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Black Lives, British Justice: Black people in London Criminal Justice Records 1720-1841

Crymble, A; Azid, E; (2021) Black Lives, British Justice: Black people in London Criminal Justice Records 1720-1841. Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation , 2 (2) pp. 1-10. 10.25971/y2r7-8994. Green open access

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Abstract

This dataset brings together all 698 known references to ‘Black’ or possibly Black African heritage people or groups in selected records of London’s criminal justice (1720-1841). The individuals were trial witnesses, victims, prosecutors, defendants, and people mentioned in passing during testimony. For each entry, a confidence level is offered by the authors, as a person’s race cannot always be determined with certainty. Even when the evidence looks strong, sometimes further research will uncover alternate findings about someone’s ethnicity. For example, the 1838 trial for Henry Johnson describes him as a “black man,” but the Van Diemen’s Land “Founders and Survivors Convicts 1802-1853” project has uncovered a record that suggests Johnson was born in the “East Indies” and was therefore probably of Indian ethnicity.[2] Evidence for making that judgment is provided in three columns of the dataset that provide quoted material from the primary source that was used in making decisions. The final column provides some clarification on the type of evidence that led to each given confidence classification. Entries that the authors judged “very unlikely Black” are included in this dataset to prevent future researchers from thinking we missed out on marginal cases, and instead is meant to foreground the decision-making process and open it to scrutiny. This dataset is useful for anyone interested in Black history in Britain, Black people and justice, or Black London during the age of enslavement.

Type: Article
Title: Black Lives, British Justice: Black people in London Criminal Justice Records 1720-1841
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.25971/y2r7-8994
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.25971/y2r7-8994
Language: English
Additional information: © JSDP 2021. This is an Open Access article publisher under the terms of a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131137
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