Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A Group Logo

The History Group

Leader:  Jane Harris - history@ashbyu3a.co.uk - phone 01530 838025

Any U3A member is welcome at our meetings.

All meetings with speakers will be held at Packington Memorial Hall.
Doors open for Packington meetings at 2pm, with a start as soon as possible after that, hopefully by 2.10pm.

Details of visits will be advised closer to the time.
The following dates have been arranged, but may be subject to changes which will be announced on a rolling monthly basis.

Future programme

Thu 26th Jul10 am departSelf-drive visit to The Holocaust Centre
Thu 23rd Aug2:00 pmWendy Freer - Ravenstone Hospital - Film and Info
Thu 27th SepTBASelf Drive visit to the Century Theatre Coalville
Thu 25th Oct2:00 pmYogi Godwin talk - 'The eating habits of Henry VIII's court'
Thu 22nd Nov2:00 pmTim Coltman - 'William Harold Coltman VC'

Thursday 28th June

At our History Group Meeting in Packington Village Hall on Thursday 28th June, Malcolm Bird, one of our U3A members, gave a fascinating and informative talk on aspects of slavery.

Malcolm outlined that slavery had been in force for as long as historical records exist and in virtually every part of the world including Britain. Indeed, until comparatively recently it was accepted and even regarded as right and justified almost everywhere. No doubt this was a result of the vast amounts of money to be made, which also led to a great deal of hypocrisy. For example Ulysses S Grant, Commander of the Union Army in the American Civil War, owned slaves as did many Christian Clergy and even freed slaves went on to own slaves themselves. The numbers involved were vast, with millions being transported by British slave traders. However, it should be remembered that these traders were not responsible for the capture of the slaves, they merely purchased them from the African locals. Their activities also enabled numerous ancillary industries to flourish in shipping, provisions, ironwork etc. - a bit like the modern car industry. Not that we were the only ones - at diffe
rent times many others were involved - Arabs, Muslims, Japanese, Barbary Pirates, Vikings, Maoris and others. Prisoners of war were often taken into slavery

It is only in the last two hundred years that any real effort has been made to abolish the practice, led by the British outlawing the trade and using the Royal Navy to enforce it. This lead has been followed by most industrial nations, although there are still places in the world where it continues on an least semi-official basis. Sadly, elsewhere, the practice still continues illegally and there are, even today, slaves in countries like Britain. It might seem logical that this illegality would have driven up the cost, but this does not appear to be the case. It is reported that the cost of a slave is now only about $60, considerably cheaper than in the 19th Century.

A very thought provoking and horrifying tale.

Earlier history meeting