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West India Docks, Isle of Dogs, London

Posted in Boats, Historical articles, History, London, Rivers, Ships, Trade on Thursday, 30 May 2013

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West India Docks, picture, image, illustration

West India Docks, London

The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a great expansion in the building programme in London’s dockland. By the end of the eighteenth century there had been an unprecedented increase in trade from the West Indies and the sugar plantations in particular. Three docks were designed, and the first of them was opened in 1802. Ships unloaded in the North Dock and were then quickly able to sail down the Thames round the Isle of Dogs to the southern dock, where they were loaded with export goods for the next voyage. They were to be known as the West India Docks, and the valuable goods which passed through them were largely produced by African slaves and their descendants, who continued to labour and suffer until the Slave Trade itself was ended by Parliament after William Wilberforce’s tireless campaign. Our picture was drawn by Augustus Pugin, father of the great Victorian architect and pioneer of the Gothic Revival.

Many more pictures of the London Docks can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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