Transforming capital: slavery, family, commerce and the making of the Hibbert family

Donington, Katie (2014). Transforming capital: slavery, family, commerce and the making of the Hibbert family. In: Donington, Katie; Draper, Nicholas; Hall, Catherine; Lang, Rachel and McClelland, Keith eds. Legacies of British Slave-Ownership: Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 203–249.

URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/legacies-of-b...

Abstract

This chapter presents a case study that demonstrates the potential for the deployment of both our empirical data and integrative conceptual frameworks to explore the original accumulation and subsequent continuity of wealth and status from slavery. The Hibbert family story charts the trans-generational transformation of capital from property in commodities, to property in people, and finally investment in land and cultural capital. From mercantile beginnings in cotton, slaves, sugar and credit, through to colonial plantation and finally metropolitan land and country house ownership, the narrative charts the transformation of capital from the instability of merchant venture into investment in traditional forms of metropolitan property, thus securing for the Hibberts a lasting position – that is still maintained today – within Britain’s aristocratic elite through marriage into the Holland family.

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