Trading patterns

Slave ships completing the ‘Middle Passage’ from Africa, unloaded and sold their cargo of enslaved people, before being loaded with sugar and rum to sell in Britain.

The main destination ports for ships loaded with sugar were Bristol and Liverpool. In 1785, 22,811 barrels of sugar were imported through Bristol.

There is some evidence that the slave trade was becoming less profitable towards the end of the 18th century.

The price of buying enslaved people in Africa was rising, reaching £25 in 1800, but the price for selling enslaved people in the Americas had not risen as quickly and was only £35 in the same year.