"Difficult history" of Doncaster's Brodswoth Hall revealed after former owner's slave trader past

The owners of Doncaster’s historic Brodsworth Hall have described its former owner’s links to slavery as ‘difficult history’ in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 1:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th June 2020, 1:21 pm
Brodsworth Hall

Peter Thellusson, who purchased the estate in 1791, financed slave voyages and traded in slave goods – and also had plantations in the Southern United States during the slave era.

English Heritage, which now owns the Grade I listed building, says it has commissioned research into Thellusson’s activities to help understand what it described as the Hall’s difficult history.

A spokesman said: “At Brodsworth Hall, Peter Thellusson, who purchased the estate in 1791, was a Huguenot merchant and banker who financed many slaving voyages, traded in slave related goods such as iron wares and beads, and acquired at least two plantations when lenders defaulted on loans.

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“English Heritage has actively commissioned research into the links between slavery and its properties, including Brodsworth, in an effort to help communicate this difficult history.”

It comes after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was ripped down during Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol on Sunday.

The controversial statue was thrown into the harbour but has since been recovered and will now be displayed in a museum.

The demonstrations have made authorities and councils across Britain and the world to consider whether statues and monuments to people with a controversial past are still relevant in the modern world.

Thellusson, who came from Geneva and settled in England, was a director of the Bank of England and a tobacco and sugar importer.