Webinar: THE BLACK MUST GO FREE" How a legal ruling on ‘Windrush Day’ in 1772, is as relevant as ever on Windrush Day 2021 - Matrix Chambers
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Webinar: THE BLACK MUST GO FREE” How a legal ruling on ‘Windrush Day’ in 1772, is as relevant as ever on Windrush Day 2021

Published:

Windrush ship, HMT Empire Windrush, originally MV Monte Rosa, passenger liner and cruise ship. Image shot 1800. Exact date unknown.

On 22 June 2021 – ‘Windrush Day’ – Matrix hosted an online commemorative seminar about the historic, but rarely discussed case of Somerset v Stewart.

Matthew Ryder QC of Matrix, and Alexandra Wilson of 5 St Andrews Hill, discussed the detail and importance of the case; what it means to them as British barristers of Caribbean heritage, why it is often overlooked by legal historians; and its importance in a modern context legally, politically and culturally.

Further reading

On the Somerset Case:

  1. Report of Somerset v Stewart (22 June 1772) http://www.commonlii.org/int/cases/EngR/1772/57.pdf
  2. ‘Black and British’ by David Olusoga; Picador Books (2016)
  3. ‘Somerset: Lord Mansfield and the Legitimacy of Slavery in the Anglo-American World’ – William Wiecek, University of Chicago (1974) https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3831&context=uclrev
  4. ‘Rough Crossings’ by Simon Sharma; Vintage Books (2009)
  5. ‘Though the Heavens May Fall’ by Steven M. Wise; De Capo Press (2006)

More Generally (and mentioned in the talk):

  1. ‘Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733 – 1833’ by Daniel Livesay; UNC Press (2018)
  2. ‘In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System’ by Alexandra Wilson; Endeavour Books (2020)
  3. ‘The Windrush Betrayal’ by Amelia Gentleman; Guardian Faber Publishing 2019