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Hidden Histories of the Industrial Revolution

Sat 7th Nov
Hidden Histories of the Industrial Revolution:
Enslaved People and Women

The Arkwright Society Industrial Revolution Conference

The Arkwright Society joins the Zoom revolution with their first virtual Industrial Revolution Conference. The Industrial Revolution Conference has been running for six years with a diverse range of topics and expert speakers. This year leading experts on the Industrial Revolution will set out their views about the time when Britain changed in every way, focusing on the hidden histories of enslaved people and women and their role.

The first keynote speaker, Professor Maxine Berg of Warwick University will look at Slavery and the Wealth of the Nations by going back to the Royal African Company in the late 1600s when Edward Colston was the Director. The use of enslaved peoples on the sugar plantations of the West Indies paved the way for the later work of enslaved peoples in the revolution of cotton production.

Professor Emma Griffin, University of East Anglia, the second keynote speaker, has extensively researched workers in the Industrial Revolution through their journals, diaries and letters, and will discuss Victorian women workers after men ‘stole’ their work spinning in the mills.

For the first time, a speaker will feature direct from Sao Paulo University in Brazil. Thales Pereira will discuss the part of Brazilian cotton in the Industrial Revolution and consider the role of slavery and markets in its supply.

Susanne Seymour, Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Slavery at Nottingham University, will talk about a large project on the raw cotton sources for the Strutts Mills in Belper. The Strutts were the lead supplier of cotton thread in the UK in the late 18th/19th centuries. Their cotton was mostly supplied by Thomas Tarleton, who was himself directly involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Then Cliff Lea, a Cromford Mills guide, will talk about the grandsons of Richard Arkwright’s family, who served as Members of Parliament in the 19th century, including one who served in the West Africa Squadron, the British Navy patrol which tried to reduce the activities of slavers after the British Abolition Act of 1834.

The online conference will be led by the Arkwright Society.

Click here to book your tickets.

ZOOM DETAIL: You will be sent a Zoom link to join the session by the Arkwright Society after you have booked your ticket. The conference programme will be emailed to you in advance.

TECH REQUIREMENTS: You will need a laptop or desktop computer with video and audio. You will also require a reliable internet connection. Please make sure your set up satisfies the tech requirements before joining – the Arkwright Society cannot offer refunds if you discover your device or broadband connection isn’t suitable.

VENUE: At home in front of your computer.

DATE: Saturday 7th November

OPENING TIME: 9.30am, Start time: 10am. Finish 4pm, with time for lunch between the morning and afternoon talks.

TICKETS: £20, includes access to the full conference.

PREMIUM TICKET: £30, includes access to the full conference, plus a copy of the book of papers from the 2019 Industrial Revolution Conference: ‘Industry and British People: Cromford, the Derwent Valley and Beyond’. The book includes contributions from last year’s speakers and is edited by Chris Wigley.

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