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Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract: The Story of a Tangled Inheritance

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The author adds background interest to the story by detailing the campaign in Britain to first of all outlaw the importation of slaves to the British Empire, and then some 27 years later, to abolish the institution of slavery itself. As ubiquitous as her admirer, Lindsay appears everywhere: we find her entertaining Dr Johnson at dinner, philosophising with David Hume in Edinburgh, and embarking on a European jaunt with Maria Fitzherbert, mistress to the Prince of Wales. A really interesting family history, such a wealth of sources and letters for the prominent members of the family in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Perennials PERENNIALS constant friends A selection of novels, memoirs and more by some of our favourite authors. Atkinson’s attempt to trace his family back through several centuries of British history is fascinating, if overlong and occasionally bogged down in details of eighteenth-century scams. Drawing on his ancestors’ private correspondence, Richard Atkinson pieces together their unsettling story, from the weather-beaten house in Cumbria where they once lived to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica. He is also the five-times great-uncle of the Richard Atkinson who produced this fascinating, exhaustive work of family history.This is real history, not from the top down or bottom up but from deep inside the heart of living individuals whose stories are all too human. Demonstrates how constitutions evolved in tandem with warfare, and how they have functioned to advance empire as well as promote nations, and worked to exclude as well as liberate. very well written story of the rise of the Richard Atkinson and then the demise of the great fortune he made - as well as a good tale, it is also a portrait of the country at a time of massive change with lots of familiar characters.

His nickname was born of an outrageously good deal he negotiated for himself in a government contract to provide Jamaican rum for the British army in the American war of independence. The paperwork that he produced and generated was mind-numbing; it’s no wonder Atkinson had to give up his day job.See our Remarkables Archive for some that are no longer in print, but which we are happy to try to track down. Indeed reading this today with some current actual controversies in the foreground (eg PPE sourcing, the rich getting richer and lining each others' pockets, government borrowing) are very much retreads of earlier crises (eg provisioning the American war of independence, Rotten Boroughs, government borrowing).

Also fascinating given the increasing acknowledgement of the role or slavery in the development of the UK and the author faces that head on, and it gives it a contemporary resonance. When she eventually married, aged 43, Anne went with her much younger husband to live in South Africa. It may sound like a stretch to say that it's given me a new lens with which to view today's turbulent world.It is a journey through British and colonial history, told with incredible and vivid detail, but also the moving and fascinating history of a family. The timing of this book intrigues; had it been published even a month later, I wonder if Atkinson’s publishers would have asked him to address this shameful legacy more directly. Still, the thing that’s most interesting about it is the fact that many of his ancestors were slaveowners, holding significant estates in Jamaica.

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