Ancestors of Dorset MP Richard Drax on slavery database

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset Richard Drax's ancestors were given compensation for giving up 189 slaves

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A Dorset MP's ancestors received compensation when the slave trade was abolished, new research has revealed.

University College London (UCL) has produced a database of those paid after being forced to free slaves in 1833.

South Dorset Tory MP Richard Drax is descended from John Sawbridge Erle-Drax, who was awarded £4,293 12s 6d - worth £3m today - for 189 slaves.

The money was paid in May 1836 for slaves at a Barbados sugar plantation. The family refused to comment.

Britain outlawed slave trading in 1807, and ownership of slaves was banned in 1833.

About £20m was then paid out to compensate 3,000 slave owners.

Professor Catherine Hall, who led the UCL research project, said: "The most surprising thing is how embedded the whole slavery business is in British society.

"One of the things we found is that far from the slave owners all being concentrated in the great slaving ports of London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Bristol, there are people all over the country making claims of compensation."

Other famous names on the database include the family of George Orwell and distant relatives of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Don John, a Black History Month coordinator, said: "Nobody is really interested in apologies.

"What we are interested in is establishing the truth and making that truth known to one and all."

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