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Judge and JuristEssays in Memory of Lord Rodger of Earlsferry$
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Andrew Burrows, David Johnston, QC, and Reinhard Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677344

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677344.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

Freeing from Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Scotland

Freeing from Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Scotland

(p.366) (p.367) 30 Freeing from Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Scotland
Judge and Jurist

John W Cairns

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines an important aspect of the problems raised by the holding of men and women as enslaved in Scotland. While men and women were held as slaves in Britain in the eighteenth century, the ambiguity and potential fluidity of their legal position meant that there was no regulation of their status of the type found in colonial laws. The result was that there were no rules on how they should be manumitted, and their manumission made effective and enforceable. A crucial issue here was the protection of the manumitted slave; if he or she left the master's employment, he or she was vulnerable and potentially at risk of being seized in the manner that the ‘strolling negro’ had been in 1720.

Keywords:   Britain, Scotland, slaves, slavery, manumission

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