Dr. Jenny Bulstrode, a University College London lecturer accused of besmirching a hero of the Industrial Revolution, has now derided the notion that Britain eradicated slavery. The Telegraph has the story.
Dr. Jenny Bulstrode of University College London has already prompted a weeks-long academic dispute over her claim that Henry Cort stole his groundbreaking iron-making process from Jamaican slaves, with Oxbridge professors dismissing her account as a “fairy tale” and a correction subsequently being issued by the prestigious journal that published her work.
Now, another war of words has flared over her “historically stupid” suggestion that Britain did not abolish the slave trade, in an interview to promote her controversial paper.
She told the Context of White Supremacy podcast earlier this year, while laughing: “In the U.K. we have the British Government saying ‘well we abolished slavery’, again the shock – you tell a Jamaican that the British abolished slavery and they will tell you something back.
“We know that this wasn’t gifted, this was something that people fought for and civil rights movements fought for – it’s completely extraordinary and what was brought in instead, the indenture, the sharecropping and extraction and theft under different names, different guises of the same system.”
It has raised questions about whether her research – which claimed that Mr. Cort’s patent in 1784 for processing scrap iron into high-quality wrought iron was “theft… from black metallurgists in Jamaica” – was influenced by her views.
The latest esteemed historian to criticise the paper, Nigel Biggar, Emeritus Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford and an expert on colonialism, said her comment about abolition was “ridiculous”.
Worth reading in full.