Lancaster Royal
Grammar School

Facing the Past and Transforming the Future: Exploring Lancaster’s links to Transatlantic Slavery

Sixth Formers recently took part in a conference at Lancaster University presenting their research on the history behind the local slave trade.

On the 13th November, Lancaster University and Lancaster Black History hosted 'Facing the Past and Transforming the Future: Exploring Lancaster’s links to Transatlantic Slavery', a conference showcasing the work of community researchers on the Slavery Family Trees project.

Sixth Formers from Lancaster Royal Grammar School researched the Gregson family, in particular Samuel Gregson Snr and his links to several families who traded bilaterally and in the triangular trade. A number of students have been involved in the research, that began in the summer of 2020, contributing to a pilot project on St George's Quay street names, as well as the Slavery Family Trees project.

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Special mention to Harry and Travis who presented to an in-person and online audience, including Prof Catherine Hall who led on the Legacies of British Slave Ownership project at UCL and Dr Richard Benjamin who heads the International Slavery Museum team at National Museums Liverpool. It has been a privilege to be involved in this project, aimed at raising the profile of black history in Lancaster and the work of the students has been invaluable. Other student contributors were: Anna, Zoe, Alfie, Seb who all made a significant contribution to the research on the Gregson family and the street names project; Isabelle, Jonathan, Isla, Harris, Clement, Raees, Finlay, Filip and Owen all worked on the street names project. 

Community based research is an essential part of the overall historical picture, and we have been guided by Professor Imogen Tyler and Dr Sunita Abraham over countless Teams meetings, without their help the students would not have been able to produce such incredible work. We hope to publish our research findings on Samuel Gregson Snr in the new year.