Bank of England slavery apology is not enough | Letter

Trevor Burnard points to the prominent slave trader Humphry Morice and urges the Bank to publish the extensive papers relating to his activities

It is good news, and about time, that the Bank of England acknowledged and apologised for some of its former employees who profited from slavery (Bank of England apologises for role of former directors in slave trade, 19 June). It is strange, however, that the Guardian report does not mention the Bank’s most important slave-trading member, Sir Humphry Morice. He was a director of the Bank of England from 1716, and governor in the 1720s. He was also a leading slave trader, whose papers at the Bank I surveyed on the remarkable day of 11 September 2001.

Morice is the London equivalent of Bristol’s Edward Colston and deserves the same sort of attention we have given to Colston. He was responsible for shipping over 25,000 Africans to the Caribbean. One thing the Bank could do to make its apology real rather than token would be to pay for the extensive papers on Morice’s slave-trading involvement to be published, and for the details to be highlighted in the Bank as a reminder of the murky origins of some of its most important early founders.
Trevor Burnard
Director, The Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

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