Slavery Abolition Act 1833

Slavery Abolition Act 1833

UK Legislation
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Slavery Abolition Act 1833

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The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (citation 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) was an 1833 Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom abolishing slavery throughout most of the British Empire (with the notable exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company," the "Island of Ceylon," and "the Island of Saint Helena"). The Act was repealed in 1998 as part of a wider rationalisation of English statute law, but later anti-slavery legislation remains in force.


Slavery had been abolished in Great Britain in 1772 by Lord Mansfield in R v Knowles, ex parte Somersett and Britain had outlawed the slave trade with the Slave Trade Act in 1807, with penalties of £100 per slave levied on British captains found importing slaves (treaties signed with other nations expanded the scope of the trading ban). Small trading nations that did not have a great deal to give up, such as Sweden, quickly followed suit, as did the Netherlands, also by then a minor player, however the British empire on its own constituted a substantial fraction of the world's population. The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron (or Preventative Squadron) at substantial expense in 1808 after...
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