History Goes On


Luke Tomes

University of Southampton

YouTube: WriteHistoryDocumentaries


Two-part documentary, using the academic expertise of Professor Christer Petley at the University of Southampton, exploring the rise of the Abolition movement in Britain in the late 18th century and its ultimate success in passing a bill (1807 Abolition Act) that outlawed the trade in Africans across the Atlantic to the brutal plantation systems established in the Americas. Many consider the movement to have been a 'humanitarian' triumph by evangelical saints such as William Wilberforce over politics of self-interest and greed, yet this film attempts to pose an alternative argument - that abolition was only attained through a considered pragmatic approach by certain Members of Parliament, influenced heavily by external factors such as the Haitian Revolution.


Luke Tomes is a 21-year-old student at the University of Southampton reading MA History. An aspiring historical filmmaker looking to become the next Dan Snow, Luke has produced and presented a host of documentaries covering a wide range of historical periods and subjects. With a keen passion for histories of empire, and specifically the topic of Atlantic slavery in the 18th and early-19th century, Luke’s undergraduate dissertation explored the Abolition of Slave Trade in Britain, providing a new dimension to the historiographical debate on why exactly Britain decided to permanently end the trafficking of Africans to the Americas – at a time when the trade reached its zenith in terms of its profitability and value to the British treasury.

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This documentary is in two parts.