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Edward Colston was an English slave trader, merchant, philanthropist, and Member of Parliament. He supported and endowed schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere. His name is commemorated in several Bristol landmarks, streets, three schools and the Colston bun. Many of his charitable foundations still survive. His wealth was largely acquired through the trade and exploitation of slaves.

A statue, designed by John Cassidy, was erected in the centre of Bristol in 1895 to commemorate Colston's philanthropy.

On 7 June 2020, the statue was toppled and thrown into Bristol Harbour by demonstrators during the George Floyd protests in the United Kingdom. Historian and television presenter David Olusoga commented that it should have been taken down earlier, saying: "Statues are about saying 'this was a great man who did great things'. That is not true, he [Colston] was a slave trader and a murderer." Home Secretary Priti Patel called the toppling "utterly disgraceful", saying that "it speaks to the acts of disorder public disorder that actually have now become a distraction from the cause in which people are actually protesting about"....
 
 
Edward Colston was an English slave trader, merchant, philanthropist, and Member of Parliament. He supported and endowed schools, almshouses, hospitals and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere. His name is commemorated in several Bristol landmarks, streets, three schools and the Colston bun. Many of his charitable foundations still survive. His wealth was largely acquired through the trade and exploitation of slaves.

A statue, designed by John Cassidy, was erected in the centre of Bristol in 1895 to commemorate Colston's philanthropy.

On 7 June 2020, the statue was toppled and thrown into Bristol Harbour by demonstrators during the George Floyd protests in the United Kingdom. Historian and television presenter David Olusoga commented that it should have been taken down earlier, saying: "Statues are about saying 'this was a great man who did great things'. That is not true, he [Colston] was a slave trader and a murderer." Home Secretary Priti Patel called the toppling "utterly disgraceful", saying that "it speaks to the acts of disorder public disorder that actually have now become a distraction from the cause in which people are actually protesting about"....

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