P.M Seeking Reparations

Written by on April 7, 2021

Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, has written to the Master of All Souls College at Oxford University, seeking reparations for what now amounts to tens of millions of pounds sterling, amassed from the hard labour of enslaved people on Antigua and Barbuda.

The Prime Minister’s letter, which was dispatched on Tuesday morning, received swift response from Sir John Vickers, the Master of All Souls.

In his letter to the Head of the Oxford College, PM Browne stated that a bequest to All
Souls College in 1710 from Christopher Codrington III, which stocked and built the
College’s now famous Library, was generated principally from the labour of enslaved
people on ‘granted’ lands in Antigua and Barbuda.

Browne pointed out that the Codringtons’ added considerably to their family’s wealth from
the proceeds of plantations and slavery on Antigua, principally, a ‘grant’ of 500 acres of
land in 1674 which he named Betty’s Hope and a further 400 acres that was also
subsequently ‘granted’.

The Antigua and Barbuda leader proposed to Sir John that “the College should repay its
debt to enslaved persons on Antigua and Barbuda, who were the real source of benefit to
All Souls, by contributing to the higher education of the people of Antigua and Barbuda
and by direct donations to the Five Islands Campus of the University of the West Indies.
In his immediate response, Sir John Vickers advised the PM that All Souls College “is
investigating academic initiatives in relation to the Codrington legacy”.

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