Book: From Wulfstan to Colston

Severing the sinews of slavery in Bristol. Mark Steeds and Roger Ball

Our friends at Bristol Radical History Group have produced this 420 page paperback, tracing the history of slavery in Bristol back one thousand years. Saint Wulfstan, Bristol’s very own pioneer abolitionist in the 11th century, was to rail against slavery, followed by groups of religious and political activists over the centuries. As their own blurb says: “From Wulfstan to Colston concludes by considering today’s legacy of slavery and abolition as fierce debate and protest continues over who should and should not be celebrated in Bristol’s memorial landscape. Appendices include lists of leading Bristol slave-ship agents, African resistance on Bristol slave-ships and distribution of compensation money to slave-owners in Bristol.”

The paperback throws a spotlight on why the campaign that ended up with the toppling of Colston was so important. Get it from:


“A fascinating and comprehensive overview of Bristol’s long and complex relationship with the slave trade. Packed with interesting nuggets, solid research and fresh insight the book beautifully balances academic rigour with pure readability.”

Steve Yabsley, BBC Radio Bristol