PETER MULLEN (Echo, Jan 24) says that we should not blame ourselves for the slave trade, but instead remember that it was Englishmen who abolished it.

He can’t have it both ways. We are not actually responsible for the misdeeds of our ancestors, but if we are not to feel ashamed of their crimes, we cannot justly feel proud of their achievements.

We need also to remember former slaves like Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and Olaudah Equiano who campaigned fearlessly against slavery, and acknowledge the courage of the slaves themselves, who, led by Paul Bogle, Toussaint L’Overture and others, rebelled against their oppressors.

The efforts of abolitionists like William Wilberforce were vital, but it is unlikely that slavery would have been abolished as quickly if slaves had submitted meekly to their fate.

I suggest that Peter Mullen takes a short stroll from his church in the City to the Museum of London, where he can view a fascinating celebration of the history of London, as well as an informative exhibition about the slave trade, and the part played in its abolition by foreign-born Londoners like Cugoano and Equiano.

Pete Winstanley, Durham.