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A Virtual Tour of the Black and Asian Presence, 1500 - 1850

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In the 18th century, London was the largest city in Europe. It was the seat of government and the location of many of the royal palaces. The river Thames had for centuries been Britain’s main trading link with Europe and the rest of the globe.

By the 17th century, huge business interests and powerful companies had set up their offices in London.

Companies such as the Royal African Company and the South Sea Company, which traded in slaves with royal patronage, based their operations in London. The capital, with its strong financial and banking links, as well as its ports, was the natural place to conduct this business.

The East India Company, which would later have such a profound impact on the history of India and its peoples, had also based its operations in London.

By the 18th century, there was also a significant Black and Asian presence in the capital. Historians estimate that between 15,000 and 20,000 Black and Asian people were living in London.

Map of London

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Map of London Map of Westminster Map of Greenwich Map of the City Map of Holborn Map of Marylebone

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