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Lord Mansfield

Lord Mansfield was the most powerful British jurist of his century, and his decisions reflected the  Age of Enlightenment  and moved England on the path to abolishing slavery and the slave trade. He is best known for his judgment in  Somersett's Case (1772), where he held that slavery had no basis in common law and had never been established by legislation in England, and therefore was not binding law. Although this did not end slave trafficking altogether, Mansfield’s decision is considered to have been a significant step in recognizing the illegality of slavery.