Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission: Records
Registers of the Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves, 1813 to 1834, most of which are indexed under the names of the owners or plantations; and records of the Slave Compensation Commission, comprising the proceedings of the assistant commissioners who were sent to the several colonies, valuers' returns, registers of claims with indexes, original claims and certificates, counter-claims, adjudications in contested cases, certificates for compensation and lists of awards, commissioners' hearing notes and minutes, accounts, etc.
Slave Compensation Commission, 1833-1842
Following the act of 1811 abolishing the slave trade many colonies instituted registers of negroes lawfully held in slavery. A further act of 1819 established an Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves in London, and copies of these colonial registers were ordered to be transmitted to it. It charged search and certification fees on a scale determined by the Treasury, and the fees were used for the payment of office salaries and pensions. Any deficiency was supplied from the contingencies fund of the Colonial Office.
In 1834 slavery was abolished in British colonies and the act of 1833 which effected this provided a sum of £20 million to compensate slave proprietors. Its distribution was entrusted to a Slave Compensation Commission which began to meet in October 1833 and included representatives of the Colonial Office and the slave registry. It worked on data collected by assistant colonial boards of compensation nominated by the governor in each colony, and compensation was allowed on slaves appearing on the books of the slave registry on 1 July 1835.
Actual payment of the claims was made by the National Debt Office. The commission was terminated at the end of 1842, but one of the commissioners was appointed as an arbitrator to adjudicate upon outstanding claims.
At the end of 1845 all money unappropriated reverted to the public purse. The registry continued in existence until 1848.
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