1800-1859 | Barbados | Battlefield butchery | Executions | Massacres | Slavery

British militia massacre hundreds of Barbadian slaves

14 April 1816 On Easter Sunday, 14 April 1816, the slaves of Barbados rose up against their British masters.   It took four days for soldiers to suppress the insurrection, which had been caused, according to one Barbados resident, because  ‘the poor deluded negroes took it into their heads that they were so far emancipated by…

1500-1799 | Executions | Slavery | Trinidad and Tobago

Slave rebellion evokes brutal executions in Tobago

10 March 1774 On 10 March 1774, two hundred slaves staged a rebellion on a plantation at Queen’s Bay, Tobago, owned by two wealthy planters, Sir William Young and Robert Stewart. Led by a slave named Sampson, they killed three white overseers, smashed up equipment and stores of alcohol and seized arms and ammunition. As…

1500-1799 | Flogging | Jamaica | Slavery | Torture

Plantation overseer invents revolting punishment for a slave

28 January 1756 We catch a shocking glimpse of some of the sadistic punishments inflicted on slaves through the journals of Thomas Thistlewood, a plantation overseer in the British colony of Jamaica. He held slaves under his charge in utter contempt. He used many of the women for his own sexual gratification and flogged both…

1500-1799 | Slavery

MPs love of the opera means slavery abolition bill fails

15 March 1796 On 15 March 1796, a slavery abolition bill narrowly failed to gain a majority in the House of Commons, falling short by just 74 to 70 votes.  There were naturally a large number of MPs, especially those with vested interests and investments in either slave trading or the plantation economies of the…

1500-1799 | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Slavery

As slave ship docks at St. Kitts 33 slaves leap to their deaths

14 March 1737 On 14 March 1737, the Prince of Orange, a small 80 ton Bristol registered vessel crammed with 251 African slaves, arrived at St. Kitts in the West Indies. Japhet Bird, the ship’s captain, hoped to make a handsome profit on his cargo when they were sold at auction to the island’s sugar plantation…