The Beilby Goblet commemorates the launch of the slave ship King George in 1763The 'Beilby Goblet' commemorates the launch of the slave ship King George in 1763, built at Whitehaven. It is a fine example of early enamelled glass, made and signed by William Beilby (1740-1819) of Newcastle - a famous glass enameller. One side bears the royal arms of George III and on the other a painting of the ship - which is surmounted by the words 'Success to the African Trade of Whitehaven'. The goblet notoriously survived a famous museum theft - 'shady' deals eventually securing its return.
Whitehaven was a major port at that time - and as important as Liverpool and Bristol. As such, its ships had a major role in the movement of slaves from Africa to the sugar plantations in America - taking goods to Africa from England on the first leg of the journey, and bringing rum and sugar back on the last.
The Beilby Goblet commemorates the launch of the slave ship King George in 1763