Freedom for (Almost) Everyone!

On 1 August 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act passed by Parliament the previous year came into effect, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire, with the exceptions of the East India Company’s territories and the islands of Ceylon and Saint Helena. The slavery abolition movement really got started in England in 1772, when Lord Mansfield, sitting in judgment in the Somersett’s Case, declared that slavery was … Continue reading Freedom for (Almost) Everyone!

Trivia Thursday: The Queens’ Vault

This Week’s Question: Arbella Stuart, who was once considered a successor to Queen Elizabeth I, was buried in the vault of what other famous queen? Last Week’s Question: Who was the first heir to the British throne to tour North America? Answer: Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. The charismatic eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert set off for a tour of Canada … Continue reading Trivia Thursday: The Queens’ Vault

Triple Threat

Happy birthday to actress, author, and activist Fanny Kemble! This star of the British stage and slavery opponent was born November 27, 1809 into the famous Kemble theatrical family. Fanny was the daughter of actor Charles Kemble and the niece of Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble. Her younger sister became an opera singer. Fanny, however, was a gifted thespian who first appeared on stage … Continue reading Triple Threat

Liberty!

On July 2, 1776 the second Continental Congress, sweltering away in Philadelphia, adopted the Lee Resolution, also known as the resolution of independence. It declared all the colonies to be independent of the British Empire and was first introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7. It took weeks to drum up enough support for the measure to pass (we’ll get to that … Continue reading Liberty!