By Saul Cooke-Black

A RETIRED teacher has revealed how slave owners from Stroud profited from the abolition of slavery.

Stuart Butler, a retired teacher who works part-time at Archway School, has used a database from University College London to create a slavery trail of all the slave owners across Gloucestershire.

From Stroud district he has found people who owned nearly 500 slaves, in turn receiving nearly £9,000 in compensation when slavery was abolished in 1833.

Mr Butler, aged 64, said: "The abolition of slavery brought such a massive injection of cash to the economy that there was hardly a market town not affected.

"Around £20 million was paid in compensation across the country, which in today's money is about £17 billion.

"The pay-outs to slave owners across the county would certainly have had an impact on the local economy."

Samuel Baker, from Lypiatt Park, Bisley, received nearly £8,000 in compensation for his 410 slaves in Jamaica, cash which was directly invested in railway lines across the county.

Among the other big slave owners was John Clarke, from Frocester, who owned 482 slaves and received nearly £9,000.

"I am not naive about British history," said Mr Butler.

"But the amount of money that was paid out did surprise me.

"Seventeen billion pounds would exceed the cuts in government spending today to put it into a modern parallel.

"It was a startling display of inequality."

Mr Butler has written a guide with more information about the role of the Five Valleys in the abolition of slavery, which was put together with the help of historian Madge Dresser from the University of the West of England.

It can be viewed on

A slavery trail tour will be led by Mr Butler on September 13, meeting by the M shed near Bristol docks at 11am.