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British Library apologises for linking Ted Hughes to slave trade

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The poet had been wrongly included among more than 300 figures whose collections were associated with wealth obtained from colonial violence

The British Library has apologised to Carol Hughes, the widow of the former poet laureate Ted Hughes, after it linked him to the slave trade through a distant ancestor.

Hughes’s name had been included on a spreadsheet from the library detailing more than 300 figures with “evidence of connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism”. Hughes’s link was through Nicholas Ferrar, who was born in 1592 and whose family was, the library said, “deeply involved” with the London Virginia Company, which was set up to colonise North America.

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