Capture of the Veloz Passagera
|Capture of Veloz Passagera|
|Part of the Suppression of the Slave Trade|
|United Kingdom||Slave Traders|
|Commanders and leaders|
|William Broughton||Jozé Antonio de la Vega|
|1 sloop-of-war||1 ship|
|Casualties and losses|
1 sloop-of-war damaged
1 ship captured
The Capture of Veloz Passagera was a single ship action that occurred during the British Royal Navy's anti-slavery blockade of Africa in the early and mid 19th century. The sloop-of-war HMS Primrose, of 18 guns, under Captain William Broughton, captured the 20-gun Cuban slave ship under Jozé Antonio de la Vega, master.
Primrose encountered Veloz Passagera off Prince's Island, West Africa, in the evening of 6 September 1830. The British attacked early in the morning of 7 September. A severe engagement ensued in which the British ultimately boarded Veloz Passagera, capturing her. Forty-three slavers out of 150 were killed in action and another 20 were wounded; the British lost three killed and 12 wounded. The engagement was one of the few fought during several decades of anti-slavery operations off the African coast, and was the most significant in terms of casualties and the strength of the opposing forces.
Veloz Passagera had 556 slaves aboard her when Primrose opened fire. Five died as a result of the broadsides from Primrose, and another 21 died before the court condemned Velos Passagera and emancipated the slaves.
Veloz Passagera was sent to Sierra Leone for adjudication by the British and the Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, which condemned her on 16 October 1830. The British wanted to try 24 of surviving crew in England with piracy. Captain Broughton sailed Primrose back to England as well, leaving Africa in December to follow up on the court proceedings. He took with him the 24 crew men. However, Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, decided that British courts had no jurisdiction and that charges of piracy were not appropriate. He had the 24 men transported to Spain where they stood trial in 1831.
The proceeds of the bounty granted for 551 slaves and a moiety of the hull, etc., were deposited in the Registry of the High Court of Admiralty on 16 June 1831.
Citations and references
- Grindal, Peter (2016) Opposing the Slavers: The Royal Navy’s Campaign against the Atlantic Slave Trade. (I.B.Tauris). ASIN: B01MYTNUEH
- Spears, R. John (1900). The American slave-trade: an account of its origin, growth and suppression. C. Scribner's Sons for the University of California.