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How Britain Abolished Slavery
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
The Church’s campaigns against slavery were boosted by competition for labour after the Black Death.

SLAVERY was part of everyday life in Britain both under the Romans and among the Celts, and following the Romans’ withdrawal in 410 the Anglo-Saxon newcomers continued to own and trade in slaves.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Can. Could.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Term. Prompt. Treat.

Use together in one sentence: Drive a hard bargain. One in ten. Few.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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A Selfish Liberty
Music: John Field
American anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass contrasts two kinds of ‘nationalist’.

IT was not long after my seeing Mr O’Connell that his health broke down, and his career ended in death. I felt that a great champion of freedom had fallen, and that the cause of the American slave, not less than the cause of his country, had met with a great loss.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: See. Notice. Watch.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Cause. Reach. Wish.

Use together in one sentence: Bondage. Kind. Man.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Douglass in Britain
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Frederick Douglass, the American runaway slave turned Abolitionist, spent some of his happiest days in Britain.

THE publication of his memoirs caused a storm that in 1845 led Frederick Douglass (as he put it) ‘to seek a refuge in monarchical England, from the dangers of Republican slavery’. The chief concern was that his old master, Captain Auld, might reclaim his ‘property’, for Frederick was technically a runaway slave still.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Recall. Recollect.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Table. Show. Return.

Use together in one sentence: Technically. Danger. Republican.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Douglass’s Debt
Music: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
British statesmen were among those who inspired the career of one of America’s greatest men, Frederick Douglass.

I MET there one of Sheridan’s mighty speeches, on the subject of Catholic Emancipation, Lord Chatham’s speech on the American War, and speeches by the great William Pitt, and by Fox.

These were all choice documents to me, and I read them over and over again, with an interest ever increasing, because it was ever gaining in intelligence; for the more I read them the better I understood them.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Though. Through.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Fine. Claim. Hold.

Use together in one sentence: Subject. Often. Heart.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Obstinacy of Fowell Buxton
Music: John Field
Fatherless teenage tearaway Fowell Buxton was not a promising boy, but the Gurney family changed all that.

AT fifteen, Fowell Buxton was illiterate, idle and self-willed. Yet his mother always insisted, ‘You will see it will turn out well in the end’, and after he was befriended by the family of banker John Gurney, Fowell justified her faith.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: See. Notice. Watch.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Leave. Force. See.

Use together in one sentence: Death. Elect. Leave.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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How Liberating the Slaves also Clothed the Poor
Music: Sir George Macfarren
The closure of slave plantations following the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 had a curious side-effect.

THE African slaves in the West Indies were usually dressed in a shirt and trousers of striped mattress sacking. As soon as they were emancipated, they wished to dress like their late masters, and Jewish entrepreneurs in London heard of it from their colleagues in the Caribbean. So they hastily washed, mended and exported second-hand clothes to the States, allowing ex-slaves to rival their former owner’s wardrobe for an eighth of the price.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Waist. Waste.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Waste. Wish. Price.

Use together in one sentence: Hear. Invention. Shoddy.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.