Slavery and the Scottish Enlightenment

13 June

at: the Signet Library
Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Slavery and the Scottish Enlightenment – Book launch

The new ideas and values that emerged from Scotland between the mid-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century were shaped by the moral dilemmas of the day. As such, the story of the Scottish Enlightenment is intertwined with that of slavery and the slave trade.

John D. O. Fulton in his new book explores this nuanced and conflicting relationship via the compelling life stories of an extraordinary cast of characters—from Jamaican plantation owners to America’s original private eye, Glaswegian merchants to London revolutionaries, escaped American slaves to indomitable female crusaders fighting for America’s soul. They lived in a period of seismic historical events, legal reforms and moral shifts, with slavery at the centre. From a Scottish perspective, Slavery and the Scottish Enlightenment gives a rich, diverse and dramatic account of this momentous period, while examining its relevance to our society today.

Join us in the splendid setting of the Signet Library for an evening with the author, John D. O. Fulton who will talk about his research after giving a presentation. Robert Pirrie WS, Chief Executive of the WS Society will host the event and welcome guests to the historic Signet Library.

John’s widely praised first book 66 – The House That Viewed The World was published in 2019.

Ticketsclick here to book

In person only (includes drinks reception): £12


  • Date: Thursday 13 June 2024
  • Open from 5.30pm
  • Start time of event 6.00pm
  • Drinks reception from 7.00pm    
  • Venue: The Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

This event will NOT be recorded, or live streamed.

Please note the event is held in the Upper Library which is only accessible by stairs.

Copies of the book will be available for sale on the night, and John will sign the books for those who wish it. 

For those who wish to buy a copy before the event, or alternatively are unable to attend, the book can be purchased from Fonthill Media through the use of the QR code below.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us via email at

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