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Commerce
borndied
1636, Nov 21721, Oct 11
an English merchant, philanthropist and Tory Member of Parliament who was involved in the Atlantic slave trade. Colston followed his father in the family business becoming a sea merchant, initially trading in wine, fruits and textiles, mainly in Spain, Portugal and other European ports. By 1680, he became involved in the slave trade as a member of the Royal African Company, which held a monopoly on the English trade in African slaves. He was deputy governor of the company in 1689–90. Colston's name was widely commemorated in Bristol landmarks, and a statue of him was erected in 1895. With growing awareness in the late 20th century of his involvement in Britain's slave trade, there were protests and petitions for name changes, culminating in June 2020, when the statue was toppled and pushed into Bristol Harbour during protests in support of Black Lives Matter.
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