British Library adds Poet Laureate Ted Hughes to a dossier linking him to ...

The celebrated poet Ted Hughes has been added to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism by the British Library.

The former Poet Laureate, who came from humble origins in Yorkshire, was found to be a descendant of Nicholas Ferrar who was involved in the slave trade some 300 years before Hughes was born.

Ferrar, born in 1592, and his family, were 'deeply involved' with the London Virginia Company, which sought to establish colonies in North America.

The celebrated poet Ted Hughes has been added to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism by the British Library

The celebrated poet Ted Hughes has been added to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism by the British Library

The research is being conducted to find evidence of 'connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism'

The research is being conducted to find evidence of 'connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism'

The research is being conducted to find evidence of 'connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism', The Telegraph reported. 

Hughes was born in 1930 in the village of Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire where his father worked as a joiner before running a newsagent's and a tobacconist's.

He attended Cambridge University on a scholarship where he met his future wife Sylvia Plath.

Along with Hughes, who died in 1998, the British Library has identified Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde and George Orwell as benefits of slavery through distant relatives.

Lord Byron, who died in 1824, has been identified as a beneficiary of slavery because of his great-grandfather's and uncle's involvement in the trade

Lord Byron, who died in 1824, has been identified as a beneficiary of slavery because of his great-grandfather's and uncle's involvement in the trade

Oscar Wilde was included because of his uncle's interest in the slave trade, even though the research noted there was no evidence the acclaimed Irish writer inherited any of the money

Oscar Wilde was included because of his uncle's interest in the slave trade, even though the research noted there was no evidence the acclaimed Irish writer inherited any of the money

It is part of the institution's plans to become 'actively anti-racist' by providing context to the remembrance of historical figures.

It comes in the wake of this year's Black Lives Matter movement which led to a reassessment of a number of people and institutions from our past.

But the tenuous link between Hughes and Ferrar, who he is related to through his mother's side, has prompted ire among experts of the great writer.

His biographer Sir Jonathan Bate said: 'It's ridiculous to tar Hughes with a slave trade connection. And it's not a helpful way to think about writers.

'Why on earth would you judge the quality of an artist's work on the basis of distant ancestors?'

He added that Ferrar was better known as a priest and a scholar who founded the religious community Little Gidding.

George Orwell, who was born Eric Blair in India, had a great-grandfather who was a wealthy slave owner in Jamaica

George Orwell, who was born Eric Blair in India, had a great-grandfather who was a wealthy slave owner in Jamaica

Romantic poet Lord Byron was added to this list because his great-grandfather was a merchant who owned an estate in Grenada.

His uncle through marriage also owned a plantation in St Kitts.

Oscar Wilde was included because of his uncle's interest in the slave trade, even though the research noted there was no evidence the acclaimed Irish writer inherited any of the money through the practice.

Britons erase their past: The 'racist' road names and controversial plaques torn down and renamed

The move to rename De Montfort University comes after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pushed into Bristol Harbour in June, sparking a wider debate about the historical links to institutions around the country. 

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on June 7, amid growing tensions about Britain's colonial past, sparked by global outcry following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minnesota on May 25.

Campaigners linked to the anti-racism movement have since called for 92 statues, roads or other monuments which they deem racist to be toppled - with a full list being compiled on the website www.toppletheracists.org.

A number of schools and buildings named after Colston subsequently launched consultations to be renamed.  

Paint was thrown at a statue of Admiral Lord Nelson at Deptford Town Hall in South East London, while the gravestone of music hall singer GH Elliott who sang in blackface was covered up in Rottingdean, East Sussex. 

Elsewhere, National Trust bosses said they will review a statue of a kneeling African figure clad in leaves carrying the sundial above his head which stands in front of Dunham Massey Hall in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.

And in South Wales, a plaque honouring the memory of 17th century slave trader Captain Thomas Phillips in Brecon was torn down.

Activists forced the removal of 18th Century slave dealer Robert Milligan from outside the Museum of London in West India Quay, Docklands in June. 

More than 130 councils have announced plans to review monuments in their authorities for 'appropriateness', and London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he would conduct his own review into statues and street names in the capital.

Mayor Anderson also announced that Liverpool Council will proceed with plans to fix signs describing Liverpool's role in slavery to roads named after slave owners. Roads that could be included are Rodney Street, Parr Street and Earle Street in the city centre.

In September, Governors at Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School said its name was 'incompatible' with the school's values. It will now become The Aldgate School. 

And in September hundreds of people signed a petition calling for James Gillespie's High School in Edinburgh to be renamed.  Born in 1726, James Gillespie was a wealthy tobacco merchant in 18th-century Edinburgh and was one of the richest men in the Capital. 

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Meanwhile George Orwell, who was born Eric Blair in India, had a great-grandfather who was a wealthy slave owner in Jamaica.

But the Orwell Society said the money had long since disappeared before Orwell was even born. 

It was recently reported how the British Library was also 'reviewing' its Sir Hans Sloane manuscripts after activists targeted one of scores of London landmarks - including the famous Sloane Square - which are named after the pioneering doctor.

The move was revealed in a note on its website, and coincides with a wider review of Sloane’s legacy that saw the British Museum - which he founded - remove his bust from a pedestal and attach the label 'slave owner'.

The 18th-century philanthropist partly funded his collection of 71,000 artefacts with money from his wife's sugar plantation in Jamaica, which used slave labour. 

A statue of his likeness on Duke of York Square, off the Kings Road, has attracted the ire of protesters.

But the multi-million pound Cadogan Estate which manages the site on behalf of his descendant, the billionaire Earl Cadogan, resisted calls for the statue to be removed.

They pointed to his astonishing legacy, which included pioneering the smallpox vaccine and the use of quinine to treat malaria. He is also credited with inventing hot chocolate.

The questioning of his legacy could also see campaigns to rename the scores of streets that memorialise him - many of which are located on the Cadogan Estate.

As well as the British Museum, Sloane also founded the Natural History Museum and the Chelsea Physic Garden, and was a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital. All these sites include references to Sloane that could now come under threat.

Another target could be the famous Sloane Square and its well-heeled denizens... nicknamed Sloane Rangers, of which Princess Diana was considered to be an archetype.

Sloane's descendant, Earl Cadogan, has a seat in the House of Lords and still owns swathes of some of the most exclusive real estate in London as part of his inheritance.

Much of this land is named after the eminent physician and collector, including Sloane Street, Sloane Avenue, Sloane Terrace, and a network of three streets bearing his first name, Hans.

There is also a statue of Sloane on Duke of York Square, an exclusive shopping, dining and residential complex off the Kings Road that sits at the heart of the 300-year-old Cadogan Estate.

The British Library now holds the Sloane manuscripts, which include works by the Elizabethan astronomer John Dee, medieval illuminated manuscripts and Henry VIII's collection of medical recipes. 

The British Library said on its website: 'Some items now at the British Library, previously owned by particular named figures cited on these pages, are associated with wealth obtained from enslaved people or through colonial violence. 

'Curators in the Printed Heritage Collections team have undertaken some research to identify these, as part of ongoing work to interpret and document the provenance and history of the printed collections under our care.' 

The British Library was contacted for comment.

Tory MPs urge Boris to go to war on BBC and National Trust wokery: PM told to speak out for Britain's patriotic silent majority against 'elitist bourgeois liberals' at institutions

By Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin for the Mail on Sunday

Tory MPs are to demand that Boris Johnson launch a fightback against the politically correct ‘woke’ agenda of institutions including the BBC and the National Trust, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The Prime Minister will be urged to speak out for Britain’s ‘patriotic’ silent majority and take a stand against bids by ‘elitist bourgeois liberals’ to rewrite or denigrate the nation’s history.

More than 25 Tory MPs will write to Mr Johnson this week, warning him that ‘Britain’s heritage is under attack – ironically from those missioned to guard it’.

The appeal, led by senior backbencher and ex-Minister Sir John Hayes, will call for drastic action including decriminalising the BBC licence fee and potentially stripping the National Trust of its charitable status. In a stern warning last night, Sir John said: ‘Those responsible for our heritage must stand with us or stand aside.’

The group of Tory MPs and peers also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’

The group of Tory MPs and peers also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’

Oxford college drops benefactor's name from its famous library

Oxford's most elite college has dropped the name of a slave-owning benefactor from its famous library - but decided to keep his statue standing.

All Souls said that it will cease to refer to the ‘Codrington Library’, named after Christopher Codrington, who endowed the college with £10,000 to build a collection when he died in 1710.

He is just one of many historical benefactors British philanthropists who have had their legacies - and involvement in slavery - reassessed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and renewed interest in colonialism.

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In Bristol the statue of Edward Colston, a

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