Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The Queen of Slaves

John Hawkins' Coat of Arms (note the bound, naked, female slave above the shield)At today's service in Westminster Abbey to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the English slave trade, Toyin Agbetu enlivened the proceedings by shouting "This is an insult to us!" Security guards converged on him while the Queen and Tony Blair looked on. He angrily told African Christians they should be ashamed for attending the service. Outside, he told media the Queen had to say sorry for her ancestors. "The monarch and the Government and the church are all in there patting themselves on the back," he said (CLICK). Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I financed the start of the English slave trade? In 1561 she supplied ships and provisions to merchant adventurers who wished to trade along the African coast. In 1562, John Hawkins shipped ivory, wax and hundreds of Africans for sale, from the coast of Guinea to the West Indies. His venture was so profitable that he was made Freeman of the City of Plymouth and in 1564 Queen Elizabeth lent him her own ship, Jesus of Lubeck, for the purpose of capturing Africans to be sold into slavery. Click the title to read more on a website that won the Coxsoft Art Silver Surfer Friendly Award.


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