9th May 2013: The Slave's Lament; Robert Burns, Scotland & Empire by Kevin Williamson

Robert Burns

Name of speaker and subject:

Kevin Williamson Robert Burns, Scotland and Slavery

Title of talk:

The Slave’s Lament:  Robert Burns, Scotland & Empire

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • Bought and Sold For British Gold A Bard Goes West?
  • Scotland Profits From Slavery
  • Scots & Abolition A Visible Legacy

Suggested you-tube links, websites and / or texts where further information may be found:


A few words about you and your passion:

I’m a writer inspired by the life and work of Robert Burns above all other writers, he’s our radical subversive bard whose work has helped shaped Scotland’s identity, language and culture.  Yet the legacy of slavery, and Burns’ near involvement in the Jamaican slave plantations, still cast a long and controversial shadow.  This presentation examines myth, reality and legacy.

A few lines about the history of your subject:

The British Empire was built on slavery.  Many Scots business men made their fortunes from slavery. Until recently few Scots knew the extent of our nation’s involvment in with the business of slavery. Yet the legacy of slavery is all around us.