Charlene White, the host of Loose Women, is overcome with emotion after learning that her family was a slave owner.


Charlene White, best known for hosting Loose Women, was left tearful after learning her five times great-grandad was a slave owner who had illegitimate children at his plantation

Newsreader and Loose Women star Charlene White has discovered her family tree can be traced back to her five times great grandfather, a white slave owner called John Stanbury who had illegitimate children at his plantation.

In a new documentary commissioned as part of ITV’s programming for Black History Month, Charlene, 41, embarks on a deeply personal journey to uncover the roots of her connection to the British Empire.

Her story takes her to Jamaica where Charlene goes to find answers about her great great great grandfather William Stanbury, by meeting one of the country’s leading genealogists, Dianne Golding-Frankson.

She learns William had a brother called James and they had a father called James too.

Dianne then tells her about a white slave owner called John Stanbury who would have been born even earlier, in the 18th century.

Dianne said: “What I have here is the slave returns that were being sent in.

“Now, what is very interesting on this record is that several of the children on this property that was being turned in were all mixed race.

“These bits of information are invaluable to understanding your roots. The placement of John Stanbury in St Catherine at the time and the obvious residency of James Stanbury is a strong suggestion that James Stanbury is the illegitimate child of John Stanbury.”

In response, Charlene said she expected her family tree would connect with slavery at some stage, but was not expecting it to be in this way.

The June 1826 slave list from the parish of St Catherine in Jamaica has the name of John Stanbury as the owner of slaves.

She said: “Well this is strange to get my head round, and it’s not that the lighter skin meant more than anything else when finding out about my ancestry was concerned, it’s more of a curiosity because we could never really quite get where it came from – you know the red in my hair, the ginger in my hair when it’s not dyed.

“Gosh it’s because of this man.

“And this man could have been responsible for a lot of hurt, and a lot of pain. And chose to put his children in a stocktake of the slaves that he owned.”

After digesting the information at Spanish Town Cathedral in St Catherine,. Brinkwire presents summary news.


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