Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Village News

Slavery in Denton?

There has been a lot of publicity recently about the part that the slavery trade and slavery itself played in British history. Some interesting research by a former local resident has now revealed a link to Denton.

The Slave Trade Act of 1807 ended the transport of slaves in British ships from Africa across the Atlantic, but it was not until 1833 that another Act made the ownership of slaves illegal throughout most of the British Empire. Finally this was followed by the Slavery Compensation Act of 1837. This provided for £20M, the equivalent of £2¼B today, to be paid to former slave owners.

It has now emerged that in 1835 the Rev George Sanby, sometime Rector of South Elmham and Vicar of Flixton, who lived at Denton Lodge which he had inherited from his father, received the sum of £166.16s.11d as compensation under the Act. This would be £18,700 at today’s values.

Confusingly, he was the son of another Rev George Sanby who was Rector of Denton from 1750 to 1807. But it was through his mother Mary Acres that he received the compensation cash. The Acres owned the Tryall sugar plantation in Hanover Parish in Jamaica. It seems they were forced to liberate 314 slaves for which they were compensated to the tune of £5,337. Only a small part reached Denton. Tryall is now a luxury country club and golf course.

If you want to check if your family was involved, go to the Legacies of British Slave-ownership website.

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