The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People

The exhibition has now closed

Please visit the online exhibition

Parliament and the British Slave Trade an online exhibition commissioned by the Parliamentary Archives and produced by the 24 Hour Museum. The site features documents from the Parliamentary Archives which relate to Parliament's relationship with the slave trade and exhibits seen in the Westminster Hall exhibition.

The exhibition catalogue is still available

The exhibition catalogue featuring all of the exhibits is included in the Parliamentary History journal together with a collection of essays from an international selection of specialists in the field available now from The Parliamentary Bookshop and the Edinburgh University Press

The British slave Trade;Abolition,Parliament and People logo

The bicentenary of British Parliamentary abolition of the slave trade is commemorated by Parliament with an exhibition in Westminster Hall from 23 May to 23 September 2007.The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge.

The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People tells the story of the pressures and events both at home and abroad which influenced Parliament and led to the passing of the Act to abolish Britain's slave trade in 1807.

The exhibition includes; The 1807 Act, satirical cartoons, portraits of key abolitionists, 18th Century images of Westminster and the law courts, a six metre long petition from the people of Manchester lobbying Parliament to abolish the slave trade , the wooden chest and contents used by Thomas Clarkson in his nationwide campaign for abolition, a mini Parliament where abolition debates can be heard and Anti Slavery International have the final section of the exhibition telling the continuing story of slavery and human trafficking.

As part of the exhibition a day of events took place on Thursday August 23rd to commemorate The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade, including the creation of a Commemoration Quilt. Some wonderful quilt square designs were produced on the day.

Portrait of Thomas Clarkson

Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846) with his chest containing African goods and raw material. Engraving by C Turner after painting by Alfred Edward Chalon. Copyright Palace of Westminster

Anti sacchrites engraving by James Gillray

Anti-Saccharrites,-or-John Bull and his family leaving off the use of sugar. Coloured engraving by James Gillray (1756-1815), Published by H.Humphrey 27 March 1792. Copyright Palace of Westminster


The Parliamentary Education Service is running a range of activities and events for schools and The History of Parliament Trust is holding a competition for schools and colleges focusing on the abolition of the British slave trade.

Abolition trail

Take the Road to Abolition audio guided walk around Westminster highlighting events and individuals involved in the campaign to abolish the British slave trade.

Related Links

Links to other sites about other events, exhibitions and further information about the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade.

Press releases

Link to all exhibition press releases and press contact details.