Church Commissioners for England research identifies historic links to transatlantic slave trade

Posted Jun 17, 2022

[Church of England] The Church Commissioners for England has learned from research it commissioned that Queen Anne’s Bounty, a predecessor fund of the Church Commissioners’ £10.1 billion endowment, had links with transatlantic chattel slavery. The Church Commissioners is deeply sorry for its predecessor fund’s links with transatlantic chattel slavery.

In the 18th century, Queen Anne’s Bounty invested significant amounts of its funds in the South Sea Company, a company that traded in enslaved people. It also received numerous benefactions, many of which are likely to have come from people linked to, or who profited from, transatlantic chattel slavery or the plantation economy.

The Church Commissioners in 2019 decided to conduct research into the source of its endowment fund to gain an improved understanding of its history. It worked with forensic accountants to review early ledgers and other original source documents from Queen Anne’s Bounty. That research is now complete, and a final report of the findings will be published later this year. The Church Commissioners is forming a group to consider the research and how to respond to these findings. Further information will be shared in due course.

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