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Escaped slave

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Escaped slave

An advertisement from the newspaper the Glasgow Journal of 30 December 1745, giving information about an escaped "negroe boy". The boy was last seen heading for Stirling which, according to the report above, had just fallen to the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

This advertisement offered a reward for the return of the boy to his master, or for information which might lead to his capture. The boy was only 15 years old and probably did not get far. He was alone in the middle of winter in a country he did not know, speaking very little of the language. There were few if any other knock-kneed black people living in Scotland in the 1740s.

The advertisement does not use the word slave, but some Glasgow merchants brought slaves back to Scotland from the Americas to act as servants. The legal position of such servants was unclear until the 1770s when the Court of Session ruled that black servants brought to Scotland did not owe "perpetual service" to their masters - a ruling which effectively established the illegality of slavery in Scotland.

Reference: 1.77.8

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

advertisements, children, escaped slaves, Glasgow Journal, Jacobite Risings, Jacobites, merchants, newspapers, rewards, servants, slavery, slaves, teenagers

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