Brooks (1781 ship)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Brookes (ship))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Brooks
Slaveshipposter.jpg
Brookes slave ship plan
History
Great BritainUnited Kingdom
Launched: 1781
Fate: Condemned and sold 1804
General characteristics
Type: Slave ship
Tons burthen: 297,[1] or 300,[2] or 319,[1] or 352,[1] or 353[1] (bm)
Length: 30 metres (98 ft)
Beam: 8.2 metres (27 ft)

Brooks (or Brook, or Brookes) was a British slave ship launched at Liverpool in 1781. She became infamous after prints of her were published in 1788. Between 1782 and 1804 when she was condemned as unseaworthy she made 11 slave–trading voyages. During this period she spent some years as a West Indiaman, and also captured a French merchantman.

History[edit]

An engraving first published in Plymouth in 1788 by the Plymouth chapter of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade depicted the conditions on board the Brookes[3] and has become an iconic image of the inhumanity of the slave trade.

The image portrayed slaves arranged on the ship's lower deck and poop deck, in accordance with the Regulated Slave Trade Act of 1788.[4] The Brookes was reportedly allowed to stow 454 African slaves, by allowing a space of 6 feet (1.8 m) by 1 foot 4 inches (0.41 m) to each man; 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) by 1 foot 4 inches (0.41 m) to each woman, and 5 feet (1.5 m) by 1 foot 2 inches (0.36 m) to each child. However, the poster's text alleges that a slave trader confessed that before the Act, the Brookes had carried as many as 609 slaves at one time.[5]

Other records indicate several other problems with the image. 1) The image portrays 487 slaves while on the voyage prior to when the measurements were taken the ship held 638 persons, the next journey 744, and the journey following the measurements, 609. 2) The planking as depicted on the outside of the ship is disproportionately too thick. 3) Stowage of slaves on multiple layers of decks does not allow for the storage of water and provisions, which was the common practice. 4) No deck hatches are illustrated, only small ladders. There would be no way for the ship to load and unload provisions, especially for the legs of the voyages with no slaves aboard. Despite these flaws this image has become the one most used to depict conditions on a slave ship.[6]

Other physical objects that also were part of slave ships are not depicted. Slave ships had security features to keep the crew safe from their human cargo, such as barricade or wall to separate them while outside; nets alongside the ship to prevent slaves from jumping overboard; and armaments to keep the ship from being taken by other ships, such as swivel guns. Below deck bulkheads to separate women and children from men should be shown. Below deck, portholes were common to allow more ventilation, while outside of the ship sails positioned alongside funneled air below. These special sails made it easy to identify a slave ship at sea. Above deck, there would be a large cook stove to create the slave meals of commonly rice and beans.[6]

Career[edit]

Brook first appeared in Lloyd's Register (LR) in 178.[2]

Year Master Owner Trade Source
1781 C.Noble J. Brook Liverpool–Africa LR

1st slave trading voyage (1781–1783): Captain Clement Noble sailed from Liverpool on 4 October 1781. Brooks arrived in Africa on 15 January 1782. She acquired slaves first at Cape Coast Castle and then at Anomabu. She left Africa on 14 July and arrived at Kingston, Jamaica on 12 September. She had embarked 650 slaves and she arrived with 646. She left Kingston on 22 December and arrived back at Liverpool on 22 February 1783. She had left Liverpool with 58 crew members and she suffered eight crew death on her voyage.[7]

2nd slave trading voyage (1783–1784): Captain Clement Noble sailed from Liverpool on 3 June 1783. She acquired her slaves at Anomabu and then touched at Cape Coast Castle before sailing for Jamaica. She left Africa on 19 April 1784 and arrived at Kingston on 3 June. She had embarked 619 slaves and she arrived with 586. She sailed from Kingston on 18 July and arrived back at Liverpool on 28 August. She had left Liverpool with 46 crew members and she suffered three crew deaths on her journey.[8]

3rd slave trading voyage (1785–1786): Captain Clement Noble sailed from Liverpool on 2 February 1785. Brooks arrived in Africa on 1 May. She acquired her slaves first at Cape Coast Castle and then at Anomabu. She left Africa on 16 November and arrived at Kingston on 29 December. She had embarked 740 slaves and she arrived with 635. She actually landed 608. She left Kingston on 12 February 1786 and arrived back at Liverpool on 10 April.[9]

4th slave trading voyage (1786–1788): Captain Thomas Molyneux sailed from Liverpool on 17 October 1786 and arrived in Africa on 11 January 1787. Brooks acquired slaves at Anomabu, Cape Coast Castle, and lastly Dixcove. She sailed from Africa on 14 August and arrived at Kingston on 4 October. She had embarked 609 slaves and she arrived with 596. She sailed from Kingston on 18 December and arrived back at Liverpool on 8 february 1788. She had left Liverpool with 45 crew members and suffered six crew deaths on her voyage.[10]

Brooks did not appear in LR in the 1791 volume; she returned in the 1792 volume. She had undergone repairs in 1791 and thereafter her burthen was given as 319 tons, up from 297–300.

Year Master Owner Trade Source & notes
1792 G.Hariot Harper & Co. Liverpool–Africa LR; repairs 1791.

5th slave trading voyage (1791–1792): Captain George Hault sailed from Liverpool on 29 July 1791 and arrived in Africa on 22 September. Brooks had gathered her slaves at Bonny and left Africa on 10 December. She delivered 408 slaves to Dominica on 26 January 1792. She left Dominica on 14 March and arrived back at Liverpool on 27 April. she had left Liverpool with 38 crew members and suffered one crew death on her voyage.[11]

6th slave trading voyage (1792–1793): Captain John Hewan sailed from Liverpool on 6 June 1792 and arrived in Africa on 24 September. She acquired her slaves at Bonny and left Africa on 15 November. She arrived at Montego Bay on 13 January 1793. She had embarked 450 slaves and arrived with 396. She sailed from Montego Bay on 8 February and arrived back at Liverpool on 26 March. She had left Liverpool with 36 crew members and she suffered three crew deaths on her voyage.[12]

Next, Brooks became a West Indiaman for several years before resuming slaving.

Year Master Owner Trade Source
1793 G.Harriott
Roger Poosey
Harper & Co. Liverpool–Africa LR; repairs 1791
1794 R.Poosey
T.Hawkins
Harper & Co. Liverpool–Africa
Liverpool–Martinique
LR; repairs 1791

War with France had broken out and Captain Thomas Hawkins acquired a letter of marque on 20 May 1794.[1]

Year Master Owner Trade Source
1795 T.Hawkins Harper & Co. Liverpool–Martinique LR; repairs 1791
1796 T.Hawkins
Richardson
Harper & Co. Liverpool–Martinique
Liverpool–Africa
LR; repairs 1791

7th slave trading voyage (1796–1797): Captain John Richards sailed from Liverpool on 8 July 1796 and arrived in Africa on 25 September. Brooks acquired her slaves at Loango and Ambriz. She sailed from Africa on 11 January 1797 and arrived at St Croix on 28 February. She had embarked 453 slaves and she arrived with 384. She sailed from St Croix on 16 April and arrived back at Liverpool on 28 May. She had left LIverpool with 39 crew members and suffered two crew deaths on her voyage.[13]

8th slave trading voyage (1797–1798): Captain Richards sailed from Liverpool on 24 August 1797, bound for West Africa. Brooks arrived at Kingston on 7 May 1798 with 446 slaves. At Jamaica Captain John Williams replaced Richards. She sailed for Liverpool on 14 August.[14] As Brooks, Williams, master, was leaving Jamaica she ran onshore at Port Antonio and lost her rudder.

As Brooks, Williams, master, was leaving Jamaica she ran onshore at Port Antonio; she was gotten off with the loss of her rudder.[15] Brooks arrived back at Liverpool on 25 October.[14] She brought with her Clermont, Bartels, master. Clermont had been sailing from North Carolina when Brooks captured her.[16]

9th slave trading voyage (1799): Captain Moses Joynson acquired a letter of marque on 16 January 1799. Brooks sailed from Liverpool on 8 February.[17] However she soon ran into difficulties. She was driven from her moorings on to the Cheshire shore. She was full of water.[18]

Brooks was rebuilt in 1799 and returned with a burthen of 353 or 359 tons. LR showed her master as J. Slothart,[19] but the slave-trade voyage data reports her master on her 10th voyage as Joynson. The ship arrival and departure data in Lloyd's List confirms that her master was Joynson, not Slothart or Stothart.[Note 1]

10th slave trading voyage (1800–1801): Captain Joynson sailed from Liverpool on 18 November 1800. Brooks acquired her slaves at Malembo and delivered them to Demerara. She arrived there on 9 June 1801 with 324 slaves.[21] Lloyd's List reported on 3 March 1801 that a schooner, bound for St Domingo from Bordeaux, had come into Dominica. The schooner was a prize to Brooks and William Heathcote, of Liverpool.[22]

Brooks returned to Liverpool on 16 September. She had left Liverpool with 45 crew members and she suffered 11 crew deaths on her voyage.[21]

Captain William Murdock acquired a letter of marque on 2 April 1804.[1]

11th slave trading voyage (1804): Captain Murdock sailed from Liverpool on 3 May 1804. Brooks acquired her slaves in the Congo and then in Cabinda. She sailed from Africa on 19 September. She arrived at Montevideo on 14 November. She had embarked 322 slaves and she arrived with 320. She had left Liverpool with 54 crew members and she suffered two crew deaths on her voyage.[23]

Fate[edit]

Brooks was condemned at Montevideo as unseaworthy.[23]

Legacy[edit]

In July 2007, students and staff at Durham University in northeast England re-created the image of the Brookes print to draw attention to the atrocities of the middle passage, in an exercise that involved lying on the ground in a manner similar to the slaves arranged on the Brookes.[24][3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Stothart was master of the slave ship William Heathcote and sailing on a slave trading voyage in 1801-1802.[20]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Letter of Marque, p.54 - accessed 25 July 2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b LR (1781), Seq.No.B396.
  3. ^ a b "The Brookes – visualising the transatlantic slave trade". 1807 Commemorated: The abolition of the slave trade. Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past. 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Stowage of the British slave ship "Brookes" under the regulated slave trade act of 1788. [n. p. n. d.]. – Piece 1 of 1,". An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. The Library of Congress. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Stowage of the British slave ship "Brookes" under the regulated slave trade act of 1789. [n. p. n. d.]". Hdl.loc.gov. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Glickman, Jessica A. (2015). "A War at the Heart of Man: The Structure and Construction of Ships Bound for Africa". University of Rhode Island | DigitalCommons@URI.
  7. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80663.
  8. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80664.
  9. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80665.
  10. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80666.
  11. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80667.
  12. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80668.
  13. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80669.
  14. ^ a b Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80670 .
  15. ^ "The Marine List". Lloyd's List (3035). 5 October 1798. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  16. ^ "The Marine List". Lloyd's List (3040). 30 October 1798. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  17. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80671.
  18. ^ "The Marine List". Lloyd's List (3055). 19 February 1799. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  19. ^ LR (1801), Seq.No.B370.
  20. ^ Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – William Heathcote voyage #884069 .
  21. ^ a b Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80672.
  22. ^ "The Marine List". Lloyd's List (4130). 3 March 1801. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  23. ^ a b Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database – Brooks voyage #80673.
  24. ^ "Palace Green transformed into a slave ship". Durham First. Durham University. Retrieved 17 July 2011.