Talks at Dr Johnson’s House

‘Silver padlocks for Blacks or Dogs; collars, etc: Lapdogs, black servants and slavery in the 18th century’ and ‘Slave and Master: Breaking the Chains

‘Silver padlocks for Blacks or Dogs; collars, etc.’: Lapdogs, black servants and slavery in the 18th century

A lunchtime talk by Stephanie Howard-Smith
Saturday 20 February 2016, 2pm

Stephanie Howard-Smith, PhD student at Queen Mary University of London, will explore the association between black servants and lapdogs in 18th-century Europe.

Lapdogs and black manservants were considered to be essential fashion accessories for wealthy women in Georgian Britain and abroad and the two feature together countless times in porcelain figurines, frescos, portraits and satirical prints. Yet many writers and social commentators were disturbed by the poor treatment of humans compared to these spoilt and pampered pets – including the slaves whose labour on Caribbean plantations often funded the lavish lifestyle of many lapdogs.

FREE after usual admission fee
No booking required
Slave and Master: Breaking the Chains

A talk by Ian Foster
Wednesday 2 March, 7pm (doors open 6.15pm)

By the time Francis Barber arrived in London from Jamaica in 1752, Jamaica had been at the centre of British involvement in slavery for almost a century, and the practice there had been quite different to that in the British colonies on the North American mainland.

Ian Foster will talk about the experience of Jamaican visitors to London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and reveal how these visitors stimulated discussions about the morals of the transatlantic slave trade.

Income derived from slave labour provided the means to expand Britain’s global influence in commerce, scientific research and the arts but at what cost to others? Earlier visitors from Jamaica and elsewhere had also found themselves caught in the web of money and power that dominated London life during the early 18th century.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)
Booking required

Further details are available on the museum website.