Founded by Siddhartha Gauthama, the Buddha (the 'Enlightened One'), Buddhism
developed out of Hinduism and is practised in Japan, China, and South
East Asia. It is based on the search for enlightenment.
The islands of the Caribbean, the West Indies.
The ingredients of the traditional festive pudding may include spices
from India and Sri Lanka, sugar and rum from the West Indies, and dried
fruits from Australia and South Africa.
Cook, Captain James
Born in Yorkshire in 1728, Cook commanded three voyages of discovery and
sailed around the world twice. He claimed the eastern coast of New Holland
(Australia) for Great Britain.
A word commonly used to refer to cheap or menial labour, often from the
Indian subcontinent or China. Its origin is uncertain. It may come from
'kuli', the Tamil word for a casual worker. Or from 'Koullis' or 'Kulis',
used in Gujarat to refer to robbers or to a so-called aboriginal tribe.
The term is now considered pejorative.
People who are dispersed around the world due to enforced or voluntary
migration. The term originally applied to the scattering of the Jewish
people in the 8th century BC. Today, it is also often used to refer to
all Black people living outside Africa.
In India, a royal court or ceremonial assembly. Also, the hall in a palace
where public audiences and ceremonial assemblies were held.
Timber from which dyes were extracted for printing calico and other cloths.
A general geographical description that frequently encompassed South Asia,
the lands of Malaysia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean. In the context
of this exhibition, it is often used in this sense. In Shakespeare's The
Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1598-1601), Falstaff says of Mistress
Page and Mistress Ford 'They shall be exchequers to me; they shall
be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both.' Today,
the term is commonly used to refer to the Malay archipelago. The Dutch
colony known as the Netherlands East Indies became Indonesia in the 20th
The Latin name for York, the capital of Roman Britain.
The practice of enclosing common land to turn it into private landholdings.
This practice increased substantially during the last two decades of the
18th century, often to the disadvantage of the poor.
An 18th-century intellectual movement arguing that human reason could
be used to combat ignorance, superstition and tyranny and to build a better
world. The Enlightenment had profound consequences for the intellectual
and political development of western Europe - and beyond.
Equiano was born in Africa around 1745. As a boy of 11 he was kidnapped
and transported to the West Indies to work as a slave. He was bright,
found work on English ships, and learned to read and write. In England
he converted to Christianity and was baptised 'Gustavus Vassa'. He married
an English woman from Cambridge and had a family. In 1789 he published
his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah
Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.
A system of landholding, common throughout Europe in medieval times, whereby
freehold land was held or occupied in return for personal service to a
lord or for goods paid in kind.
Freedom of the city
An honour, conferring certain privileges, awarded by a city or town to
persons of distinction or for services rendered.
A writ ordering that a detained person be brought before a court or judge,
at a specified time and place, in order to determine whether such detention
is lawful. The right of any citizen to obtain the issue of such a writ is
regarded as one of the most fundamental civil liberties. In England, writs
beginning with the instruction 'Habeas corpus' (Latin for 'Have the body…',
meaning 'You are to produce the person detained') were first issued in the
13th century. The law relating to them was formalised by the Habeas Corpus
Act of 1679.
Also referred to as Sanatana Dharma, the eternal faith, Hinduism is not
strictly a religion. It is based on the practice of Dharma, the code of
life. A detailed explanation of Hindu texts is found in the Vedic scriptures.
'India' comes from the word 'Hindu'.
An imperial unit of measurement equal to approximately 250 litres or 63
gallons. Also the name given to a cask of that size.
The name given to the Khoe Khoe people by the Dutch
colonists (now considered derogatory).
An old ship used as a prison. Large, redundant old battle ships without
their masts were used as floating prisons for captives who were sentenced
to be transported to British overseas penal colonies. Hulks were moored
along the River Thames at Chatham, Deptford, Woolwich and Sheerness, usually
near dockyards or arsenals so that prisoners could be used there as labourers.
The Indian subcontinent includes what are now Bangladesh and Pakistan.
These countries were created in 1947 but had previously long been part
of what was called 'India', including the British colony of India.
A revolt by Indian troops in the British Army in India. Some historians
suggest this was the early stages of the nationalist movement leading
to Indian independence.
Joint stock company
A company in which members invest capital to be used jointly. The members
receive a share of the profits according to the size of their investment.
The indigenous people who lived in the Cape Colony in South Africa.
Indian sailors or soldiers. Often used when referring to sailors who worked
on East India Company ships and other merchant vessels.
In South Asia, a person of high rank, especially a prince.
A type of pepper (Amomum melegueta), also called 'grains of paradise',
'Guinea grains' or 'alligator pepper'. In the 18th century, the part of
West Africa where Malaguetta pepper was grown was commonly known as the
Pepper Coast or Malaguetta Coast. The pepper produced in India is botanically
different, being derived from Piper nigrum and related species.
Runaway slaves who lived in the mountains of Jamaica; these communities
date back to the period of Spanish occupation. The Maroons eventually
signed a treaty with the British whereby they undertook not to encourage
other slaves to run away from plantations. They also cooperated in capturing
and returning escaped slaves.
'Masters' were required to give up their Black workers in Elizabeth I's
proclamations. Since both slaves and apprentices had masters, it is not
clear whether the Black people referred to were enslaved or free.
Infectious or poisonous exhalations once thought to float about and pollute
Originally, this term was applied to Muslims who conquered parts of Spain
in the 8th century and settled there until they were driven out in the
15th century; it also denotes people from Morocco or Mauritania in North
Africa. In Britain it was often used to refer to any Black person (particularly
Muslims). The word 'Moor' appears in Shakespearean literature. It was
spelt in a variety of ways (such as 'more', 'moir', 'moorish' 'moris'
'moryen') and often combined with 'black' or 'blak', as in 'black moor',
'blackamoor' and 'black more'. 'Blackamoor' was also used as a synonym
for 'negroe' in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
The Islamic Mughal emperors ruled much of India between the 15th century
and the British takeover.
A term used during the slave trade era and later to describe people of
mixed race. It is now considered to be pejorative.
A derivation of 'nawab' used to describe high-ranking, wealthy Englishmen
who returned from India with a large fortune acquired there.
An Indian ruler, a nobleman of India.
A term (now considered pejorative) used to describe Black people. Africans
are called 'negroes' in many documents from the period of
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus, Roman historian and scientific encyclopedist (AD
23-79). In his Historia Naturalis, he surveyed all the known
sciences of his day, ranging from astronomy and geography to natural history
The Elizabethan poor law of 1601 was a very significant piece of legislation.
It attempted both to care for and to control the poor. It was preceded
by an earlier law of 1597, and by a number of earlier (Tudor) anti-vagrancy
acts. It remained in force until 1834.
For administrative purposes, colonial India was divided into three 'presidencies'
(Bombay, Madras and Bengal), which developed from the East India Company's
'factories' (trading posts) at Surat, Madras and Calcutta.
The British government in India during the period of direct British parliamentary
A drummer. Derived from the same root as 'tabor' (which came to mean
a small, portable drum).
A self-educated freed slave who organised the uprising in Saint Domingue
(now Haiti) against the French, Spanish and then the British in 1793 to
create the first independent Black nation.
United East India Company
The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch company responsible
for trade and colonisation in India, South Africa and the Far East.
Able-bodied people who were unemployed (generally without a master). Vagrancy
Acts were passed to control the unemployed. Vagrants could face criminal
charges, and be pressed into military service or transported to the colonies.
See Equiano, Olaudah.
The spiritual teachings of the Hindu faith.