African Caribbean Residents of Edinburgh in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries


  • Lisa Williams



Scotland is gradually coming to terms with its involvement in slavery and colonialism as part of the British Empire. This article places the spotlight on the lives of African Caribbean people who were residents of Edinburgh during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I discuss their varied experiences and contributions: from runaways and men fighting for their freedom in the Scottish courts to women working as servants in city households or marrying into Edinburgh high society. The nineteenth century saw activism among political radicals from abolitionists to anticolonialists; some of these figures studied and taught at Edinburgh University. Their stories reflect the Scottish capital’s many direct connections with the Caribbean region.