Short read: Forging, Breaking & Burying the Chains. The stuff of this Tour du Jour.
Long read: Pace Winston Churchill – this may have been London’s finest hour. And before it, its worst. Because London was a leading actor in – profited enormously from – the slave trade. But a few good men and women took the evil on and saw it off. Their names ring down the centuries, the great and the good who fought for freedom: Wilberforce, Wedgewood, Wesley, Blake, John Newton, Cowper. And that’s not to forget the lesser-known who began the cause: Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, James Phillips and Oladouh Equiano. Truly, here in the bosom of the City beat the heart of compassion, answering the slave’s cry, “Am I not a man and a Brother?” Amazing Grace indeed. “Spots of time” (and place) don’t come any more important than this one. Which is why it’s important to go and see where – to go over the ground, literally and figuratively – to travel back. To bear witness. N.B. the walk takes about two hours and ends at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a minute’s walk from St. Paul’s Tube.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE GUIDING
Don’t just take it from us…
SLAVERY & THE CITY – THE PRACTICALS
To go on the Slavery & the City walk meet Isobel at 2.30 pm on Saturday, March 25 just outside the Fish Street Hill exit of Monument Tube.
Meet your guide: Here’s Isobel’s podcast about the walk
LONDON WALKS REVIEWS
“by far the most impressive series of walks that I have ever encountered are those offered by London Walks” Travel and Enjoy
“Without a doubt the best walking tour company currently operating in London” Stardust
LONDON WALKS SOUPÇON
“Although London lost its pre-eminence as a slave-trading port to Liverpool, dealing in slaves and in the products of slave labour remained one of the chief sources of wealth for London’s mercantile elite. The credit with which West Indies planters bought their slaves came from London banking houses, including Barclays and Barings, and from the Bank of England itself. Many Bank of England directors, deputy governors and governors had slave and sugar interests, and together with the London-based plantation owners and the West Indies merchants and political agents, they constituted a formidable force in London and national politics. They had no chartered company to represent their interests, but at first met informally in the Jamaica Coffee House in St Michael’s Alley, near the Royal Exchange….the West India interest was able to exert remarkable influence over British commercial and foreign policy, taking a leading part in the campaign to force Walpole into a Spanish war in 1739, helping to shape the Peace of Paris in 1763, and forcing the City to accept the construction of the West India Docks in the 1790s…. But the West India interest’s last great battle, to save the slave trade from abolition, ended in defeat in 1807.”
LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS
If you can’t make the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Slavery & the City walk do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Slavery & the City Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. And – always with private London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) “fit” is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Peter or Niamh or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they’re good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.
GIVE THE GIFT OF LONDON WALKS
A private London Walk makes a thoughtful and unusual gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or graduation or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.