Members Meeting - Nov 24 2018
Beyond Free Will - Lord Mansfield & Emancipation of Slavery
Lindsey spoke to us about the history of Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in the 1700s. Lord Mansfield played a key role in the abolition of slavery through some of his decisions in the late 1700s, most notably, Somerset v. Stewart and the Zong Case. Lindsey gave us a summary of these decisions and Lord Mansfield himself. Afterwards, the group engaged in a discussion about the implication of Austen's title Mansfield Park. Some of the most interesting topics of the discussion centered on Lord Mansfield's ward, Dido Belle, whose mother was a Black slave, and on the possiblity that the title may have been Austen's way of paying homage to Lord Mansfield.
Orphans: Oliver with a Twist
Anne enlightened us all with a discussion of orphans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She showed very interesting photographs and drawings of what the circumstances may have been like for orphans in that time. While it was difficult to imagine the horrors these poor children endured, we couldn't comprehend the morality of 90% of children working as labourers. A lot of different outlooks on the subject by our members were discussed at length. One of the many interesting points was that children in those times were viewed as small adults, thus, having children work would have seemed to be a reasonable thing to do. Thank you Ann for a very interesting topic.