Maritime Bristol in the Slave-Trade Era
Title Details

262 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

6 b/w illus, 2 graphs

Imprint: Boydell Press

Maritime Bristol in the Slave-Trade Era

by Nicholas Rogers

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Explores the maritime history of Bristol, a leading slave port in the eighteenth century

Delves into the hazards of the slave trade, its recruitment of seamen, its fractious labour relations and mutinies, and how these were resolved by law. One chapter examines in detail how a shipwright sought redress for his ill-treatment aboard a slave ship and how sensitive the merchant elite were to insider criticism; another reveals how partial the Admiralty courts were to captains as sovereigns of their ships.

The book also tracks the chequered fortunes of a New York/Bristol merchant family during the American war, the patterns of investment in mid-century privateering, which illustrate how money from slave-trade activities was mobilized for this speculative enterprise, and how naval impressment was used for political purposes.

The book concludes with a chapter on why Bristol failed to emulate other culturally vibrant towns and cities in opposing the slave trade in the first phase of abolition. In the wake of the Edward Colston controversy, this book contributes to the ongoing debate as to how slavery has shaped British society.
Introduction: Hide Tides, Atlantic Waters
1. The Pilots of Pill
2. The Hazards of the Bristol Slave Trade
3. Slave Ship Sociology
4. The Unfortunate Shipwright, or the Trials of Robert Barker
5. Mutiny and Murder on Bristol's Long-Haul Ships, 1720-1770
6. Bristol Privateering in the Mid-Eighteenth Century
7. The Impressment of James Caton, 1779
8. New York in Bristol: the Crugers
9. The Politics of Abolition in Late Eighteenth-Century Bristol
Nicholas Rogers is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in History at York University, Toronto and author of Murder on the Middle Passage: The Trial of Captain Kimber (Boydell, 2020) and (with Steve Poole) of Bristol from Below: Law, Authority and Protest in a Georgian City (Boydell, 2017).



June 2024

$115.00 / £80.00

Shipping Options

Buy Fewer than 20 copies available


Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

262 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

6 b/w illus, 2 graphs

Imprint: Boydell Press