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Historic Site, Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal, Bristol


Photograph of Historic Site, Theatre Royal. This is England’s oldest working theatre, opened in 1766. The original 50 financial investors, each gave £50 towards the building. Many of them were members of the Society of Merchant Venturers , a Bristol organisation for merchants which still exists today. Other investors in the theatre included the Farrs, a family of ropemakers and slave traders (later the owners of Blaise Castle Estate), Henry Bright and Michael Miller, who all lived in Queen Square and were participants in the African trade. Another financial investor, George Daubeny (Bristol’s mayor in 1786), was a sugar refiner and glass manufacturer, who lobbied for an end to the slave trade, then changed his mind and joined the opposing committee in 1789.

With thanks to the authors of the Slave Trade Trail around Central Bristol, Madge Dresser, Caletta Jordan, Doreen Taylor.

Creator: David Emeney

Date: 18th century

Copyright: Copyright BCC Museum

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