Slavers, Traders and Privateers

228Slavers, Traders and Privateers cover image

Frank Howley


This is a portrait of Liverpool and its role in the rape of a continent, set against the background of two revolutions. Using extracts from contemporary sources to bring the past to life, it provides a unique window on urban society, slavery and warfare during the reign of George III.

An average of eighty ships a year left Liverpool’s quaysides filled with Indian and Manchester cloths, casks of brandy and wine, muskets and powder kegs, to be bartered for slaves with African merchants and princes. The stark realities of this pernicious trading partnership are revealed in ships’ papers and first hand accounts that are, in part, the subject of this book. However, this is also a story of desperate naval encounters, as told by those involved, and Redcoats struggling against the forces of nature and revolution in America, France and the Caribbean. As Britain’s second major port, Liverpool did not escape the conflicts of the age.

But central to this canvas are its narrow, crowded streets and alleys, the clatter of iron rims on stone, the odour of tallow fat and dung, and a bustle that falls still with the blackness of night. Here we find wealth and poverty living cheek by jowl, and politics at its most corrupt, fuelled by drunken revelry and mob culture. Here, too, immorality in the workhouse, and petty thieves mixing promiscuously in the grounds of the Tower Gaol. For light relief, enjoy a melodramatic performance at the Theatre Royal, but be sure to take a dose of Robberd’s Nervous Volatile Essence before you do.

Price £14.95

ISBN 9781901231984
Publisher Countyvise
Genre Educational Resource
Set in Merseyside


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