History of the United Kingdom/Timelines
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(Sources in addition to those shown: Bernard Grun The Timetables of History, Simon & Schuster, 1991; Norman Davies: The Isles, A History, Appendix 42, Macmillan 1999; Key Dates of Parliament, House of Commons, 2008.[]; .Chris Scarre (ed) The Human Past, Thames and Hudson, 2005. James Ingham's translation of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle )
For population estimates see the addendum subpage
For further detail see the Channel 4 timeline
All entries before 1707 refer to England unless clearly not.
- Star Carr [c 8770 BC] - a Mesolithic campsite in Yorkshire, inhabited by hunter-gatherer toolmakers.
- Cheddar Man  [c 7000 BC] - a stone-age dweller in a Somerset cave who had DNA in common with a 20th century Somerset man.
- Settlers first arrive in Ireland, either by crossing from Great Britain over the ice sheets to the north, or by boat across the North Channel, between [c 7500 to 6000 BC]
- The Sleeve (La Manche) - The English Channel first separates Britain from the European mainland [c 6000 to 4000 BC].
- By the Neolithic Age [4000 to 2500BC] most Britons had stopped living as hunter-gatherers and become farmers
- The Beaker people  [c 2500 to 1600] - pottery-making settlers from the European mainland in what is now the London area.
- Megalith builders 
- Newgrange [c 3200 to 2000 BC] - an ancient temple, the central cavity of which is illuminated at the time of the winter solstice by sunlight penetrating the length of a narrow entrance passage.
- Stonehenge.[c 2600 to 1500 BC] - a Neolithic/Bronze Age circle of standing stones, aligned on the midsummer and midwinter solstices.
- Arrival of Celtic-speaking peoples and culture starts to influence the British Isles [c 2000 to 600 BC].
600 BC to 43 AD
- Brythons reach Britain and Ireland [c 600 BC to 300 AD]; Gaels reach Ireland later and over a period of around eight hundred years eventually come to dominate the island. The two branches of their language evolve from the Celtic language of central Europe
43 to 410 AD
Roman occupation 43 - 410 AD
- Invasion the Romans conquer the South of England by 47 AD, and the rest of England during the next 30 years.
- Rebellion the "client kingdom" of the Iceni, led by Queen Boadicea, attack their Roman allies in Colchester and London and are then overwhelmed and massacred[61 AD]
- Suetonius - Roman governor of Britain who defeated Boudicca's rebellion.
- Agricola[78 AD] - extends Roman control into North Wales and Scotland.
- Hadrian's wall - a fortification guarding the northern border of Roman Britain[122 AD]
- Christianity reaches Britain [200+]
- Septimus Severus' Caledonian campaign [208-211}
- Edict of Caracalla - all freeborn men receive Roman citizenship 
- Scotti from Ireland conduct raids on Britain. [c300-c800]
- Constantius' Caledonian campaign
- Edict of Milan - the tolerance of Christianity 
- Council of Nicea - the Church rejects Arianism and adopts a Creed[]
- Theodosius' campaign against Picts and Scots 
- Christianity becomes Rome's state religion - Emperor Theodosius forbids other forms of worship  (391).
- Withdrawal of the legions 
- The end of Britain's allegiance to Rome 
400 to 800
- Patrick is taken in a raid by the Scotti on Britain into slavery in Mount Slemish in Antrim. He later escapes back to Britain.
- Saint Palladius becomes first Bishop of Ireland - having been sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine .
- Saint Patrick(432-c459) returns to Ireland and helps to spread Christianity there. 
- - becomes Bishop of Ireland following the transfer of Palladius to Ireland.
- Scotti from the Irish kingdom of Dal Riada settle on Argyll in Scotland.
- Saint Ninian  founds a monastery in Scotland [400?].
Saxon Britain (the term Saxon is used in this article to refer to people from Northern Germany that are sometimes known as Angles, Saxons and Jutes)
- King Vortigern(c425-c459) of Kent invites a force of Saxon mercenaries under Hengist(?)  to help him defeat his enemies. 
- Ambrosius Aurelanius (c460-c475) leads resistance to the Saxons
- King Arthur(?)(c475-c515) takes over leadership of resistance the Saxons.
- Bangor and Movilla become important centres of learning and Christianity, sending many scholars, monks and missionaries to Iona and throughout Britain and Europe.
- Saxons defeated at Mount Badon [500?]
- Gradual disintegration of the British state following death of Arthur followed by local rule by various warlords.
- Saint Columba lands on Iona in Western Scotland, founds a monastery there  and converts the Scotti of Dal Riada to Christianity
- The Book of Kells illuminated manuscript thought to have been the work of the monks of Iona.
- Saint David(c550-589) helps to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of Western Britain and becomes Archbishop of Wales
- Saint Augustine(597-604)  becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, having been sent to Britain by Pope Gregory with 40 other monks (597).
- Aethelferth of Northumbria and Aethelbert of Kent share effective control of England
- Development of the principles of English :The law.
- Saint Aidan travels from the monastery of Iona to Northumbria, becomes Bishop of Lindisfarne (634-51) and helps convert Northumbria to Christianity.
- Synod of Whitby (664) - representatives of the indigenous Christian church persuaded to accept Roman practice.
- The Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People(731)
- The Witenagemot, or Council of Wise Men - an early precursor of parliament consisting of nobles and leading churchmen, that served as an advisory council to a succession of kings until it was replaced in the 11th century by the Great Council.
801 to 1066
- 838: English conquest of Cornwall
- The unification of Scotland
- Kenneth MacAlpin, King of the Scots, becomes King of Picts to form the united Celtic kingdom was known as Scotia– 843 AD, and is succeeded by Domald I (860-863), Constantine I (863-877), Aed (877-878), Giric and/or Eochaid (878-889), Donald II (889-900), Constantine II (900-943), Malcolm I (943-954), Indulf (954-962), Dubh (962-966), Cullen (966-971), Kenneth II (971-995), Constantine III (995-997), Kenneth III (997-1005), Malcolm II (1005 -1034 ), Duncan I (1034-1040), Macbeth (1040-1057) (earlier dates somewhat uncertain).
- Battle of Dunsinane (1054) - Malcolm Canmore defeats of MacBeth at Dunsinane with the help of Edward the Confessor and becomes Malcolm III (1058-1093)King of Scotland.
- Viking and Danish invasions
- Vikings raid the monastery at Lindisfarne (793)
- First wave of Danish invasions of England
- Alfred the Great, (871-899) - Anglo-Saxon king of southern England (Wessex) who developed and codified its legal system, created an effective military capability and was the leader of its opposition to the Danish invasion.
- Alfred takes refuge from his enemies in the Somerset marshes (878)
- Danish armies take control of all of England except the kingdom of Wessex (865-879)
- Alfred commissions the writing of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle 
- Alfred recaptures London (885)
- Second Danish invasion (890)
- Viking settlements at Dublin, Waterford and Limerick [914-920
- Norwegians under Erik Bloodaxe occupy York (947)
- Massacre of Danes on St Brice's day (1002)
- Danish Conquest of England (1013)
- Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, (reigned 1002-14), defeated the Vikings at Battle of Clontarf, Co.Dublin, (1014) but loses his own life during the battle.
- Canute the Great, King of Denmark and England (1016-1035), and the Danish conversion to Christianity
- Edward the Confessor made King (1042)
- Harold  (1035 - 1066) becomes King of England (1066)
- Harold subdues Wales (1063)
- Battle of Hastings ends Anglo-Saxon rule of England and establishes a Norman dynasty
- William I  (1066 - 1087)
- Treaty of Abernethy (1072) - Malcolm III of Scotland swears allegiance to William the Conquerer (and later to Rufus (1091)).
- Domesday Book (1086) - a (still available) detailed record of most of the land and associated resources held by and on behalf of the king
- William II (1087 - 1100)
- First Crusade (1096-9) - Jerusalem recaptured from its Muslim holders
- Feudal system  - a social system of rights and duties based on land tenure and personal relationships in which land is held in fief by vassals from lords to whom they owe specific services and with whom they are bound by personal loyalty.
- The Great Council - the deliberative assembly that advised the Norman kings, which consisted of their landed tenants-in-chief.
- Henry I (1100 - 1135)
- David I of Scotland invites Norman barons to establish estates in Scotland (1124)
- Stephen (1135 - 1154)
- The Anarchy (1135 - 1154) - an armed dispute over the succession between Matilda, daughter of Henry I and her cousin, Stephen of Blois.
- Treaty of Winchester - an agreement that Matilda's son Henry was to be Stephen's successor.
- The Welsh Marches 
- Geoffrey Of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) (1136)
- Henry II (1154-1189)
- Thomas à Becket Archbishop of Canterbury (1162 - 1170) murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
- Rory O'Connor, High King of Ireland [1166 - 1175]
- Dermot MacMurrough loses the kingship of Leinster and requests help from Henry II (1166 - 1171)
- Richard I (1189 - 1199) - Richard the Lionheart, an heroic but mainly absentee king'
- Norman invasion of Ireland and the establishment of an Anglo-Norman colony there.
- Irish kings do homage to Henry II (1171)
- Treaty of Windsor between Henry II and Rory O'Conor, High King of Connaught (1175).
- Third Crusade (1189) - led jointly by Richard the Lionheart that achieved no more than the capture of Acre and Jaffa and a promise of Christian access to Jerusalem
- King John (1199 - 1216) - seals the Magna Carta  (1215) - which includes a statement of rights and which sets up a council that the king has to consult in order to raise taxes.
- Henry III (1216 - 1272)
- The Provisions of Oxford - Simon de Monfort's parliamentary reforms. (The Great Council is now referred to as a "parliament")
- Edward I (1272 - 1307)
- "Model Parliament" (1295) - summoned by Edward I with extended representation compared with earlier parliaments.
- "The Auld Alliance" a diplomatic and military agreement between Scotland and France for joint action against England.(1295)
- Battle of Stirling Bridge - at which a Scottish army led by William Wallace defeated the English
- John Baliol, is crowned King of Scotland (1292) 
- Edward I invades Scotland (1296] deposes John Baliol from the Scottish throne, and is himself accepted by the Scottish nobility as ruler of Scotland
1300 Edward I invades Scotland.
1307 Edward II (1307-1327)
1315-22 The Great Famine.
1320 Declaration of Arbroath - a plea to the Pope for Scotland's independence.
1323 William of Occam's Summa Logicae (logic handbook) - rejects the Church's contention that theology is a science.
1327 Edward III (1327 - 1377)
1366 Statutes of Kilkenny  - an English attempt to suppress Irish culture by the prohibition of the use of the Irish language and the practice of Irish customs.
1377 Richard II (1377-1399)
1382 John Wycliffe's Confession Concerning the Eucharist - challenges the doctrine of the Church.
1390 Richard III's Irish expedition
1397 The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards - an attack on the doctrines and conduct of the Church.
1399 Henry IV (1399 -1413)
1401 De Heretico Comburendo - legislation enacting death by burning as the penalty for heresy.
1413 Henry V (1413-22)
1415 Agincourt - longbows against crossbows: a victory over a French army by an outnumbered English Army.
1422 Henry VI (1422-61)
1429 Franchise Act  - restricted voting in elections for county members to freeholders of land worth more than 40 shillings annually. City and borough franchises were much more varied.
1453 End of Hundred Years War - leaving England with no French possessions except Calais.
1455 -1485 The Wars of the Roses - small-scale fighting that causes heavy casualties among the aristocracy and results in the victory of the House of Lancaster over the House of York.
1460 Statute of Drogheda (Poyning's Law) - under which Ireland adopts the entire body of English law.
1461 Edward IV (1461-83)
1476 Caxton's printing press
1483 Richard III (1483-85)
Tudor Era 1485-1603
1489 Thomas Cranmer  (1489 - 1556) - architect of English Reformation, advisor to Henry VIII
1494 William Tyndale  (c.1494-1536) - 16th century theologian, translated the New Testament into English
1503 Marriage of Margaret, daughter of Henry VII to James IV of Scotland.
1509 Henry VIII (1509-47)
1511 England joins Holy League - against France.
1513 Battle of Flodden  - major defeat of Scots army and death of James IV.
1516 Thomas More's Utopia
1526 William Tyndale's translation of the New Testament.
1534 The Act of Supremacy - makes Henry VIII the head of the new Anglican Church, legalising the break with Rome.
1535 Dissolution of the monasteries
1535 Laws in Wales Act
1535 Thomas More, Lord Chancellor, executed for refusing to recognise the break with Rome.
1536 Pilgrimage of Grace - a popular uprising against the closure of the monasteries.
1541 Henry VIII is declared King of Ireland
1542 Battle of Solway Moss - minor defeat of James V's Scottish raiders.
- James V of Scotland dies and is succeeded by Mary Queen of Scots 
1542 Great Debasement - reduces the silver content of the coinage from 75% to 25% by 1551.
1547 Edward VI (1547-53)
1549 Cranmer's English Prayer Book (revised 1552).
1560 Scots Confession of Faith - a rejection of Scottish allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church and the founding document of the Church of Scotland, drafted by John Knox and others and approved by meeting of the Scottish Parliament, but without Royal Assent.
1561 - 1626 Francis Bacon
1562 The 39 Articles - the beliefs to be practised by the Anglican church.
1564 - 1616 William Shakespeare
1583 William Lee invents a knitting machine but Queen Elizabeth refuses the grant of a patent on the grounds that the machine would throw hand knitters out of work
1586 Treaty of Berwick - between Elizabeth 1 and James VI of Scotland.
1587 Franchise Act (Scotland) sets a land ownership-based entitlement to vote as in England.
1588 The Spanish Armada  an unsuccessful attempt at invasion.
1593 William Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis
1600 The East India Company is founded and is granted the monopoly of trade with "the Indies".
Stuart Era 1603-1688
1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England (1603-25).
1605 Gunpowder Plot
1609 The Ulster plantation - of thousands of Scottish and English Protestant settlers.
1623 The Statute of Monopolies prevented the king from creating new domestic monopolies.
1625 Charles I (1625-49)
1628 The Petition of Right -established Habeas Corpus.
1632 Christopher Wren  (1632 - 1723) - mathematician and architect, designer of St Paul's Cathedral.
1639 "Bishops Wars"  between England and Scotland over Charles I's attempt to reform Scottish church.
1642 Parliament's "Nineteen Propositions" ultimatum is rejected by the King.
1649 Execution of Charles I and abolition of the monarchy.
The Interregnum - the period between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660 during which the various governments of the Commonwealth and Cromwell's Protectorate were in power.
1649 The Agreement of the People - the demand by the Levellers for rule by a representative assembly elected by universal male suffrage.
1649 the "Rump", what remains of the House of Commons, declares England to be a "Commonwealth", i.e. republic.
Cromwell invades Ireland.
1652 Act for the Settlement of Ireland 
The Restoration. Charles II (1660-85)
1661-5 The Clarendon Code - used to persecute "dissenters" (from Anglicanism) but all mainstream Protestant churches legalized after the Revolution.
1663 Thomas Newcomen (1663 - 1729) - pioneer of the steam engine
1665 Great Plague
1666 Fire of London
1673 Test Act. Catholics excluded from office.
1688 The Glorious Revolution deposed James II
- Bill of Rights - severely limited the power of the king over Parliament.
1689 William III and Mary II.
1690 The Battle of the Boyne
1701-14 War of Spanish Succession
1707 Act of Union - with Scotland .
1714 Hanoverian succession.
George I (1714-27)
1715 First major Jacobite Rising
1727 George II (1727-1760)
1733 John Kay invents the flying shuttle - the first step in the mechanisation of weaving.
1745 Second Jacobite Rising - "the '45"
1746 Battle of Culloden.
1760 George III (1760-1820).
1763 Treaty of Paris - French possessions in America and India are ceded to Britain.
1768 Cast iron production at the Coalbrookdale foundry.
1764 James Hargreaves builds the first "spinning jenny" - a major improvement on the spinning wheel.
1769 James Watt's patent for a steam engine  - a major improvement of Newcomen's "atmospheric engine".
1772 The James Somerset(t) Ruling - a slave is released by a writ of Habeas Corpus. Popularly supposed to have declared slavery illegal in England, though the formal ruling in this case only forbade his taking out of the realm by force
War of American Independence 1775 -81 - and the creation of the United States of America.
1776 Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations - advocacy of "laisser-faire" on the grounds that the only legitimate goal of government is growth of national income.
1785 Edmund Arkwright invents the power loom
1788 The colonisation of Australia 
1792 Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man
1798 United Irishmen rebellion fails.
1799 Combination Acts - outlawed trades unions.
Napoleonic Wars 1789 - 1815.
1801 Act of Union takes effect, making Ireland a part of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" with representation in the kingdom's parliament.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar. A decisive defeat of the French and Spanish navies that established Britain as the dominant naval power for over a century
1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act bans transportation of slaves from Africa to the Americas.
1820 George IV (1820-30).
1829 Catholic Emancipation Act  enables Catholics to be Members of Parliament.
1830 William IV (1830-37).
1832 Reform Act - raised the proportion of adult English males entitled to vote to 20 per cent.
1833 Act abolishing slavery in most British colonies 
1835 Joseph Whitworth's machine tools
1837 Queen Victoria (1837-1901)/
1838 Maiden voyage of the Great Western - Brunel's ocean-going screw-propelled iron steamship.
Irish Famine 1845-1850.
1846 Repeal of Corn Laws.
1848 Peoples' Charter  - a petition for male suffrage, secret ballots, equal constituencies, no property qualification, payment for MPs, annual elections.
Crimean War 1853 - 56.
Indian Mutiny 1857-8.
1858 The Government of India Act - transfers the military and administrative functions of the East India Company to the Crown.
1867 Reform Act - gave the vote to every male adult householder living in a borough constituency, and to male lodgers paying £10 for unfurnished rooms.
1868 Trades Union Congress - created
1870 Education Act - created publicly-funded elementary schools for children (attendance was made compulsory in 1880).
1871 Trade Union Act - recognised trades unions as legal corporations.
1874 Disraeli's First Conservative Government (1874-80).
1874 Birth of Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
1880 Gladstone's Liberal Government.
1888 John Logie Baird (1888 - 1946) - inventor of television.
1898 Battle of Omdurman
1899-1902 Boer War.
1900 The Labour Representation Committee is formed - (the forerunner of the Labour Party) and makes an electoral pact with the Liberal Party.
1901 Edward VII (1901-10).
1902-05 Balfour's Conservative Government.
1903 Women's Social and Political Union- "suffragettes" launch a "votes for women" campaign.
1905-08 Campbell-Bannerman's Liberal Government.
1908-1915 Asquith's Liberal Government (Lloyd George Chancellor of the Exchequer)
1908 London hosts the Olympic Games
1910 George V (1910-36)
1911 National Insurance Act - enacts publicly-financed health insurance, and unemployment insurance for workers in the building, engineering and shipbuilding industries.
First World War. 1914-18
1914 UK declares war on Germany
1915-16 Asquith's Coalition Government.
1916 Easter Rising - an Irish rebellion is violently suppressed.
1917 The Balfour Declaration - in favour of a Jewish home in Palestine.
The inter-war years
1918 Representation of the People Act - gave the vote to men over 21 and women over 30 - increasing the electorate from 8 million to 21 million.
1919 Treaty of Versailles
1919 League of Nations mandates - Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq, and Tanganyika are mandated to Britain.
1919-22 Irish War of Independence
1920-22 Unemployment Insurance Acts - extended coverage to most males earning less than £250 a year and introduced "seeking work" and means tests.
1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty  - The Irish Free State becomes a Dominion of the British Crown.
1922-23 Irish Civil War
1925 The United Kingdom returns to the gold standard
1926 General Strike  - involved over 1.5 million workers and the closure of mines, transport, newspapers, docks and power stations..
1926 Baird's television system.
1928 Equal Franchise Act - gave women the right to vote on the same terms as men.
1928 Fleming discovers penicillin
1929-31 The Slump (the Great Depression in the United Kingdom)
1930 BBC transmits a television play
1931 Statute of Westminster - independence for the Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa .
1931 The United Kingdom leaves the gold standard.
1935 Robert Watson Watt's radar receives its first trial (then called "radio direction finding"}.
1936 Abdication of Edward VIII.
1936 George VI (1936-52}
1938 Munich Pact with Germany.
Second World War
1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany
- September: evacuation of children from London
- June: Fall of France
- July-September: Battle of Britain - a planned invasion of Britain is narrowly averted as Germany fails to achieve air supremacy.
- September: start of the London Blitz - a 57-day bombing attack on London.
- March: Lend-Lease - authorises the supply of defence equipment in the interests of the defence of the United States, on terms to be determined by the President.
- April: Belfast Blitz becomes the greatest loss of life in any UK city during a night raid. Belfast loses just over half its housing stock as a result, leaving around one hundred thousand people homeless.
- June: Germany invades the USSR
- July: The US bans trade with Japan
- December: Pearl Harbor,
- Germany declares war on the United States.
1942 battles of the Coral Sea, Alamein, Stalingrad - the first allied victories
1944 D Day landings - open the Battle of Normandy
1944 Employment policy White Paper - a commitment to "full employment".
- May: Surrender of Germany
- August: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the surrender of Japan
- August 21; Termination of Lend-Lease aid
- October: United Nations Charter is ratified.
- December: Anglo-American Loan Agreement - for a loan of $3.76 billion repayable over fifty years with 2 per cent interest.
1945-51 Clement Attlee's Labour Government - financial crisis and austerity
1948 The Marshall Plan - a 4-year $13 bn programme of US aid towards European Reconstruction
1948 National Health Service.
1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formed
1951-55 Winston Churchill's Conservative Government.
1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
1954 the end of food rationing
1955-57 Anthony Eden's Conservative Government.
1956 Suez crisis.
1957-63 Harold Macmillan's Conservative Government.
1963-4 Alec Douglas-Home's Conservative Government.
1964-70, 1974-6 Harold Wilson's Labour Governments.
1965 Monopolies and Mergers Act 1965
1968-69 Start of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
1970-74 Edward Heath's Conservative Government.
1971 Return to a floating exchange rate - after the USA abandons the convertibility of the $ 
1976-9 James Callaghan's Labour Government.
1978 Winter of Discontent
1979-1990 Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Governments.
1982 Falklands War.
1990-97 John Major's Conservative Government.
- Anglo-Irish Agreement establishes the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.
- Scotland Act  - set up a Scottish Executive (later "The Government of Scotland") and a Scottish Parliament.
- Government of Wales Act - established a National Assembly for Wales.
- Good Friday Agreement - a plan for the devolution of power to Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland Act sees the installation of a devolved coalition government.
1998 Bank of England Act - transferred responsibility for monetary policy from the Treasury to the Bank of England.
- Human Rights Act
- The Good Friday Agreement including plans for a Northern Ireland assembly with a power-sharing executive, the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons, the future of policing in Northern Ireland, and the release of paramilitary prisoners.
2000 Freedom of Information Act
2003-2009 Iraq War
2005 Constitutional Reform Act, 2005 transfers the Lord Chancellor's legal functions to the Lord Chief Justice and creates a new, independent Supreme Court replacing of the judicial committee of the House of Lords.
1998 - 2006 Northern Ireland returns to relative peace.
2007 Gordon Brown's Labour Government.
2008 Crash of 2008
2009 Recession of 2009
- The end of British combat operations in Iraq
2010 David Cameron's Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government.
2011 Last British troops withdraw from Iraq
- Air Force operations against Gaddafi's forces in Libya
2015 David Cameron's Conservative government
2016 UK decides in referendum to leave EU
- Theresa May's Conservative government
- Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, 1984, page 58
- Oxford Companion to Black British History, 2007, page 458; Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery, 1998, volume 1, page 368