The owner of the Guardian has issued an apology for the role the newspaper’s founders had in transatlantic slavery and announced a decade-long programme of restorative justice.
The Scott Trust said it expected to invest more than £10m (US$12.3m, A$18.4m), with millions dedicated specifically to descendant communities linked to the Guardian’s 19th-century founders.
It follows independent academic research commissioned in 2020 to investigate whether there was any historical connection between chattel slavery and John Edward Taylor, the journalist and cotton merchant who founded the newspaper in 1821, and the other Manchester businessmen who funded its creation.
The Scott Trust Legacies of Enslavement report, published on Tuesday, revealed that Taylor, and at least nine of his 11 backers, had links to slavery, principally through the textile industry. …
This is a rather extraordinary example of a company willing to take a good hard look at itself and its own history and confront sins of its past—the sins of its own birth—and attempt to set things right in the present and for the future. This is also really interesting and informative reading on the interconnectedness of the 19th Century Atlantic world and the impact of slavey and cotton production in the United States and the Caribbean on the development of capital and industry—and indeed liberalism—in England.