Industrial Landscapes of Victorian Bristol

"Two common observations about the development of Bristol in the 19th Century are that its economy was notably diverse but that it grew rather more slowly than some of the more vibrant northern industrial towns. In this article, Peter Malpass considers the ways in which these traits were reflected in the development of the city’s built environment".

Palm Oil and Elephant Tusks: The Merchant Kings of Bristol

'Over the years of the slave trade Bristol's merchants learned the best combination of 'sortings' to facilitate their business in the West Indies. It was an eclectic, international collection of trade goods containing, for instance Maldive cowries, Manchester cottons, Birmingham guns, Swedish iron bars, Bristol copper and glassware, West Indian rum, Virginian tobacco and South Gloucestershire felt hats. The goods were used as customs duties and homage for the coastal kings, 'dash' payments for African middlemen, and barter for slaves'.

The Bristol General Election of 1830

The General Election which followed the death of King George IV in June 1830 is generally remembered in Bristol as a contest between the two Whig candidates over slavery. There were, however, two other candidates. One of them scored the greatest political triumph of his career; the other mustered barely two dozen votes. John Stevens tells the story of these Bristol electorates and their political campaigns.

The Origins of the Royal Bath & West Society and its Trial Grounds

The Royal Bath & West Society, as it is now known, has its origin in a society founded in the City of Bath in 1777 'for the encouragement and improvement of agriculture, arts, manufactures and commerce'. The founder, Edmund Rack, was soon appointed Secretary and the 1inch pin of the group. He vigorously conducted a wide range of correspondence and guided a programme of field experiments and prizes and rewards for improvements in agriculture and related practices. In this essay, Owen Ward uncovers the story of one of the Society's more 'spirited' and ambitious plans.

Edward Colston and Bristol

Benefactor or Brute? Edward Colston's statue has long presided over Bristol's city centre. The monument proclaiming the benefactions which this immensely wealthy merchant bestowed on the city in the early eighteenth century was defaced in ... by an obscenity which included the words 'slave trader' spray-painted across the statue's base in blood-red paint. Madge Dresser reviews Ken Morgan’s scholarly pamphlet addresses the contentious topic of the statue which stood in Bristol city centre.