A five year project by University College London has compiled the identities of 46,000 Britons who owned slaves, mainly in the West Indies, on the day that slavery was abolished in 1833.
Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Benedict Cumberbach, Ben Affleck and author George Orwell are just some of the high profile ancestors (sic) of the slave owners revealed in the files.
Comment: Sott is sure that the author actually means descendants.
Records from the Slave Compensation Commission show that some 800,000 Africans were freed upon abolition after being kept as legal property.
Upon their liberation the Commission paid out the modern equivalent of £17 billion in compensation to the UK's tens of thousands of owners - the largest government pay-out since the 2009 bank bailout.
The colossal sum represented 40 per cent of government expenditure in 1834.