A statue of the first president of Aberystwyth University has been identified by the Welsh Government as one of hundreds across Wales which potentially commemorate people who were directly involved with slavery and the slave trade or opposed its abolition.

The audit, launched following a month of action by the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe which included the toppling of statues of those involved in the slave trade, identified 209 such monuments, buildings or street names across Wales.

The statue of Lord Aberdare, Henry Austin Bruce, which stands in the Old College, was joined on the list by the Wellington monument on Pen Dinas as well as street and pub names in the county named after Wellington and Thomas Picton.

The Lord Aberdare statue is a cast of one which stands in Cardiff that has been added to a list of campaign group Topple the Racists, which aims to pull down statues of those involved in the slave trade.

Lord Aberdare, who was the first president of the university at Aberystwyth from 1875 until his death, chaired the National African Company (later the Royal Niger Company), a mercantile body that led Britain’s colonial expansion in Nigeria.

The Welsh Government report found that “no specific accusations are known to implicate him in criminal acts or atrocities”.

The 18-metre tall Wellington monument in the centre of the Pen Dinas Iron Age hillfort was also reported in the audit, despite the Duke of Wellington splitting opinion on his attitude to, and impact on, slavery.

He has been described as “the most ardently pro-slavery politician of the 19th century” and raised regular concerns about the implications of unilateral abolition of slavery, but presented petitions in favour of abolition in a debate in the Lords in 1833.

Also in the report are street names in Ceredigion named after Thomas Picton, military governor of Trinidad between 1797 and 1803, who was charged with multiple slavery offences including torture, false imprisonment and execution without trial.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “While the tragic killing of George Floyd happened almost 4,000 miles away, it sparked global action that shone a light on racial inequality in society today.

“That inequality exists in Welsh society too and we must work towards a Wales which is more equal. To help us do this, we need a clear understanding of the legacies of the slave trade and the British Empire.

“This audit provides important evidence which helps us establish an honest picture of our history. This is not about rewriting our past or naming and shaming. It is about learning from the events of the past.”

Gaynor Legall, who led the audit, said: “This a piece of work that I am immensely proud of because it gives a very thorough, factual account of Wales’ involvement in the slave trade and expands our knowledge of the history of Wales.

“It will hopefully lead to children learning the complete history, warts and all.”

An Aberystwyth University spokesperson said: “We welcome this report about what is a very serious issue, and will consider its findings in further detail. An initial internal assessment conducted earlier this year did not establish any obvious connections between any of the original major benefactors of the university and slavery. This reflects the establishment of the University College of Wales as open to all religious beliefs and supported by nonconformists, many of whom campaigned against the slave trade.

“While the report does not conclude that any of the university monuments are directly connected to slavery, and indeed points to anti-slavery connections, the report does categorise Lord Aberdare as a person ‘who require[s] examination’. Given the nature and scale of the Hen Goleg project, we have already planned to review all aspects of artwork and installations of this nature. We have also started a piece of work with The School of Art to contextualise our portraiture and artwork more widely across campus. At Aberystwyth University we have a tradition of inclusion and progressive activism, and we recognise that this a significant issue that requires detailed examination.”

Local places and items identified in the audit

Statues and monuments: Lord Aberdare statue, Old College, Aberystwyth; Wellington monument, Pen Dinas, Aberystwyth.

Street names: Picton Lane, Lampeter; Picton Terrace, Aberarth; Picton Terrace, New Quay; Picton Street, Llanidloes; Wellington Gardens, Aberaeron; Wellington Place, New Quay; Wellington Street, Aberaeron.

Pubs: Wellington Inn, New Quay.