The London suburb of Tulse Hill may change its identify endlessly due to slavery connections


The entire London suburb of Tulse Hill could be renamed for its historical links to the slave trade. The South London neighborhood takes its name from a former mayor who made his fortune from slave labour. Lambeth Council has asked residents whether Tulse Hill should have a different name.

The area is named after the wealthy 17th-century merchant Sir Henry Tulse. A poll by the council reportedly asked residents whether the area should be renamed or whether the council should launch an information program about its history, The Telegraph reported. Lambeth Council says it has “no plans” to rename the suburb.

Other streets in the district that may have had their names changed are Rhodesia Road – named after the former British colony of Zimbabwe, and Juxson Street, which takes its name from Archbishop William Juxson, whose family was associated with the slave trade.

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Streets like Vassal Street, Holland Grove, and Foxley Road may also need to ditch their namesakes. The streets are named after slave owners Henry Richard Vassal-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland of Foxley, and his wife Elizabeth Webster.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has offered local authorities across the capital £25,000 to help them ditch street names seen as racist.

Conservative Party leader Olive Dowden has blasted Lambeth Council for wasting money on a “vanity project”. He said: “While people worry about the cost of living, labor councils are wasting their money on vanity projects like this. No wonder Conservative councils deliver more and cost less.”

A Lambeth Council spokesman said: “As part of the Black Lives Matter campaign in 2020, we have been working with our communities to see if there are local sites with possible links to the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism.

“What follows is an instructive piece of local historical research, as routinely conducted by our cherished local library archives. There are no plans to rename Tulse Hill or any other location in the district, but as a community we have learned more about our past through these conversations.

“It is also worth noting that Tulse Hill is named after the Tulse family, which may have included Sir Henry Tulse, whose wealth came from the profits of the slave trade.

“Lambeth is a very diverse borough and the City Council has been a pioneer in naming new sites and new buildings to reflect the local people since the 1980s. This latest work did not require any additional expenditure and has taken full account of government legislation on the subject.”

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