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Lucas Family: business and family papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8369

Scope and Contents

The collection is uncatalogued. There is an interim box list - please contact the repository for further details. Comprises business and family papers of the Lucas family, chiefly correspondence and legal documents of Philip Monoux Lucas (1778-1830), a merchant of Marylebone, London, and partner in the firm Chauncy, Lang and Lucas. Material relating to the Caribbean, enslavement and elements of the Transatlantic slave trade is largely to be found in box 1.

Philip Lucas was active in St Vincent and the Grenadines, British Guiana [i.e. Guyana] and Trinidad and Tobago as an agent or factor between c. 1802 and the early 1810s with direct involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade and the exploitation of enslaved people. In addition to Philip’s role as agent or factor, the UCL Legacies of British Slavery database (see lists the Lucas family as owners of estates in Demerara, British Guiana [i.e. Guyana], with over 400 enslaved people. After Philip’s death in 1830, his wife and children were among the co-awardees of compensation either as joint owners or joint mortgagees. The records in this collection directly relate to the business of the Transatlantic slave trade, and the administrative and economic exploitation of the Caribbean, with papers concerning rum and sugar export, administration of plantations or estates, the shipping of enslaved people from what is now Nigeria, Angola, the Congo and other parts of Africa, together with contemporary reactions to abolition.

Other papers relate to the legal affairs of Philip’s wife, Sarah Lucas (née Beesley), between the 1830s and 1850s, specifically relating to property around Ippollits [now St Ippolyts] and Elmwood in Hertfordshire, and bills and financial papers of George Lucas, one of their children, c. 1840s – 1870s.


  • Creation: c. 1733 - late 19th century


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


3 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Alfred George, 10 December 1982.

Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 28 April 2022: This catalogue was revised by Sally Kent as part of the 'Democratising Description' pilot project to review the use of historic language in catalogue descriptions. The fonds-level description was updated to include further detail about the contents of the collection, and to make explicit reference to the Lucas family's connection to slavery. A previous version of the description is available on request.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom