Local History Study- The Liverpool Slave Trade: Location and Chronology
This week, Year 6 embarked on a thought-provoking journey into their riveting local history topic: The Liverpool Slave Trade. We began by discussing, scaling and ordering significant events onto our timelines documenting Liverpool’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The time line gave us an insight into our city’s grim past and how we are in fact, a city built on slavery. From the images of slave children on the Queen Victoria Monument in Derby Square to the famous Penny Lane (shockingly being named after local slave owner, James Penny), the shadows of slavery are still all around us.
In addition to gaining an insight into Liverpool’s slavery links, we also analysed and drew a map of the transatlantic slave trade, showing the route the ships took in exporting goods and importing slaves into Liverpool and across Europe. Did you know that Liverpool was the leading city in Europe for importing slaves?
We look forward to learning more about Liverpool’s inglorious past over the next eight weeks.
International Slavery Museum Trip
Our visit to the International Slavery Museum supported our learning by bringing the history of the slave trade to life. We gained further knowledge in surrounding ourselves with the sights, sounds and smells of a slave trade ship during our immersive learning experience and we were able to accurately sketch and examine artefacts up-close.
Exploring Case Studies
After our trip to the International Slavery Museum, we were eager to acquire an understanding of particular events that took place relating to the slave trade. We explored the case study of The Zong- a Liverpool slave ship and we read about the journey and the horrific crimes committed by the captain and crew during the voyage.
We could not believe the horrors of what we were reading and we soon realised that we needed to delve into the beliefs of society at this time in order to really examine just how such horrific acts came to pass.
Please read the shocking case study of The Zong below- it beggars belief!
Beliefs of Society During the Slave Trade
It is hard to imagine a society in which the slave trade was deemed acceptable;however, as we discovered, many people in Great Britain believed that our Empire was right and just in doing what she did. We explored how the slave trade impacted both the rich and poorer members of society and how even the Bible was used as a way of approving slavery to the masses (as there are examples of slavery in the Bible). Did you know that many people believed that slaves were not actually human at all, but cattle to be moved and worked as deemed fit?
After familiarising ourselves with the various beliefs on society, we debated how the slave trade came to be and we were able to use our newly-acquired knowledge of society's beliefs in order to create a very powerful debate!
Who were the Liverpool Slave Traders?
During this lesson, we familiarised ourselves with some of the key people involved in the Liverpool slave trade. We were introduced to John Gladstone, Arthur and Benjamin Heywood and William Davenport. Did you know that the Heywood brothers built adjoining houses on Hanover Street that still stand today?
Significant Figures: William Roscoe
Before we could show our understanding of the Liverpool-born solicitor William Roscoe's powerful words in his poem, The Wrongs of Africa, we discovered that he was one of the city's most passionate abolitionists and he stood up for what he thought was right regardless of any adversity he faced- a powerful message to us all!
Our growing understanding of Roscoe enabled us to analyse the below excerpt from his poem with a greater appreciation for his liberating message.
Exploring the Abolition of the Slave Trade
During this lesson, we examined the abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain and explored how this impacted the wider world by examining various secondary sources such as newspaper headlines from the time and researching the 1807 abolition bill that was passed in Parliament.
The Impact of the Slave Trade in Liverpool
In order to deepen our understanding of the slave trade, we researched the impact of the slave trade in Liverpool. We used secondary sources to discover how our culture, music, food, architecture etc.were influenced by this horrific trade.
Please follow the link below to view one of our presentations on this matter.