The 1700s were a shameful time in London’s history. Although slavery was something that happened far away, on American cotton farms and West Indian sugar plantations, England had many critical, if slightly murkier, parts to play. From MPs owning Caribbean plantations to a newly-discovered British appetite for sugar, England was implicit in human slavery. This uncomfortable past touched much of British life, and was hidden in a great many everyday objects and institutions.
Hot off the Press….this month sees the publication of two brand new MOLA monographs invovling the work of the osteology team. Excavations at New Bunhill Fields, Southwark in 2008 uncovered evidence of a heavily used private burial ground. Documentary sources suggest that from c 1821–53 up to 33,000 burials may have taken place in the commercial Nonconformist burial ground. Excavation of 827 wooden coffin burials allowed comparisons of the use of the burial ground, coffin furniture and burial finds with other contemporary cemeteries. Of particular interest were the good level of preservation of floral remains in a child’s coffin, ceramic […]