The Scott Trust, the founding owners of the worldwide newspaper title, The Guardian has issued an apology for the role the newspaper’s founders in transatlantic slavery and announced a decade-long programme of restorative justice.
It follows independent academic research commissioned in 2020 to investigate whether there was any historical connection between chattel slavery and John Edward Taylor, the journalist and cotton merchant who founded the newspaper in 1821, and the other Manchester businessmen who funded its creation.
The Scott Trust said it expected to invest more than £10m, with millionsdedicated specifically to descendant communities linked to the Guardian’s 19th-century founders.
The Scott Trust Legacies of Enslavement report, published on Tuesday, revealed that Taylor, and at least nine of his 11 backers, had links to slavery, principally through the textile industry. Taylor had multiple links through partnerships in the cotton manufacturing firm Oakden & Taylor, and the cotton merchant company Shuttleworth, Taylor & Co, which imported vast amounts of raw cotton produced by enslaved people in the Americas.