School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Workshop: Slavery and the Scottish Country House

HCA Economic History Society

Schedule at a Glance

14 July 2017

9.15-9.30 Welcome       

9.30-11.00 'Broad views': Chair –  Nuala Zahedieh (Edinburgh)

  • Nick Draper (UCL), 'Slavery and the country house: the state of play' (Skype)
  • Stephen Mullen (Glasgow), 'The landed estates of Glasgow’s sugar aristocracy, 1775-1838'
  • Marenka Thompson-Odlum (Glasgow), 'Art of the country house: a case study of art collecting and Scottish West India merchants'

11.00 Coffee

11.30-1.00 'Borders case studies': Chair – Sally Tuckett (Glasgow)

  • Stana Nenadic (Edinburgh), 'Harmony House and Abbotsford and the Jamaican slave plantation connection'
  • Alastair Learmont (Edinburgh), 'Green River and Roberton: the Scottish Border estates of James and William Chisholme'
  • Fiona Salvesen Murrell, Hermione Hoffman (Paxton House), 'Paxton House'

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 'Colonial markets, goods, and people': Chair – Emma Hart (St Andrews)

  • Nuala Zahedieh (Edinburgh), 'Supplying the sugar colonies: William Forbes, coppersmith, and Callendar House'
  • Tony Lewis (Glasgow Museums), 'The homecoming: conspicuous consumption in country houses, or how to show off wealth – an 18th century legacy'
  • James Caudle (Oxford, Brookes), 'James Boswell and the merchants of doubt'
  • Hannah Lawrence (St Andrews and National Trust Scotland), 'Acknowledging slavery connections in Scottish country houses: Why it is important'

16.00 Tea

16.30-17.30 'Comparisons': Chair – Diana Paton (Edinburgh)

  • Chris Jeppesen (UCL), 'Growing up in a Company town: Caribbean and East Indian wealth in Hertfordshire'
  • Finola O’Kane (UCD, Dublin), 'Ireland and the Caribbean: Some comparative plantation perspectives from Jamaica, Mayo and Donegal'                 

17.30-18.30 Lecture: Chair – Simon Newman (Glasgow)

  • Jim Walvin (York), 'Slavery in small things: Evidence from inside the stately home'                  

18.30 Reception

For more on the project see scottishcountryhouseblog 

All sessions will take place in Seminar room 1, Chrystal MacMillan Building, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD. Participation is free but places are limited. To register please email,

Jul 14 2017 -

Workshop: Slavery and the Scottish Country House

Through this workshop (14 July 2017) the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies will develop a strategy for designing research and taking forward the ‘Slavery and the Scottish country house’ project. (Published 1 June 2017)

Seminar room 1, Chrystal MacMillan Building, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD