Reckoning with Race in Early Modern London, 1655-1714
This project investigates how early modern Londoners lived in the wake of an emerging British empire founded on racialised systems of enslaved labour. It was between the conquest of Jamaica (1655) and the Hanoverian Succession (1714), that agents of empire developed and deployed ideas and practices of racialisation that rendered certain groups of people property. Scholars have yet to reckon with how these practices were deployed within Britain. Focused on London, the centre of government and imperial metropolis, this project uses parish records, visual culture, and trial testimony to chart this history, revealing how contemporary Britain was forged through race.