Thursday, April 05, 2007

Slavery abolition act

The Act of Parliament to abolish the British Slave Trade, passed on 25 March 1807, was the culmination of one of the first and most successful public campaigns in history. To mark the bicentenary the Parliamentary Archives has digitised a wealth of archival material which provides evidence of the issues, processes and people at the heart of Parliament's relationship with the slave trade.

In May 2007 this material will be published on these pages, together with commentary by leading historians, resources for schools and your opportunity to debate and contribute online.

This is the first section of the Act which abolished Britain's slave trade. It was passed on 25 March 1807. It is made of parchment and when fully unrolled it is nearly 6m long. It has stitched onto it various amendments that were made during its passage through both Houses of Parliament and at the top is the formula 'Le Roy le veult' which means that King George III had assented to the Bill becoming an Act.