Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has written to All Souls College at Oxford University, seeking reparations for what now amounts to tens of millions of pounds as a result of the “hard labour” of enslaved people.
Browne stated in a letter that a bequest to All Souls College in 1710 from Christopher Codrington III, which stocked and built the College’s celebrated library, was generated principally from the labour of slaves on lands in Antigua and Barbuda.
Browne pointed out that the Codringtons added considerably to their family’s wealth from the proceeds of plantations and slavery on Antigua, principally, a ‘grant’ of 500 acres of land in 1674 which he named Betty’s Hope and a further 400 acres, and amassed wealth until 1944, making the family the equivalent of billionaires.
Sir John thanked Browne for his letter and said that All Souls College “is investigating academic initiatives in relation to the Codrington legacy”. He said that his hope is that “conclusions will be reached in the coming university term” promising to write again “by mid-June, if not sooner”.
Meanwhile, Browne has caused outrage by making a sexist remark on Facebook by saying that St Vincent, evacuating people from the island because of its volcanic activity, should send “pretty Vincie women” to Antigua.