Research papers


1)  Joanna Burch-Brown. 2017. ‘Is it wrong to topple statues and rename schools?‘  Journal of Political Theory and Philosophy, Volume 1(1).

Abstract: In recent years, campaigns across the globe have called for the removal of objects symbolic of white supremacy. This paper examines the ethics of altering or removing such objects. Do these strategies sanitize history, destroy heritage and suppress freedom of speech? Or are they important steps towards justice? Does removing monuments and renaming schools reflect a lack of parity and unfairly erase local identities? Or can it sometimes be morally required, as an expression of respect for the memories of people who endured past injustices; a recognition of this history‟s ongoing legacies; and a repudiation of unjust social hierarchies?


2) Roger Ball. ‘Edward Colston Research Paper 1: Calculating the number of enslaved Africans transported by the Royal African Company during Edward Colston‟s involvement (1680-1692)’

Abstract:  Edward Colston was an investor, official and eventually deputy governor of the Royal African Company (RAC) from 1680-92.[1] Over this period the RAC purchased and transported tens of thousands of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic into a life of hard labour. This article aims to answer number of questions about the RAC’s involvement in the slave trade in particular during Edward Colston’s tenure. These questions are:

  • How many enslaved Africans were purchased by the RAC between 1680 and 1692?
  • How many survived the journey across the Atlantic?
  • What was the mortality rate?
  • Where did the captives come from?
  • Where were these Africans being transported to?
  • What was the breakdown by age and gender of the captives?
  • What was the approximate value of these captives to the RAC?

Two sets of figures are employed here to estimate the number of Africans transported across the Atlantic from 1680-1692 by the RAC.


3) Roger Ball. ‘Edward Colston Research Paper 2: The Royal African Company and Edward Colston (1680-1692) BRISTOL RADICAL HISTORY GROUP (2017);

Abstract   This research article is an examination of the Royal African Company (RAC) and the role of Edward Colston (b. 1636 d. 1721) within the organisation as both an investor and executive. It is unsurprising that this history has not been previously collated in this form as Colston still retains a popular status amongst sections of Bristol’s population as a philanthropist and ‘city father’, his memory protected by powerful civic organisations. Although the depiction of Colston as a ‘merchant prince’ and ‘moral saint’ particularly through memorialisation in the Victorian period may have lessened, ritual celebrations and commemorations still continue in the city. There have been notable exceptions to this local hegemony, particularly the efforts of Reverend H. J. Wilkins of Westbury-on-Trym in the 1920s whose work in the archives began to expose Colston’s involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This article extensively uses Wilkins’s chronology of Edward Colston’s life and it is encouraging to see that there has been a revival of interest in this progressive Churchman who had the courage to speak against the prevailing orthodoxy.