The Morant Bay Rebellion

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the rebellion that broke out in Jamaica on 11th October 1865 when Paul Bogle (1822-65) led a protest march from Stony Gut to the courthouse in nearby Morant Bay. There were many grounds for grievance that day and soon anger turned to bloodshed. Although the British had abolished slavery 30 years before, the plantation owners were still dominant and the conditions for the majority of people on Jamaica were poor. The British governor suppressed this rebellion brutally and soon people in Jamaica lost what right they had to rule themselves. Some in Britain, like Charles Dickens, supported the governor’s actions while others, like Charles Darwin, wanted him tried for murder.

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  • Matthew J Smith No other episodes
    Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at University College London
  • Diana Paton No other episodes
    The William Robertson Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh
  • Lawrence Goldman 10 episodes
    Emeritus Fellow in History at St Peter's College, University of Oxford

Reading list

  • The History of Jamaica
    Clinton V. Black (Collins Educational, 1983) Google Books →
  • The Economy of Intellectual Prestige: Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and the Case of Governor Eyre
    Catherine Hall (Cultural Critique, 1989)
  • Free Jamaica: An Economic History, 1838-1865
    Douglas Hall (Yale University Press, 1959)
  • The 'Killing Time': The Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica
    Gad Heuman (University of Tennessee Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938
    Thomas Holt (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Colour for Colour, Skin for Skin: Marching with the Ancestral Spirits Into War Oh at Morant Bay
    Clinton A. Hutton (Ian Randle, 2015) Google Books →
  • Jamaica's Morant Bay Rebellion: Brutality and Outrage in the British Empire
    Richard Huzzey (History Extra, October 2021)
  • A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law
    R. W. Kostal (Oxford University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • No Bond but the Law: Punishment, Race, and Gender in Jamaican State Formation, 1780-1870
    Diana Paton (Duke University Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • The Governor Eyre Controversy
    Bernard Semmel (MacGibbon & Kee, 1962) Google Books →
  • On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70
    Sarah Winter (BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History, ed. Dino Franco Felluga, May 2012)

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Programme ID: m001dnlr

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Auto-category: 972.92 (Jamaica - History - 19th century)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, on the 11th of October, 1865, Paul Bogle led a march from Stoney Gut, Jamaica, to the courthouse in nearby Morant Bay.