nothing can be greater. That therefore there seems as much or more need to regulate this Matter, than to interpose between the contending Trader, or merely to establish either.107 Country-m. The Gentleman shews himself to be much above the ordinary Rate of Sense and Honesty too, Master. If he come in my way, he shall have a bottle of my best October;108 but I have one Proposal to add to his Propositions, viz. That our Apostles of Slavery and Passive-Obedience should be sent to preach to the poor Negroes, who are so cruelly treated; that Dr. Sacheverell be made their Archbishop; and that he and his inferior Clergy should be liable to the same Treatment themselves, that they may have a little Taste of the Slavery they would so fain bring upon the British Empire.109 Obs. If they were condemnd to such a Punishment, Roger, tis no more than they deserve; for their Doctrine since the Union of the Crowns, has cost Great Britain and Ireland more Blood and Treasure than they and all their Beneces are worth; and twill be none of their Fault if it dont still cost us more. Country-m. God be thankd, Master; cursd Cows have short Horns;110 but I hope ere the Parliament have done with them, they will still cut them shorter. In the mean Time, 1. 2. 3. 4.


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

lets return to our Subject. Pray give me an Account of the Pamphlet the Gentleman sent you, calld, A Letter from Jamaica to a Member of Parliament in London, touching the African-Trade; to which is added, a Speech made by a Black at Guadaloupe, at the Funeral of a Fellow Negro. Printed for A. Baldwin. Price 2 d.111 Obs. The Blacks Funeral-Speech, Roger, be it real or feignd, has more of Divinity and good Sense, than all the Sermons that ever were preachd by Dr. Sacheverell, and his Tribe. Theres one just Reexion in it founded upon Matter of Fact, that may put all English-men to the Blush. The Negro speaking of the French, says, Tis true, they willingly will teach and make us Christians, while they themselves want to be taught, that both they and we are Men. In this however we are somewhat better usd, than are our wretched Friends in the English Isles, where their hard Masters forbear to do Good, lest that should oblige them to do more. Ridiculous Superstition! that will not allow their Servants to be Christian, lest they be forcd to allow them to be Men. This is to found Dominion upon the Gospel of that divine Teacher Jesus, who told them plain as Words could make it, that his Kingdom was not of this World. And as if none were entitld to the common Privileges of Nature, except they please to allow them, by washing or baptizing, they carefully forbid our Brethren that. What I pray is this, but to make Sport with the Creation, and to monopolize the Blessings of our common Mother Earth? Country-m. This is enough indeed, Master, to put us all to the blush, that we who have a better Religion than the French, should be worse Christians, less zealous to propagate our Faith, and more barbarous to our Negroes. I dont wonder, Master, at this Rate, that desolating Judgments should have befallen our Plantations, such as the Earthquake at Jamaica some Years ago, that our Trade in those Parts should decay, and that our African-Company, and others who pursue that unchristian SlaveTrade, should be brought to Ruin, and fall together by the Ears, if they make it their Business to foment Wars among the Negroes, that they may have Captives to purchase for Slaves. Tis but just they should have the same Measure they give to others. Nor do I wonder, Master, that God in his Judgment should suffer lying Spirits to enter into the Mouths of our false Prophets, as he did those of Ahab, to preach us into Slavery again, as they have done several Times already, since, besides other unnational Sins, we are guilty of that abominable Crime of making Men Slaves, and keeping them in Paganism, in order to continue them so. Obs. I hope our Legislature will take it into Consideration, Roger, and that the Government will espouse the Cause. They have establishd a Society by Charter, for propagating the Christian Religion in the Pagan World; but how can our Missionaries answer the poor Heathens, if they should object to them, that our Nation is Hypocrites? for while we pretend to convert em, we make thousands upon thousands of their Brethren Slaves; and tho we have them in our own Power, and Opportunity to instruct them in our Faith, we designedly leave them in Ignorance, which is a plain Proof, that for the Labour of their Bodies, we suffer them to damn their Souls. I hope the worthy Gentlemen concernd in that Society, will think of this Objection, and promote a Bill for converting the Heathens in our own Dominions, in which we might promise our selves a plentiful Harvest, and the Blessing of God upon our Trade and Store to attend it.

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Country-m. Was this Matter never urgd before, Master? Obs. Yes, yes, Roger, several times: We had a Book printed many Years since, calld, The Negroes and Indians Advocate; and a Supplement to it afterwards, by M.G. a Presbyter of the Church of England, with Considerations and Proposals for the effectual and speedy Conversion of the Negroes in our Plantations, notwithstanding the late pretended Impossibilities, without any Prejudice to their Owners. And our Ministers in Barbadoes, were upbraided by the Quakers there, whom they would not allow to be Christians, and askd by them, Who made you Ministers of the Gospel to the white People only, and not to the Tawneys and Blacks also? So that in short, by this more than heathenish Practice, we not only become a Reproach to all that bear the Christian Name, but even to the Pagans themselves, who by this, and our barbarous Usage of them, are strengthend in their Aversion to our holy Religion, as appears by what a Guardaloupa Black said justly of the French, viz. They teach what they seem hardly to believe themselves, and by giving us Hopes of another World, endeavour to make us content that the Christians alone should enjoy this, who teach us to do Good for Evil, and when we have done no Fault, to turn our Cheeks to the Smiter, and Backs for the Scourger; to submit not only to the froward, but even to merciless and cruel Masters, putting us in Mind that their Gospel says, Thro many Sufferings and Tribulations we must enter into the heavenly Country. This is every Whit as applicable to us as the French, Roger; for when the Negroes nd themselves so cruelly treated by any of our Planters, as the Letter from Jamaica imports, viz. that by Tricks and Frauds they separate them from their Wives, how fond of em soever; that if they marry any ones Black but their own, they will tye the poor Woman, though with Child, up to a Whipping-Post, lash them with Catsof-nine-tails, till they tear the Flesh from their Bones, and wash the Wounds afterwards with Salt and Water, that sometimes they slash the Limbs of the Slaves with Knives, and pour Pitch, Tar, Oil; Wax, and Brimstone compounded into their Wounds. How can they thiuk [sic] well, Roger, of our Religion, who are guilty of such Cruelties, as rather bespeak us to be the Childen of Hell, than of Heaven? Have they not the same Reason to say of us, as some of the poor Indians said of the cruel Spaniards, whose Barbarities are mentiond by the Bishop of Cheapo,112 one of their own Writers, that they would not go to Heaven, if any of them were there?113 Country-m. Those Things are enough, Master, to ll any one that has the least Sense of Humanity, with Horror. I hope our Legislature will take this Matter into their Considerations, make such Barbarities capital, and in their Wisdom nd out a Way how our Planters may be entitld to a reasonable Service from their Negroes, without such brutish Cruelty, or continuing them in Heathenism. But we must talk of this Subject another Time, Master.

[1] The mid eighteenth century is posited by Davis, The Problem of Slavery, 412, Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, 83, and Haskill, Capitalism, 107 160. Those who nd antislavery perspectives earlier include Rosenberg, Thomas Tryon and Greene, A Plain and Natural Right.


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[2] The belief that Christians could not enslave other Christians and that conversion to Christianity conferred manumission had a long history. For commentary on the differences between protestant and catholic attitudes to the baptism of slaves and colonial responses, see Davis, The Problem of Slavery, 197 222; Thomas, The Slave Trade, 65 66, 71 72, 397399; Jernegan, Slavery and Conversion; Jordan, White over Black, 180212; Higginbotham, In the Matter of Color, 36 38, 126 131, 199 200. On Barbados, see Gragg, Englishmen Transplanted, 161 164. [3] For a recent account of the social construction of race in the early modern period, see FloydWilson, English Ethnicity. Williams (Capitalism and Slavery) argued that racism resulted from slavery whilst Jordan (White Over Black) believed it began long before. See Allen, The Invention of the White Race, I: 1 24, for a useful summary of the debate. [4] Eltis (Rise of African Slavery, 82 83) argues that the English erected barriers against conversion and that they rarely protested the treatment of Africans before the eighteenth century. Beckles (History of Barbados, 45) demonstrates that the 1688 Barbadan slave code made no legal provisions for the Christianization of Africans; his conclusion that Africans were generally conceived by the Anglican Church as mentally unable to understand the concept of faith and the Christian vision may not apply to the Anglican Church in England, given the documents published here. [5] Many of the draft bills use formulations like Negroes & Indells in document 1, but document 5 refers directly to Slaves, whether Negroes or Indians in the English Plantations. On Indian slavery, see Chaplin, Subject Matter, 122123, 227228, 269 and Guasco, To Doe Some Good and Settling with Slavery. Guasco argues that Indian slavery in Tudor and Stuart British colonies were less like that of Africans, and more like the slavery experienced by Europeans, as prisoners of war and or as a punitive measure. [6] LJ, 12, 16 Feb. 1674. No draft of the bill survives but it is probable that it sought to clarify and legitimise the rights of employers rather than those of their employees. For an overview of the aims and objectives of such legislation, see Hay and Craven, Masters, Servants, and Magistrates and Beckles, White Servitude. [7] Godwyn, The Negros & Indians Advocate, 36. For a modern analysis, see Beckles and Downes, The Economics of Transition, 225 247. For an overview of the Barbadan economy and its dependence on slave labour, see Menard, Sweet Negotiations. Menard (116120) nds that Barbados exported racialisation to England and its colonies in the second half of the seventeenth century. Amussen, Caribbean Exchanges, 12, 21 23 argues that slaveholding in general moved the English toward systematic racial thinking. [8] Baxter accepted that slavery of Christians could be justied if an individual entered into it voluntarily or if the individual had been subjected to it compulsorily either as a penal sanction or as a result of becoming a prisoner of war; he did not equate slavery with race and does not appear to have considered it to have been a hereditary condition. Baxter, A Christian Directory, I.557 560. [9] Malcolmson, The Explication of Whiteness and Blackness. [10] Hunter, Boyle: Between God and Science, esp. chs 10, 12. [11] Gibson, A Bishop for Virginia. [12] Rushworth, Collections, II.468. [13] CJ, 13:799. [14] CSP Dom. 16861687, p.359. [15] Godwyn, Trade Preferrd before Religion, pp.4 5. [16] London Gazette, 27 August 1677, 2. White runaways were also advertised but in ways that imply the possession of stolen goods. [17] CSP Dom. June 1687February 1689, 234; Middlesex Sessions Books, typescript calendar, January 1683July 1686, 74 75. [18] Colonial History of New York, 3:36; CSP Col. 15741660, 492493.

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[19] [20] [21] [22]


[23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31]


[33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41]

[42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51]

Godwyn, Trade Preferrd before religion, 6. Hill, Afer Baptizatus; Fleetwood, A Sermon, 20; Gibson, Letter, 11. Hening, Statutes, 2: 260 (Act III). The protagonists in two leading slavery cases (James Somerset and Charlotte Howe) had both been baptised after arriving in England. Paley, After Somerset, 169n, 177n and Imperial Politics. For an accessible overview of the legal background, see Wiecek, Somerset. CJ, 33:689. Andrews, Guide. CSP Col. 15641660: 492 493; 16611668: 169. CSP Col. 16771780, entry 1535. For a more detailed account of the Boyle Papers, see Hunter et al., Boyle Papers, chs 1 2. Hunter et al., Boyle Papers, 301 314; above, n. 10. Royal Society, BP 3, fols 127 134. Winton is the standard abbreviation for Winchester. Discussions of Godwyns work as an early example of humanitarian sensibility include Vaughan, Slaveholders and Hellish Principles and Rosenberg, Thomas Tryon, 629 630. Godwyn, Supplement; Revival; Trade Preferrd Before Religion. In 1675, Morley sent a work by Godwyn to ofcials of the Virginia Colony in England. Since Godwyn had expressly addressed his Account to Morley, it is probable that this is the work in question. Francis Moryson, eventually lieutenant governor to the colony, informed the colonial authorities of it, and criticised Godwyn for his virulent libel (Neill, Virginia Carolorum, 343 345). Vaughan dates the Account to 16801685, but its wording (fols 127128) proves that it was composed before Sir William Berkeley was removed as governor in 1676 (Roots of American Racism, 62 63). By 1680 Morley was unwell and had withdrawn from court life, so it was an astute move on Godwyns part to dedicate the printed work to Sancroft instead. Godwyn, Supplement, 7 8. See also Advocate, 146; and Trade Preferrd Before Religion, 5 6. Godwyn, Trade Preferrd Before Religion, 6. Hunter, Between God and Science, ch. 12. Brokesby, Some Proposals, 12. Humphreys, Historical Account; Klingsberg, Appraisal of the Negro, 1 54. Lambeth Palace Library, Fulham papers (colonial). Dunn, Sugar and Slaves; Gaspar, Barbados Slave Laws. The format matches that of other documents in the Boyle Papers, with a centred title and a series of propositions starting That. See, e.g., BP 9, fol. 56 and BP 9, fols 69 70, on the Boyle website, Godwyn used very similar language, see Advocate, 110111. CSP Col. xiv. 444 448. CSP Dom. 1691 1692, p.542. We are indebted for this reference to Dr Beverly Adams. On the moral programme of William III and Burnets role, see Claydon, William III. Locke, Second Treatise, ch. 4.24; van Cleve, Somersets case, 603 604. Raymond, Reports, 2:147. Hay and Craven, Masters, servants and magistrates, 28. For slave codes, see Higginbotham, In the Matter of Color. Hunter, Between God and Science, chs 10, 12. See Hunter et al., Boyle Papers, 48. These mostly appear to be in the same nondescript scribal hand, except that the rst, the insertion of belonging to seems to be in a different one. Fol. 119v is blank except for the endorsement Barbadoes written at right angles to the direction of the text on the recto. There is another, deleted word above it (conceivably Surd [?]).


Ruth Paley, Cristina Malcolmson and Michael Hunter

[52] The copy has slight differences of orthography from the original and occasional minor transcription errors. This amanuensis mainly worked for Boyle c.1680 but occasional examples of the hand occur up to 1689. See Hunter et al., Boyle Papers, 53. [53] The other change in Gregs hand is the addition of their two lines above. [54] The datings of [1670] and c.1670 given in Hunter et al., Boyle Papers, 311, are erroneous. [55] Compton fell out of favour and was suspended in 1686. For further details of his claim to colonial jurisdiction, see the administrative history section of the introduction to the catalogue of Fulham Papers Colonial (held at Lambeth Palace Library). [56] It is written in a scribal hand on two pot sheets which have been bound sideways into the volume so that they are gathered in the middle of the page. The versos are blank, meaning that the text is on fols 161v, 162r, 163v, and 164r, with no text on fols 161r, 162v, 163r, or 164v. [57] There are various minor differences between the two versions, some obviously copying errors, others noted in the apparatus. In addition, one alteration is made in both by is altered to in before Church of England which may imply that redrafting occurred after the copy had been made and when both it and the original were to hand. [58] Brokesby, Some Proposals, 12; the letter is discussed in Greene, Plain and natural right. [59] CJ, xvi. 372. [60] Bartolome de las Casas (1474 1566) has sometimes been dubbed the father of liberation theology. A translation of his Account had been published in England in 1583. It was reissued in 1699, perhaps signicantly by the same printer (John Darby) who published Godwyns works. [61] For a contrasting view, see Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, 15 18. [62] Amussen, Caribbean Exchanges; Rosenberg, Thomas Tryon; Greene, A Plain and Natural Right. [63] Athenian Gazette, 3 November 1694. [64] Endorsed (fol. 53v): An Act for the Baptizing of Negroes &c. [65] Followed by slash (/) after which text continues. [66] Replacing Sabbath deleted. [67] Altered from Principalls. [68] Between Christian and faith, f deleted: in other words, they were originally run together. [69] Followed by and deleted. [70] Altered from incouraged. [71] Altered in composition, as is meanes, Barbados and soule. [72] Replacing within deleted. [73] Replacing belong deleted, perhaps mistranscribed from long. [74] Apparently originally left blank and inserted retrospectively. [75] Ditto. [76] Followed by s deleted. [77] Ditto. [78] Here there is a space of half a line. [79] Followed by sh[?] deleted. [80] Replacing baptised shall deleted. [81] This may simply be a space-ller: it is omitted in BP 4, fol. 120. [82] Replacing Doe. [83] Altered in composition. [84] Replacing learne. The next word, Christians is altered from Christianity. [85] Replacing may deleted. [86] Altered in composition. [87] BP 4 has hereof . [88] Followed by without any just ground deleted. [89] Followed by the deleted.

Slavery and Abolition

[90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] [108] [109]


[110] [111] [112] [113]

Preceded by by in BP 4. Replacing subject deleted. Three words later, be followed by iud deleted. Replacing Subjection deleted. Altered from servants in BP 4. Replacing by deleted (also in BP 4). Followed by a deleted cross. Followed by the deleted. Followed by & in BP 4, fol. 127 (but not 128). chattels in BP 4, fol. 127 (but not 128). Inserted in BP 4, fol. 127. Integral to BP 4, fol. 128, as to BP 35, fol. 176. Altered from whatsoever. Both BP 4 versions have whosoever. Endorsed A Draught of the Bill for converting the Negros &c In the Plantations. Later annotation in Tenisons hand. The other annotations also appear to be in Tenisons hand. therefore deleted shall hereafter deleted; now may be interlined and deleted hereafter is a marginal addition. Accessible online via 17th 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. A reference to negotiations over the future of the Royal African Company. A high quality beer brewed, as the name suggests, in the autumn. Sacheverell advocated passive obedience, a doctrine that the whigs associated with Jacobitism. Observator here links the issue of negro slavery to the political rhetoric of the day, bracketing popery and slavery together. A traditional proverb referring to those who are too feeble to put threats into practice. For the text of the funeral speech, see Greene, A Plain and Natural Right, 804 808. Bartolome de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapas. See Casas, Account, 21.

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Slavery and Abolition


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