What Did Edward Colston Do For Bristol?

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“What did Edward Colston do for Bristol?” may be an intriguing question. The city’s famous philanthropist, slave trader, member of parliament, and Jacobite was also a prominent figure in Bristol’s history. Let’s find out.


The statue of Bristol philanthropist Edward Colston was erected in 1895. The statue was a part of the public’s support for Colston’s philanthropy. The Colston society had repeatedly appealed for PS1,000 to build the statue. However, it was only after the statue was unveiled that the PS1,000 was finally raised. It may have been an overreach on the part of the donors.

As well as establishing a school for children, Colston donated large amounts of money to various charitable causes in Bristol. His donations included funds for girls’ and boys’ schools, which served as recruiting grounds for sailors. After his death in 1721, his charitable works continued to benefit the city. This is reflected in his charitable bequests. His bequests also included funds for religious education, and he founded almshouses for the poor. In addition, he donated money to the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, a religious school for 100 boys.

The legacy of Bristol philanthropist Edward Colston has been widely celebrated. However, some have questioned the legitimacy of the celebration of this man as a philanthropist. In some ways, it is disrespectful to the slaves.

Bristol was a central port for the trade in slaves and raw materials. Bristol’s international port made it a thriving place for slaves. As a result, many wealthy Bristol merchants bought stakes in the triangular slave voyages.

Bristol’s history is largely shaped by the Colston family. Several streets and schools in Bristol are named after Colston, including Colston School. In addition to his legacy, Bristol has several public memorials dedicated to him. The city has even named a concert hall after him.

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The bronze statue dedicated to Colston has stood for more than a century. It has been the subject of controversy in Bristol for years, with a petition circulating amongst Bristolians demanding its removal. Bristol residents are ashamed of Colston’s legacy, while others are proud of it.

Bristol has several institutions named after Colston, including schools, streets, and a pub. Among these institutions are the Dolphin, Grateful, and Anchor Societies, which were founded in the 1700s. These groups have long been active in Bristol’s philanthropy and are focused on helping the elderly. Each year, the societies write hundreds of personal letters to potential donors to raise money. Their annual contribution amounts to more than PS250,000.

slave trader

During the 17th century, Bristol was the center of a major slave trade. The RAC transported as many as 100,000 Africans to the New World, and their arrival there was a major source of revenue for the city. The slaves would be sold to plantation owners in the British Caribbean and Virginia, and their ships would return to Bristol with loads of sugar, rum, and cocoa. His ships were notoriously overcrowded, and many of the slaves were killed during their long journeys. Despite their horrific experiences, Bristol’s infamous slave trade legacy remains visible today in the streets, buildings, and memorials of the city.

A statue of the slave trader was removed from Bristol harbor in June 2020. The protesters took inspiration from the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and rallied in Bristol to tear down the statue of Edward Colston. They then wrapped ropes around the statue and dragged it through the city’s streets. The statue was finally removed and the protesters were arrested.

The controversy over the statue has been a long-running issue in Bristol. Protests have occurred at events in the city centre in recent years, and questions have been raised about the statue’s background. In 1999, graffiti with the words “Slave Trader” was scrawled across the statue. Bristol has since scrubbed the graffiti from the statue, but the protesters are still demanding that the city remember Colston’s entire history.

The statue of Colston has been standing on Colston Avenue in Bristol since 1895. The slave trader was a divisive figure in Bristol’s civil society. While some regarded him as a role model and an inspiration for the city, others viewed him as a criminal who committed crimes against humanity.

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In the 1770s, Bristol was the site of many slave auctions and sales. The RAC shipped more African slaves to America than any other institution in the history of the Atlantic slave trade. Colston was a member of the RAC’s management board and established extensive links with the St. Kitts sugar colony. Many prominent people in Bristol’s society also invested in the company. The city’s mayor, Sir Robert Clayton, and the philosopher John Locke were among the notable investors.


Edward Colston was a member of parliament for the Tories from Bristol during the 17th century. In addition to being a Jacobite, he also supported Bristol’s right to trade in slaves. In fact, he became a major investor in another slave-trading company. Between 1714 and 1720, he invested in the South Seas Company, which transported an estimated fifteen thousand Africans.

In the early twentieth century, Bristolians began raising questions about Colston, including his involvement in the slave trade. The bronze memorial was unveiled in 1895, but a petition of 11,000 people called for it to be taken down. In 1999, graffiti scrawled “Slave Trader” on the statue. Luckily, Bristol officials were able to scrub the graffiti off. Since then, the group Countering Colston has staged protests outside of Colston-related events and called for Bristol to remember his entire history.

The legacy of Edward Colston is closely tied to the city’s history. His charitable work helped the city’s poor, as well as Bristol’s churches and schools. He also founded the Colston’s Hospital in 1710. Although he is regarded as a Jacobite, the hospital was initially a religious boarding school for boys.

In addition to being a Jacobite, Colston was an executive at the Royal African Company. He made his fortune from the Atlantic slave trade. Despite this, his reputation as a philanthropist in Bristol led to the statue’s erection. While debate over the morality of this statue has continued to rage, Bristol City Council has voted to honour Colston as a civic hero.

Colston was born to a wealthy merchant family in Bristol and was educated in London. After a successful career as a merchant, he became involved with the Royal African Company (RAC). The company had a monopoly on the trade of slaves and Colston was the deputy governor of the company. The RAC sent more than one hundred thousand people to West Africa and Colston rose through its ranks.

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Member of parliament

Edward Colston was born in Bristol on 1636 and came from a well-to-do family. His father, William, was an apprentice of Richard Aldworth, one of the richest merchants of the time. The family moved to London during the English Civil War, where Colston grew up. He followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a successful merchant in London. Initially he traded in cloth, oil, and wine, but he also traded with Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Africa.

But in the 1990s, his role in the slave trade was uncovered, provoking fierce debate in Bristol and calls for the statue’s removal. Up until then, however, historians had viewed Colston positively, portraying him as a prosperous trader and benefactor to the city. His name is still present in a number of public buildings in the city, including a concert hall and a school.

Colston’s involvement in the slave trade began when he was a wealthy merchant trader. During this time, he became involved in the Royal African company, which had a monopoly over the trading of enslaved people. During this time, the RAC carried more than one hundred thousand people, and Colston rose through the ranks of the company.

Colston was a member of the Royal African Company, which had a monopoly over African trade until 1688. He had interests in London and St Kitts and also owned a sugar refinery in Bristol. This refinery was responsible for processing sugar that had been produced by enslaved Africans in the West Indies.

A number of Bristol residents were involved in the slave trade. Some were merchants, but others were involved in banking. William Colston, who was a partner of Sir William Daines, invested in a sugar firm and also bought a slave vessel. Others were part of the Whig party, which was the precursor of the Liberal Democratic Party today.

Colston’s name continues to be linked to several Bristol landmarks, schools, and city halls. The Society of Merchant Venturers funded Colston’s Girls’ School. It has since changed its name to Montpelier High School.

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