Power & Profit: Slave Traders in Parliament & The Life of Humphrey Morice, 1690-1730
Grabstas, Nicholas Anthony Joseph
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This thesis explores the rise in prominence of the merchant class in England within the commercial, political, and financial spheres using London slave-trader and MP, Humphry Morice (c. 1671-1731), as a case study. It asserts merchants used the opening of the transatlantic slave trade to fund their public influence. It examines the impact of the financial revolution, the rise of Parliament, and the opening of the transatlantic slave trade on the position of merchants in English society. It uses the personal letters and journals of Morice, from the Bank of England archives and made accessible online by the Empire Online database, as primary source evidence. In addition, the author has done original data analysis using information from the “Voyages” section of the Trans-Altantic Slave Trade database and the “Research” section of the History of Parliament Online. Each main chapter corresponds with research and discussion in one of the three fields: commerce, politics, and finance.