Daily Mail

Slavery apology by BBC reporter... and 100 relatives

- By Paul Revoir Media Editor

A BBC journalist has published a letter from 100 members of her family to apologise for their ancestral connection­s to slavery.

Laura Trevelyan, 54, signed the formal letter to ‘the people of Grenada’, saying sorry for ‘the actions of our ancestors in holding your ancestors in slavery’.

In reference to a payment from the New York-based TV reporter, the letter added: ‘After consulting with Grenada National Reparation­s Commission, Laura Trevelyan is making a donation of £ 100,000 to establish an education fund at the University of the West Indies Grenada.’

The letter was presented by seven family members, whose forebears are said to have held more than 1,000 slaves and six sugar plantation­s in the 19th century.

The text also said: ‘Slavery was and is a crime against humanity. Its damaging effects continue to the present day. We repudiate our ancestors’ involvemen­t in it.

We apologise to the surviving descendant­s of the enslaved on those estates for the continuing impact on their daily lives, their health and wellbeing.’

The letter also urged the UK to take part in ‘ meaningful negotiatio­ns’ with government­s in the Caribbean, so as to make ‘appropriat­e reparation­s’.

Ms Trevelyan tweeted a photograph of the letter signed by 104 ‘ descendant­s of Sir John Trevelyan of Nettlecomb­e and Wallington’. Her donation will be taken from a pending BBC pension payout, according to The Guardian. In 1834 her ancestors are believed to have received today’s equivalent of £3million in compensati­on for the abolition of slavery.

Other members of the family are ‘ donating money toward

‘Instrument­s of torture’

bursaries’ at the university as well as supporting an educationa­l programme.

Ms Trevelyan has spoken of being badly affected by a visit to Grenada last year.

She told the BBC: ‘It was really horrific. I saw for myself the plantation­s where slaves were punished – I saw the instrument­s of torture that were used to restrain them.

‘I felt ashamed, and I also felt that it was my duty. You can’t repair the past – but you can acknowledg­e the pain.’

The Trevelyans are an ancient Cornish family.

 ?? ?? Letter: Laura Trevelyan
Letter: Laura Trevelyan

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