The Bishop’s Palace

Two Bishops of Bath and Wells were actively involved in the movement for the abolition of the transatlantic traffic in enslaved Africans and slavery. They were Bishop Richard Beadon (1802-1824), and his successor Bishop George Henry Law (1824-1845). A third bishop – Moss (1774-1802) – is also believed to have been pro abolition, but the evidence is less strong.

This painting of Bishop George Henry Law can be viewed in the Long Gallery within The Bishop’s Palace.

Portrait of Bishop Law (credit: © Bishop’s Palace, Wells)

Related Talks & Resources

Talks and Resources connected to The Bishop’s Palace

These talks reveal the findings of historical research that connects The Bishop’s Palace to transatlantic slavery and considers the enduring legacies that exist today.

Video, Talk
Revd. Dr Carlton Turner
Anglican Contextual Theologian, The Queens Foundation

The People

People and families connected to The Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop’s Palace has been the residence of the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and there is a rich history attached to the numerous bishops holding this post. In connection to the history of the transatlantic trade in enslaved people, research has shown that the Bishops of Bath and Wells were supporters of the abolition movement.

Long Gallery with portraits
Over the centuries, many of the bishops of Bath and Wells have played significant roles beyond their pastoral and ecclesiastical duties; supporting the abolition of slavery was one of these.

Explore More Buildings

Learn about other historic buildings connected to transatlantic slavery

Contact Information

Visit The Bishop’s Palace


The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD

Opening Times

The Palace, Gardens and Chapel are OPEN:

9.30am-5.30pm daily in the summer months
10am-4pm daily in the winter months
(Last admission 30 minutes before closure)

The site closes for the Christmas period. Please see their website for additional special closures.


Contact Number

01749 988111