I regularly give talks to societies and other organisations on the following topics. If you are interested in having one of these talks please contact me here.

Peter Stone


The History of the Port of London

The River Thames has been integral to the prosperity of London since Roman times. Explorers sailed away on voyages of discovery to distant lands. Colonies were established and a great empire grew. Funding their ships and cargoes helped make the City of London into the world’s leading financial centre. In the 19th century a vast network of docks was created for ever-larger ships, behind high, prison-like walls that kept them secret from all those who did not toil within. In the 19th century London was the world’s greatest port city. Yet by the end of the 20th century the docks had been transformed into Docklands, a new financial centre.

London and its links with slavery

In the 17th century London was England’s main slave-trading port. Much of the wealth of the City of London from then until the end of the slave trade in the 19th century came from slavery in the West Indies and America, either directly or indirectly as the centre of commerce and finance. It is estimated that more than 740,000 slaves were transported across the Atlantic from Africa by ships originating in London during that time. Those involved included merchants, London’s Members of Parliament, Lord Mayors, and directors of the Bank of England. This talk explains some of the links between London and the trans-Atlantic slave economy.