Many people (particularly black people) interpreted the decision as meaning that Mansfield had freed all slaves, and even publicly celebrated Mansfield the individual. Indeed, Walvin comments on how a group of black people who had heard the trial’s decision toasted Mansfield, and congratulated one another on being granted basic rights. However, Mansfield had not freed the slaves, and regretted people thinking he had done so. For the first time though, black people in England had thought their race legally free within England, and despite Mansfield’s insistence to the contrary, the notion was not quick to leave the public imagination.
Lee, Debbie. “British Slavery and African Exploration: The Written Legacy.” Slavery and the Romantic Imagination.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2002. Print.
Walvin, James. “Murdering Men.” Black Ivory: Slavery in the British Empire. 2nd ed. Malden: Blackwell Publishers,