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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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Liverpool & the Slave Trade - an Introduction

"I have not come here to be insulted by a set of wretches, every brick in whose infernal town is cemented with an African’s blood. "
A DRUNKEN ACTOR, BEING BOOED OFF THE STAGE AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, WILLIAMSON SQUARE

Liverpool was late in entering the slave trade but she quickly surpassed London and Bristol to become the number one slave port in the whole of Europe by the 1740s.

The First Slave Ship

Name: Liverpool Merchant
When: 1700
What: Sold a cargo of 220 African slaves in Barbados

1792 - a 'good' year for slaving

Ships coming out of England were as follows:

Liverpool 131
Bristol 42
London 22

Estimates state that over 40,000 African slaves were transported by Liverpool vessels alone.

From then, for the next 60 years, between 40 and 110 ships sailed each year laden with slaves.

Triangular Trade

Liverpool was bound up in global trading - known as triangular trade.

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Did you know that?
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John Manesty gave his name to Manesty’s Lane, behind BBC Radio Meseyside’s present day building. He was the owner of various slaves ships, including the "African".

In Liverpool ships were loaded with cottons and woollens, guns, iron, alcohol and tobacco.

They went to Africa where they traded these goods for slaves, ivory and gold.

They then went on the middle passage to America or the West Indies where the slaves were sold for money, colonial produce or bills of exchange.

Although Liverpool was essential to the slave trade, the slave trade was not essential to Liverpool.
Even at its height less than 10% of outbound shipping was bound for Africa.

The End...

The final legal slavery voyage from Liverpool was made by Captain Hugh ‘Mind Your Eye’ Crow, a Liverpudlian who sailed the Kitty’s Amelia.

Slavery continued in many forms, with Liverpool's involvement, and for its profit for many years until the world trade in slaves was abolished nearly 100 years later.


 
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If you have anything to contribute to this page, or any others, then please get in touch:
liverpool.history@bbc.co.uk
Tel: 0151 794 0980
BBC Liverpool, 55 Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 3BP




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