Balliol and Empire news

Thursday 16 September 2021

The Balliol and Empire project has published a research study which has established the extent to which Balliol’s endowment includes funds that can be linked to the proceeds of slavery.

Commissioned in 2019, the study – researched and written by Dr Sebastian Raj Pender (Research Associate on the Balliol and Empire Project) – has now been peer reviewed by experts at the University of London.

The study researched the College’s archival records of benefactions received between 1600 and 1919 together with a range of other historical sources. It found that, of 379 benefactors who each gave the College more than £1,000 in total when adjusted for today’s prices, 39 were made by individuals with substantive links to the proceeds of slavery, whether directly or via inheritance. Taken together, these 39 benefactors contributed a total of around £300,000 when adjusted for today’s prices, or about £2m when adjusted for today’s average incomes; the higher figure would represent about 1.6 per cent of the College’s endowment. The College will continue discussions in the coming term on how to respond to the finding of the report.   

The ‘Proceeds of Slavery’ study is available to read on the Balliol and Empire web pages, where there is more information about the research and events organised as part of this ongoing project – most recently Balliol Library’s Slavery in the Age of Revolution exhibition.