Slavery on Trial at Dr Johnson’s House

Slavery on Trial: The Somerset Case, 1772

A lecture by Michael Bundock

Thursday 18 October 2007, 7:30pm

The bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade has been widely celebrated this year. That was a great achievement, but it is often forgotten that in the eighteenth century slavery existed, not just in the colonies, but in Britain, and that the fight against slavery was not confined to Parliamentary activities.

In 1765, one man began a campaign against slavery, not in Parliament, but in the English courts. This lecture tells the story of the contest fought by Granville Sharp and its climax, the Somerset case in 1772, the outcome of which marked the beginning of the end of slavery in Britain.

Michael Bundock has published widely on eighteenth-century literature and history. He is the editor of The New Rambler, annual journal of the Johnson Society of London, and is a Governor of Dr Johnson’s House. He is a barrister, and this talk brings together his interests in law and the eighteenth century.

Seats are limited so you are advised to book early. Doors open at 6.45pm, the lecture starts at 7.30pm and a glass of wine is included in the ticket price. The lecture takes place in the Dictionary Garret, with many unavoidable steps.

See for more information.