International Anti-Slavery Day – FREE Expert Manchester Tour

Wednesday 18 October

Join Ed Glinert, Manchester’s leading historian, on this unique exploration of the city’s slavery links on International Anti-Slavery Day.


A few months ago, the Guardian ran a huge piece about how the two major local football clubs were embarrassingly displaying a slave ship on their crests. The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone “discovered” that the ship on the City of Manchester coat of arms is a slave ship. According to Hattenstone, not just the city but the local football clubs should drop this “symbol of slavery shame” from their crests.

Great scoop, Simon, except that Ed Glinert has been pointing out the same on this “Manchester and Slavery” tours for 14 years!

Then, to ruin his article, Hattenstone quoted Jonathan Schofield who told him the ship was not a slave ship. Once again, Schofield was wrong and Glinert was right! The ship on the Manchester coat of arms IS a slave ship and Ed Glinert has discovered which ship it was, chosen for the coat of arms in 1838 when Manchester became a borough because it was captured from the Spanish and used to free slaves.

Ed Glinert reveals all on this tour. Below is a taster.

Manchester might have prospered from the horrors of slavery for much of the 18th century, but the growing town was soon leading the campaign for its abolition.

The turning point was a meeting held at the Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral) on 28 October 1787 fronted by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson. “When I went into the church,” Clarkson recalled, “it was so full that I could scarcely get to my place; for notice had been publicly given, though I knew nothing of it, that such a discourse would be delivered. I was surprised also to find a great crowd of black people standing round the pulpit. There might be forty or fifty of them. The text that I took, as the best to be found in such a hurry, was the following: ‘Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt’”.

Manchester amassed the biggest number of signatures for the petition against slavery that went before Parliament. Sadly the petition was destroyed when the Houses of Parliament burned down in 1834.

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