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Chesterfield Walk, Shooter's Hill

Slaves below deck
View full size imageSlaves below deck. © NMM

From this point you can overlook Blackheath and the properties of a number of families and businesses that profited directly from the transatlantic trade in enslaved people. These firms included Camden Calvert and King.

This powerful company was the largest in the slave trade – at one time a fifth of all slaving ships that set sail from London were theirs. In the late 1780’s they chose to diversify their business and won a licence to transport convicted people to Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

One of its owners, Thomas King, was also a member of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, the first official golfing club in Great Britain. Its membership was exclusively Masonic and disproportionately connected to local slave trading interests, from the plantation owner turned banker Francis Baring, to the slave trader turned Lloyds bank founder, John Julius Angerstein.

The Greenwich iron merchant Ambrose Crowley, who manufactured shackles and collars and the West India merchant William Innes were also members. The golf course became an ideal place to share ideas and make trading alliances.

 Find out more:
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StoriesLondon and the transatlantic slave trade
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TrailPrintable slavery trail
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