1500-1799 | Slavery

31 AUGUST

FIRST KNOWN PURCHASE OF AFRICAN SLAVES BY A BRITISH COLONY [ 31 August 1619 ] In 1619 John Rolfe, Recorder of Virginia and the colony’s first successful tobacco grower, noted that ‘about the last of August came a Dutch man of war that sold us twenty negroes.’1 Initially the number of Africans in Virginia was…

1500-1799 | Barbados | Slavery

4 AUGUST

NEW EAGLE OF LIVERPOOL ‘ARRIVED AT BARBADOS… BURIED HALF HER SLAVES’ [ 4 August 1760 ] On 4 August 1760, at the very bottom of a long paragraph listing the latest news of ship movements and arrivals, the Aberdeen Press and Journal, mentioned briefly that ‘the New Eagle of Liverpool, from Africa bound to Jamaica,…

1500-1799 | Flogging | Jamaica | Slavery

16 JULY

300 LASHES ‘FOR HIS MANY CRIMES AND NEGLIGENCES’ [ 16 July 1750 ] Today in 1750, plantation overseer Thomas Thistlewood, newly posted to the remote Vineyard Pen sugar plantation in the British Colony of Jamaica, noted in his diary that his employer, Florentius Vassal, ordered one of the slaves under his supervision to be given…

1500-1799 | Executions | Slavery

2 JULY

JUST ANOTHER SLAVE ROASTED ALIVE IN JAMAICA [ 2 July 1768 ] On 2 July 1768, Thomas Thistlewood, a sugar plantation overseer in Jamaica, noted briefly in his diary that ‘Hear Stompe, the Mial Man, was burnt alive this evening, and his wife ( Dr. Frazier’s Polly, a mulatto ) hanged.'[1]  Such brutal punishments for…

1500-1799 | Slavery

6 JUNE

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

1800-1859 | Slavery

3 JUNE

GLADSTONE – SLAVES ARE NOTHING MORE THAN THE PROPERTY OF THEIR OWNERS [ 3 June 1833 ] William Gladstone was to become Liberal Prime Minister four times between 1868 and 1894. He is often acclaimed as the most progressive of Britain’s Victorian prime ministers, extending voting rights in Britain to the majority of working men…