Oxford

Oxford college plans to mark donor's slavery links

The Codrington Library Image copyright Andrew Shiva
Image caption The Codrington Library was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and built between 1716 and 1720

A University of Oxford college plans to erect a plaque to remember slaves who worked for one of its benefactors.

All Souls College wants to place the memorial outside a library paid for by Christopher Codrington.

He owned sugar plantations where more than 300 slaves worked and left £10,000 to All Souls when he died in 1710.

All Souls College said the tablet was intended to serve as a reminder of where Mr Codrington's wealth came from.

The college is not the only one in Oxford that has had to grapple with uncomfortable elements of its past, in recent years Oriel College has come under pressure to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes.

In a planning application to Oxford City Council, All Souls said the idea for the plaque came from a conference addressing the history of slavery that was held at the college in October 2016.

It said the college remains grateful to Christopher Codrington for his donation, but the warden and fellows concluded it should provide a public statement about the origins of his wealth.

The tablet would be placed on a wall outside the library, where it would be visible from the street when the Catte Street entrance gate to the college is open.

Image copyright All Souls College
Image caption All Souls has submitted a mock-up of how the plaque would look to Oxford City Council

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