Robert Aldworth

Robert Aldworth (died 1634) was a Bristol-born English merchant and philanthropist. Much of his wealth, although used often for generous purposes, was acquired through the trade and exploitation of slaves. He became Mayor of Bristol in 1609.[1]

Sugar Trade

In 1612, Aldworth set up the first sugar processing business in Bristol, England, where sugar was processed in 'sugar houses'. Aldworth’s sugar house refined sugar produced by slaves from Spanish and Portuguese plantations in Madeira, Brazil and the Azores.[2]

Involvement in the Slave Trade

Aldworth and his relative Thomas Aldworth, were members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a group dating back to the 16th century to promote and protect Bristol merchants and trade. This included involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.[3]


His tomb is in St Peters Church in the centre of Bristol had sugar loaves carved on it.[4]


  1. "List of Bristol Mayors since 1216" (PDF). Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  2. Mathias, Peter (1998). From Family Firms to Corporate Capitalism. Clarendon Press. p. 141. ISBN 0198290462. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. "Members of Parliament and businessmen". PortCities Bristol. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  4. "The Tomb of Robert Aldworth and his Wife". PortCities Bristol. PortCities UK. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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