Facing Our Past – The Moray Feu and links to historic enslavement

Wed, 11 May 2022

In this talk Jennifer Melville shows how recent research has given new insights into the many connections the first residents of Edinburgh’s New Town – including the Moray Feu – had to chattel slavery. She explains how many benefitted financially from the trading and enslavement of people in the Caribbean and the Americas and subsequently from the huge government Slave Compensation Act which compensated not the enslaved, but their owners when slavery was abolished. Jennifer explains how it is now possible to identify those who benefitted and how this funding helped to transform the cityscape and interiors of Edinburgh. In addition, Jennifer shows how those living and working in and around the Moray feu were more ethnically diverse than originally thought and how, through researching these related narratives. we can all arrive at a fuller and more honest understanding of the social and economic histories of these iconic streets.

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