16 July 2015

Festival of Politics to Highlight Broch Man's Role in Ending Slave Trade

The annual ‘Festival of Politics’ to be held in Holyrood next month will feature a famous son of Fraserburgh, James Ramsay, and his role in the abolition of slavery.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the discussion at the event, which will feature a lecture from noted historian Professor Tom Devine on Scotland’s role in the slave trade.

Portrait of James Ramsay
Carl Frederik von Breda, 1789
(via wikipedia)
James Ramsay was born in Fraserburgh in 1733 and after studying at King’s College and training as a surgeon in London, joined the British Navy where he encountered at first hand the appalling conditions of slaves in the West Indies plantations, which had a profound effect on him.

Commenting, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“While Scotland likes to promote its role in the abolition of slavery, the uncomfortable truth that Scots were also involved in the earlier exploitation of the practice has been somewhat erased from our history books. What was the real role of Scots in the slave trade and what was the legacy?

“The Festival of Politics will look at this issue and, in so doing, will highlight the work of Fraserburgh’s famous son James Ramsay as one of the early proponents of the abolition of the slave trade.”

The event takes place on Friday 14 August and more details can be found at

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