Entire London suburb could be ‘cancelled’ amid row over slavery links

23 March 2022, 08:27 | Updated: 23 March 2022, 09:51

Tulse Hill residents are being asked whether the area's name should be changed
Tulse Hill residents are being asked whether the area's name should be changed. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

An area of London could be renamed due to its namesake's historic links to slavery.

Tulse Hill was named after 17th century merchant Sir Henry Tulse, who served as Lord Mayor of London in 1684 and whose family’s wealth was largely drawn from the slave trade.

A section of a "community listening exercise" questionnaire given to residents in the south London borough asks people whether they think the area should be renamed, whether it should have information displayed to explain its history or whether an education programme should be launched such as talks at local schools. The final option asked of residents is to simply do nothing.

The council document sets out that Sir Henry derived “much of his wealth” from the slave trade.

The questionnaire also lists multiple streets which could all also be renamed that are linked to Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, the third Baron Holland of Foxley and his wife Elizabeth Webster, who owned slaves.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has offered £25,000 to local authorities to "decolonise" their street names.

Sadiq Khan has offered £25,000 to local authorities to "decolonise" their street names
Sadiq Khan has offered £25,000 to local authorities to "decolonise" their street names. Picture: Getty

Campaign group 'Save our Statues' posted online: "South London statues & street names in the firing line as "loony left" Lambeth council seeks to "decolonise".

"They are even targeting tombs, including that of Captain Bligh." They shared a link to the consultation encouraging people to respond.

A Lambeth Council spokesperson told the Telegraph that following the Black Lives Matter campaign in 2020 they have been working “to see if there are local locations with possible links to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism”.

“Lambeth is a richly diverse borough, and the council has been a pioneer since the ‘80s for naming new places and new buildings to reflect local people," the spokesman said.

“This latest piece of work required no extra spending, and has taken Government legislation on the issue fully into account.”