6 JUNE

A NEGRO BOY TO BE DISPOSED OF – NO OBJECTIONS TO LET THE BOY ON TRIAL

Slave in chains 1820 –
Royal Museums Greenwich – no known restrictions

[ 6 June 1769 ]

On 6 June 1769, an advertisement was placed in the Public Advertiser, which would not have even raised an eyebrow among the newspaper’s readers.

‘A NEGRO BOY. To be DISPOSED of  – A fine healthy Negro Boy, about eleven Years of Age, and handsome. He is very good-natured and tractable, and would be very useful in a Family or a Lady’s Footboy. Enquire at Mr. Shipton’s, Hunt’s-Court, St Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross. N.B. No Objections to let the boy on trial.’1

Although the vast majority of the 3.25 million Africans traded by British slave ships ended up on plantations in the West Indies or the Americas, a small but significant number found themselves ‘disposed of’ in Britain, though their ultimate place of residence was entirely at the whim of their new ‘owner.’ Many were subsequently shipped back to the plantations after only a short period of work.

FOOTNOTE

  1. Advertisement quoted in Runaway Slaves in eighteenth-century Britain
    ‘For Sale’ Advertisements accessed online at https://www.runaways.gla.ac.uk/for_sale/Runaway%20Slaves%20in%2018th%20C%20Britain%20-%20For%20Sale.pdf

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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