Edward Colston

David Kipre

Edward Colston (2 November 1636 – 11 October 1721) was an English merchant, slave trader, philanthropist, and Tory Member of Parliament. Colston followed his father in the family business becoming a sea merchant, initially trading in wine, fruits and textiles, mainly in Spain, Portugal and other European ports. By 1680, he became involved in the slave trade as a senior executive of the Royal African Company, which held a monopoly on the English trade in African slaves. He was deputy governor of the company in 1689–90.

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