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Slave Trade Act of 1807
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The act abolished the slave trade in the British empire. The trade had begun in 1562, during the reign of Elizabeth when John Hawkins led the first slaving expedition.
The people who pushed the act through were a group of Evangelical Protestants allied with Quakers and united in their opposition to slavery and the slave trade. The Quakers had long viewed slavery as immoral, a blight upon humanity. By 1807 the anti-slave-trade groups had a very sizable faction of like-minded members in the British Parliament. They controlled, at their height, some 35-40 seats.
Known as the "saints" this alliance was led by William Wilberforce, the most important of the anti-slavetrade campaigners. These parliamentarians had access to the legal draughtmanship of James Stephen Wilberforce's brother-in-law, and were extremely dedicated. They often saw their personal battle against slavery as a divinely ordained crusade.
In addition, many who were formerly neutral on the slavery question were swayed to the abolitionist side from security concerns after the successful Haitian Revolution in 1804.
Their numbers were magnified by the precarious position of the current government under Lord Grenville (his short term as Prime Minister was known as Ministry of All the Talents). Not long after the act was passed, Grenville's government lost power to the Duke of Portland. Despite this change, the later British governments continued to support the policy of ending the slave trade.
After the British ended their own slave trade, they felt forced by economics to press other nations into placing themselves in the same economic straitjacket, or else the British colonies would become uncompetitive with those of other nations. The British campaign against the slave trade by other nations was an unprecedented foreign policy effort. The United States also abolished its African slave trade at the same time, though it did not attempt to abolish slavery then practised within American borders.
Both the British and American laws were finalized in March of 1807, the British law being effective on May 1, 1807 and the American law on January 1, 1808. Other small trading nations that did not have a great deal to give up, such as Sweden, quickly followed suit, as did the Dutch, who were also by then a minor player.
The British navy declared that ships transporting slaves were the same as pirates, and so ships carrying slaves were subject to destruction and any men captured were (potentially) subject to execution. Enforcement of the US law was less effective, and the US government refused to comply with joint enforcement (partly because of concern over British impressment).
Sir John Hawkins
The second son of William Hawkins, a wealthy West Country merchant trader, John Hawkins was born at Plymouth. As a youth, he made a number of voyages to the Spanish-held Canary Islands, where he first learned of the profits to be made from selling African slaves in Spain's American colonies. In 1559 he married Katharine Gonson, the daughter of the treasurer of Queen Elizabeth I's navy. Gonson and his friends helped supply Hawkins with three ships for his first slaving voyage, in 1562.
Ignoring Portugal's nominal control over Africa, Hawkins captured several hundred people into slavery. Sailing to Cuba, he exchanged his live cargo for enough "hides, ginger, sugar, and pearls" to fill his original fleet and two more ships. By September 1563 he and three of his vessels were safely back in England; the others had been sent to Spain.
English trading rights with Spain and its possessions had been secured by treaties in the reign of Henry VII. The Spanish maintained that their American colonies were not included in these agreements and virtually prohibited foreign trade with the New World. Since Hawkins had failed to obtain a proper license, his ships which reached Spain were seized, and their rich cargoes confiscated.
Although Hawkins's efforts to regain his goods proved futile, his profits were enormous. Courtiers and nobles joined merchants and naval officials in backing a new expedition in 1564, and Elizabeth loaned Hawkins a ship, the Jesus of Lubeck. After some fighting against Africans, the slave-laden fleet made a slow passage to the Venezuelan coast. There the English found that the Spanish government, alarmed by Hawkins's earlier activities, had forbidden the colonists to trade with foreigners. To persuade them to break the law, Hawkins landed armed parties which (without actually fighting anyone) "captured" towns long enough to set up a brisk trade and to provide alibis for nervous local authorities. The profits of this voyage far exceeded those of the first, and a third expedition seemed inevitable.
Moderates on the Privy Council blocked the intended voyage for a year, during which time Hawkins's fleet, anchored in Plymouth harbor, fired on several Spanish ships which had attempted to approach too closely. By October 1567, while the Spaniards were still protesting this incident, Hawkins sailed for the west coast of Africa. With him again was the Queen's Jesus and, among some smaller ships, the Judith, commanded by his relative Francis Drake.
At first all went as before. Portuguese and Africans alike were unable to resist the English, and the Spaniards in the New World were readily coerced into illicit trade. Then, in September 1568, pleading the effects of a storm on his flotilla, Hawkins put into the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulla (Veracruz), where he hoped to sell his remaining cargo while refitting. A day later a well-armed Spanish fleet anchored in the harbor. Despite pledges of good faith, fighting broke out, and the English had the worst of it. Hawkins was forced to abandon most of his companions, goods, and ships and, after an agonizing passage, reached England in January 1569.
Forbidden to attempt the forcible release of his friends, Hawkins pretended to join the service of the King of Spain. With the approval of the Privy Council he so deceived Philip II that the King released the captives, made Hawkins a grandee, and sent him £40, 000; the voyage had finally shown a profit.
During the 1570s and 1580s Hawkins left the sea. He became member of Parliament for Plymouth, survived an attempted assassination, and succeeded his late father-in-law as treasurer and then as comptroller of the navy. Hawkins prospered in his new posts; while his ethics were certainly questionable, he made many improvements in naval construction.
When war came with Spain in 1587-1588, the English ships designed and fitted by Hawkins proved far superior to those of the enemy. As commander of the Victory (built to his specifications) and rear admiral of the fleet, Hawkins was knighted for his part in the English victory. Paradoxically, Spain's navy improved after its defeat, and Hawkins's first post-Armada venture in company with Martin Frobisher was a dismal failure.
By August 1595 Hawkins was at sea once more; as second-in-command to Drake, he went again to the West Indies on what was to prove an English disaster. Hawkins, however, died before the voyage was well under way and was buried at sea off Puerto Rico on Nov. 12, 1595. Hawkins willed a large sum of money to Elizabeth, but his most valuable legacy was to the nation as a whole: the eminently seaworthy ships he had designed and built.
The English statesman and humanitarian William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a prominent antislaveryleader. His agitation helped smooth the way for the Act of Abolition of 1833.
William Wilberforce was born to affluence at Hull on Aug. 24, 1759. He attended Hull Grammar School and St. John's College, Cambridge. He was elected to Parliament from Hull in 1780 and from Yorkshire in 1784. In 1812 he moved his constituency to Bramber, Sussex. He retired from the House of Commons in 1825.
Wilberforce was a friend and lifelong supporter of William Pitt the Younger, the great British prime minister and war leader. Like his leader, Wilberforce moved toward a more conservative position following the French Revolution and Britain's involvement in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. His antislavery ideas arose not out of a background of secular liberalism but out of his religious beliefs. England in the late 18th century experienced a powerful religious revival, and in 1785 Wilberforce was converted to Evangelical Christianity.
In 1787 Wilberforce was approached by the antislavery advocate Thomas Clarkson, who was already in touch with the abolitionist lawyer Granville Sharp. The three formed the nucleus of a group ridiculed as the "Clapham sect" (after the location of the house where they held their meetings). They were joined by such slavery opponents as John Newton, Hannah More, Henry Thornton, Zachary Macaulay, E. J. Eliot, and James Stephen. Clarkson organized a propaganda campaign throughout the country, while Wilberforce represented the group's interests in the House of Commons. Wilberforce created two formal organizations in 1787: the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade and the Society for the Reformation of Manners.
The Claphams won a growing number of converts to their cause, but they were unable to make any legal headway against the West Indies slave traders and planters. Pitt personally supported the petitions presented to the House by Wilberforce; yet the slave trade was regarded as essential to economic health, and the West Indies interests were an important component of Pitt's Whig coalition. The 1790s witnessed some reform of the worst practices of the slavers and a resolution supporting the gradual abolition of the slave trade.
However, Wilberforce held firm in his views. His persistence was finally rewarded in 1807, when, following Pitt's death, a temporary Radical government coalition led by Charles James Fox united liberals and Evangelicals behind passage of an act prohibiting the slave trade. This act represented the culmination of Wilberforce's active participation in the movement.
In 1823 younger followers of Wilberforce founded the Antislavery Society, of which Wilberforce became a vice president. Once again a prolonged period of agitation produced results. Wilberforce, however, had been dead for a month when the Emancipation Act became law in August 1833.
James Stephen (30 June 1758 %u2013 10 October 1832) was the principal English lawyer associated with the abolitionist movement.
James Stephen began his career reporting on parliamentary proceedings. Later he held an official post in the Caribbean at St. Kitts; at that time a British colony. His first-hand experiences in the West Indies and sharp legal mind combined to turn him against the concept of slavery, and he was drawn to the abolitionist movement. He opposed the opening up of Trinidad through the use of slave labour when ceded to the British in 1797, recommending instead that Crown land should only be granted for estates that supported the immigration of free Africans. He considered that, besides the evangelical arguments in support of freedom from slavery, internal security, particularly from potential French interests, could be obtained in the British West Indian Islands by improving the conditions of slaves.
Stephen was a skilled lawyer whose specialty was the laws governing Great Britain's foreign trade. He was a defender of the mercantilist system of government-licensed controlled trade. In October, 1805 %u2013 the same month that the British fleet under Lord Nelson defeated the French fleet %u2013 his book appeared: War in Disguise; or, the Friends of the Neutral Flags. It called for the abolition of neutral nations' carrying trade, meaning America's carrying trade, between France's Caribbean islands and Europe, including Great Britain. Stephen's arguments two years later became the basis of Great Britain's Orders in Council which placed restrictions on American vessels. The enforcement of this law by British warships eventually led to the War of 1812, even though the Orders were repealed in the same month that America declared war, unbeknown to the American Congress.
James Stephen married Sarah, sister of William Wilberforce in 1800, and through this connection he became more frequently acquainted with many of the figures in the anti-slavery movement. Friendships amongst the abolitionists were also made in the village of Stoke Newington, near London, where James Stephen's father leased a family home from 1774 onwards called Summerhouse. The property adjoined Fleetwood House and Abney House at Abney Park and stood where Summerhouse Road is built today. Close by were the residences of three prominent Quaker abolitionists: William Allen (1770%u20131843), Joseph Woods the elder, and Samuel Hoare the younger (1751%u20131825). The latter two were founder members of the predecessor body to the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
Anna Letitia Barbauld, author of An Epistle to William Wilberforce (1791) also came to live in Stoke Newington in 1802. Inevitably, Wilberforce also became a frequent visitor to Stoke Newington, combining meetings with William Allen and his Quaker circle with visits to his sister Sarah and brother-in-law James.
James Stephen came to be regarded as the chief architect of the 1807 Slave Trade Abolition Act, providing William Wilberforce with the legal mastermind he needed for its drafting. To close off loopholes pointed out by some critics, he became a Director of the Africa Institution for the Registration of Slaves through which he advocated a centralized registry, administered by the British government, which would furnish precise statistics on all slave births, deaths, and sale, so that "any unregistered black would be presumed free". Though he introduced many successful ideas to strengthen the legal success of the abolitionist cause, this mechanism which was, he believed, "the only effective means to prevent British colonists from illicitly importing African slaves" was never taken up.
Member of Parliament
From 1808 to 1815 James Stephen became an MP, and in 1811 Master in Chancery. In 1826 he issued An Address to the People and Electors of England, in which, echoing his speeches, he had some success in urging the election of Members of Parliament who would not be "tools of the West India interest", paving the way for the second Abolition Bill which succeeded in 1833.
James died in 1832.
Wilberforce keeps up the pressure
Despite the momentum developed between 1788 and 1791 the abolitionist cause was not yet won. Two events were responsible for this. The first was the French Revolution, which became ever more extreme. The second was the massive slave uprising in St. Domingue, a French colony in the West Indies, led by Toussaint-L'Ouverture.
A series of revolts began on the island shortly after news of the start of the revolution in France in 1789 reached it. The British attempt to seize the colony proved a disaster, with the loss of more than 40,000 British lives.
All this served to halt the drive for abolition, which was not able to pick up momentum again until after the death of William Pitt in 1806, and the emergence of a more sympathetic Ministry under Lord Grenville.
There had been a string of parliamentary regulations tightening the conduct of the slave trade, but the final abolition had to wait until 1807. Despite this, the 1790s saw repeated attempts by William Wilberforce to keep the issue in the public arena.
William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville
William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville PC (October 25, 1759 – January 12, 1834), was a British Whig statesman and Prime Minister.
Grenville studied at Eton, Christ Church, Oxford, and Lincoln's Inn. The son of Prime Minister George Grenville he entered the House of Commons in 1782 where his elder brother, Thomas, was already sitting as an M.P..
Grenville soon became a close ally of the prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, and served in the government as Paymaster of the Forces from 1784 to 1789. In 1789 he served briefly as Speaker of the British House of Commons before, he entered the Cabinet as Home Secretary. He became Leader of the House of Lords when he was raised to the peerage the next year as Baron Grenville. The next year, in 1791, he succeeded the Duke of Leeds as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Grenville's decade as Foreign Secretary was a dramatic one, seeing the Wars of the French Revolution. During the war, Grenville was the leader of the party that focused on the fighting on the continent as the key to victory, opposing the faction of Henry Dundas which favored war at sea and in the colonies. Grenville left office with Pitt in 1801 over the issue of Catholic Emancipation.
In his years out of office, Grenville became close to the opposition Whigs leader Charles James Fox, and when Pitt returned to office in 1804, Grenville did not take part. Following Pitt's death in 1806, Grenville became the head of the "Ministry of all The Talents", a coalition between Grenville's supporters, the Foxite Whigs, and the supporters of former Prime Minister Lord Sidmouth with Grenville as First Lord of the Treasury and Fox as Foreign Secretary as joint leaders. Grenville's younger brother, Thomas Grenville, served briefly as First Lord of the Admiralty. The Ministry ultimately accomplished little, failing either to make peace with France or to accomplish Catholic emancipation (the later attempt resulting in the ministry's dismissal in March, 1807). It did have one significant achievement, however, in the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.
In the years after the fall of the ministry, Grenville continued in opposition, maintaining his alliance with Lord Grey and the Whigs, criticizing the Peninsular War and, with Grey, refusing to join Lord Liverpool's government in 1812. In the post-war years, Grenville gradually moved back closer to the Tories, but never again returned to the cabinet. His political career was ended by a stroke in 1823. Grenville also served as Chancellor of Oxford University from 1810 until his death in 1834.
An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
I. 'Whereas the Two Houses of Parliament did, by their Resolutions of the Tenth and Twenty-fourth days of June One Thousand eight hundred and six, severally resolve, upon certain Grounds therein mentioned, that they would, with all practicable Expedition, take effectual Measures for the Abolition of the African Slave Trade in such Manner, and at such Period as might be deemed advisable, And whereas it is fit upon all and each of the Grounds mentioned in the said Resolutions, that the same should be forthwith abolished and prohibited, and declared to be unlawful';
From May 1, 1807, the Slave trade shall be abolished.
Penalty for trading in or purchasing Slaves, &c. 100l. for each Slave.
Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the First Day of May One thousand eight hundred and seven, the African Slave Trade, and all and all manner of dealing and trading in the Purchase, Sale, Barter, or Transfer of Slaves, or of Persons intended to be sold, transferred, used, or dealt with as Slaves, practiced or carried on, in, at, to or from any Part of the Coast or Countries of Africa, shall be, and the same is hereby utterly abolished, prohibited, and declared to be unlawful; and also that all and all manner of dealing, either by way of Purchase, Sale, Barter, or Transfer, or by means of any other Contract or Agreement whatever, relating to any Slaves, or to any Persons intended to be used or dealt with as Slaves, for the Purpose of such Slaves or Persons being removed or transported either immediately or by Transshipment at Sea or otherwise, directly or indirectly from Africa, or from any Island, Country, Territory, or Place whatever, in the West Indies, or in any other part of America, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, to any other Island, Country, Territory, or Place what ever, is hereby in like Manner utterly abolished, prohibited, and declared to be unlawful; and if any of His Majesty's Subjects, or any Person or Persons resident within this United Kingdom, or any of the Islands, Colonies, Dominions, or Territories thereto belonging, or in His Majesties Occupation or Possession, shall from and after the Day aforesaid, by him or themselves, or by his or their Factors or Agents or otherwise howsoever, deal or trade in, purchase, sell, barter, or transfer, or contract or agree for the dealing or trading in, purchasing, selling, bartering, or transferring of any Slave or Slaves, or any Person or Persons intended to be sold, transferred, used, or dealt with as a Slave or Slaves contrary to the Prohibitions of this Act, he or they so offending shall forfeit and pay for every such Offence the Sum of One hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain for each and every Slave so purchased, sold, bartered, or transferred, or contracted or agreed for as aforesaid, the One Moiety thereof to the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and the other Moiety to the Use of any Person who shall inform, sue, and prosecute for the same.
Vessels fitted out in this Kingdom or the Colonies, &c. for carrying on the Slave Trade shall be forfeited.
II. And be it further enacted, that from and after the said First Day of May One thousand eight hundred and seven, it shall be unlawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects, or any Person or Persons resident within this United Kingdom, or any of the Islands, Colonies, Dominions, or Territories thereto belonging, or in His Majesty's Possession or Occupation, to fit out, man, or navigate, or to procure to be fitted out, manned, or navigated, or to be concerned in the fitting out, manning, or navigating, or in the procuring to be fitted out, manned, or navigated, any Ship or Vessel for the Purpose of assisting in, or being employed in the carrying on of the African Slave Trade, or in any other the Dealing, Trading, or Concerns hereby prohibited and declared to be unlawful, and every Ship or Vessel which shall, from and after the Day aforesaid, be fitted out, manned, navigated, used, or employed by any such Subject or Subjects, Person or Persons, or on his or their Account, or by his or their Assistance or Procurement for any of the Purposes aforesaid, and by this Act prohibited, together with all her Boats, Guns, Tackle, Apparel, and Furniture, shall become forfeited, and may and shall be seized and prosecuted as herein-after is mentioned and provided.
Persons prohibited from carrying as Slaves Inhabitants of Africa, the West Indies, or America, from one Place to another, or being concerned in receiving them &c.
Vessels employed in such Removal, &c. to be forfeited, as also the Property in the Slaves.
Owners, &c. so employed to forfeit 100l. for each Slave.
III. And be it further enacted, That from and after the said First Day of May, One thousand eight hundred and seven, it shall be unlawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects, or any Person or persons, resident in this United Kingdom, or in any of the Colonies, Territories, or Dominions thereunto belonging or in His Majesty's Possession or Occupation, to carry away or remove, or knowingly and willfully to procure, aid, or assist in the carrying away or removing, as Slaves, or for the purpose of being sold, transferred, used, or dealt with as Slaves, any of the Subjects or Inhabitants of Africa, or any Island, Country, Territory, or Place in the West Indies, or any part of America whatsoever, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of his Majesty, either immediately or by Transshipment at Sea or otherwise, directly or indirectly from Africa or from any such Island, Country, Territory, or Place as aforesaid, to any other Island, Country, Territory, or Place whatever, and that it shall also be unlawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects, or any Person or Persons resident in this United Kingdom, or in any of the Colonies, Territories, or Dominions thereunto belonging, or in His Majesty's Possession or Occupation, knowingly and willfully to receive, detain, or confine on board, or to be aiding, assisting, or concerned in the receiving, detaining, or confining on board of any Ship or Vessel whatever, any such Subject or Inhabitant as aforesaid, for the Purpose of his or her being so carried away or removed as aforesaid, or of his or her being sold, transferred used, or dealt with as a Slave, in any Place or Country whatever; and if any Subject or Inhabitant, Subjects or Inhabitants of Africa, or of any Island, Country, Territory, or Place in the West Indies or America, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, shall from and after the Day aforesaid, be so unlawfully carried away or removed, detained, confined, transshipped, or received on board of any Ship or Vessel belonging in the Whole or in Part to, or employed by any Subject of His Majesty, or Person residing in His Majesty's Dominions or Colonies, or any Territory belonging to or in the Occupation of His Majesty, for any of the unlawful Purposes aforesaid, contrary to the Force and Effect, true Intent and Meaning of the Prohibitions in this Act contained, every such Ship or Vessel in which any such Person or Persons shall be so unlawfully carried away or removed, detained, confined, transshipped, or received on board for any of the said unlawful Purposes, together with all her Boats, Guns, Tackle, Apparel, and Furniture, shall be forfeited, and all Property or pretended Property in any Slaves or Natives of Africa so unlawfully carried away or removed, detained, confined, transshipped or received on board, shall also be forfeited, and the same respectively shall and may be seized and prosecuted as herein-after is mentioned and provided; and every Subject of His Majesty, or Person resident within this United Kingdom, or any of the Islands, Colonies, Dominions, or Territories thereto belonging, or in His Majesty's Possession or Occupation who shall, as Owner, Part Owner, Freighter or Shipper, Factor or Agent, Captain, Mate, Supercargo, or Surgeon, so unlawfully carry away or remove, detain, confine, transship, or receive on board, or be aiding or assisting in the carrying away, removing, detaining, confining, transshipping, or receiving on board, for any of the unlawful Purposes aforesaid, any such Subject or Inhabitant of Africa, or of any Island, Country, Territory, or Place, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, shall forfeit and pay for each and every Slave or Person so unlawful carried away, removed, detained, confined, transshipped, or received on board, the Sum of One hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain, One Moiety thereof to the Use of His Majesty, and the other Moiety to the Use of any Person who shall inform, sue, and prosecute for the same.
Subjects of Africa, &c. unlawfully carried away and imported into any British Colony, &c. as Slaves, shall be forfeited to His Majesty.
IV. And be it further enacted, That if any Subject or Inhabitant, Subjects or Inhabitants of Africa, or of any Island, Country, Territory, or Place, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, who shall, at any Time from and after the Day aforesaid, have been unlawfully carried away or removed from Africa, or from any Island, Country, Territory, or Place, in the West Indies or America, not being in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, contrary to any of the Prohibitions or Provisions in this Act contained, shall be imported or brought into any Island, Colony, Plantation, or Territory, in the Dominion, Possession, or Occupation of His Majesty, and there sold or disposed of as a Slave or Slaves, or placed, detained, or kept in a State of Slavery, such Subject or Inhabitant, Subjects or Inhabitants, so unlawfully carried away, or removed and imported, shall and may be seized and prosecuted, as forfeited to His Majesty, by such Person or Persons, in such Courts, and in such Manner and Form, as any Goods or Merchandize unlawfully imported into the same Island, Colony, Plantation, or Territory, may now be seized and prosecuted therein, by virtue of any Act or Acts of Parliament now in force for regulating the Navigation and Trade of his Majesty's Colonies and Plantations, and shall and may, after his or their Condemnation, be disposed of in Manner herein-after mentioned and provided.
Insurances on Transactions concerning the Slave Trade not lawful. Penalty 100l. and treble the Amount of the Premium.
V. And be it further enacted, That from and after the said First Day of May One Thousand eight hundred and seven, all Insurances whatsoever to be effected upon or in respect to any of the trading, dealing, carrying, removing, transshipping, or other Transactions by this Act prohibited, shall be also prohibited and declared to be unlawful; and if any of His Majesty's Subject's, or any Person or Persons resident within this United Kingdom, or within any of the Islands, Colonies, Dominions, or Territories thereunto belonging, or in His Majesty's Possession or Occupation, shall knowingly and willfully subscribe, effect, or make, or cause or procure to be subscribed, effected, or made, any such unlawful Insurances or Insurance, he or they shall forfeit and pay for every such Offence the Sum of One hundred Pounds for every such Insurance, and also Treble the Amount paid or agreed to be paid as the Premium of any such Insurance, the One Moiety thereof to the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and the other Moiety to the Use of any Person who shall inform, sue, and prosecute for the same.
Act shall not affect the trading in Slaves, exported from Africa in Vessels cleared out from Great britain on or before May 1, 1807, and landed in the West Indies by March 1, 1808, &c.
VI. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall extend, or be deemed or construed to extend, to prohibit or render unlawful the dealing or trading in the Purchase, Sale, Barter, or Transfer, or the carrying away or removing for the Purpose of being sold, transferred, used, or dealt with as Slaves, or the detaining or confining for the Purpose of being so carried away or removed, of any Slaves which shall be exported, carried, or removed from Africa, in any Ship or Vessel which, on or before the said First Day of May One thousand eight hundred and seven, shall have been lawfully cleared out from Great Britain according to the Law now in force for regulating the carrying of Slaves from Africa, or to prohibit or render unlawful the manning or navigating any such Ship or Vessel, or to make void any Insurance thereon, so as the Slaves to be carried therein shall be finally landed in the West Indies on or before the First Day of March One thousand eight hundred and eight, unless prevented by Capture, the Loss of the Vessel, by the Appearance of an Enemy upon the Coast, or other unavoidable Necessity, the Proof whereof shall lie upon the Party charged; any Thing herein-before contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Slaves taken as Prize of War, or seized as Forfeitures, shall be condemned as prize, or forfeited to the King, for the Purpose of putting an End to their Slavery, and may be enlisted &c.
VII. 'And whereas it may happen, That during the present or future Wars, Ships or Vessels may be seized or detained as Prize, on board whereof Slaves or Natives of Africa, carried and detained as Slaves, being the Property of His Majesty's Enemies, or otherwise liable to Condemnation as Prize of War, may be taken or found, and it is necessary to direct in what manner such Slaves or Natives of Africa shall be hereafter treated and disposed of: And whereas it is also necessary to direct and provide for the Treatment and Disposal of any Slaves or Natives of Africa carried, removed, treated or dealt with as Slaves, who shall be unlawfully carried away or removed contrary to the Prohibitions aforesaid, or any of them, and shall be afterwards found on board any Ship or Vessel liable to Seizure under this Act, or any other Act of Parliament made for restraining or prohibiting the African Slave Trade, or shall be elsewhere lawfully seized as forfeited under this or any other such Act of Parliament as aforesaid; and it is expedient to encourage the Captors, Seizors, and Prosecutors thereof;' Be it therefore further enacted, That all Slaves and all Natives of Africa, treated, dealt with, carried, kept, or detained as Slaves which shall at any Time from and after the said First Day of May next be seized or taken as Prize of War, or liable to Forfeiture, under this or any other Act of Parliament made for restraining or prohibiting the African Slave Trade, shall and may, for the Purposes only of Seizure, Prosecution, and Condemnation as Prize or as Forfeitures, be considered, treated, taken, and adjudged as Slaves and Property in the same manner as Negro Slaves have been heretofore considered, treated, taken, and adjudged, when seized as Prize of War, or as forfeited for any Offence against the Laws of Trade and Navigation respectively, but the same shall be condemned as Prize of War, or as forfeited to the sole Use of His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, for the Purpose only of divesting and bearing all other Property, Right, Title, or Interest whatever, which before existed, or might afterwards be set up or claimed in or to such Slaves or Natives of Africa so seized, prosecuted, and condemned; and the same nevertheless shall in no case be liable to be sold, disposed of, treated or dealt with as Slaves, by or on the Part of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, or by or on the Part of any Person or Persons claiming or to claim from, by, or under His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, or under or by force of any such Sentence or Condemnation: Provided always, that it shall be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and such Officers, Civil or Military, as shall, by any general or special Order of the King in Council, be from Time to Time appointed and empowered to receive, protect, and provide for such Natives of Africa as shall be so condemned, either to enter and enlist the same, or any of them, into His Majesty's Land or Sea Service, as Soldiers, Seamen, or Marines, or to bind the same, or any of them, whether of full Age or not, as Apprentices, for any Term not exceeding Fourteen Years, to such Person or Persons, in such Place or Places, and upon such Terms and Conditions, and subject to such Regulations, as to His Majesty shall seem meet, and shall by any general of special Order of His Majesty in Council be in that Behalf directed and appointed; and any Indenture of Apprenticeship duly made and executed, by any Person or Person to be for the Purpose appointed by any such Order in Council, for any Term not exceeding Fourteen Years, shall be of the same Force and Effect as if the party thereby bound as an Apprentice had himself or herself, when of full Age upon good Consideration, duly executed the same; and every such Native of Africa who shall be so enlisted or entered as aforesaid into any of His Majesty's Land or Sea Forces as a Soldier, Seaman, or Marine, shall be considered, treated, and dealt with in all Respects as if he had voluntarily so enlisted or entered himself.
Certain Bounties shall be paid for such Slaves to the Captors as Head Money is paid under 45 G.3. c.72. § 5.
VIII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That where any Slaves or Natives of Africa, taken as Prize of War by any of His Majesty's Ships of War, or Privateers duly commissioned, shall be finally condemned as such to His Majesty's Use as aforesaid, there shall be paid to the Captors thereof by the Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy, in like Manner as the Bounty called Head Money is now paid by virtue of an Act of Parliament, made in the Forty-fifth Year of His Majesty's Reign, intituled, An Act for the Encouragement of Seamen, and for the better and more effectually manning His Majesty's Navy during the present War, such Bounty as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, shall have directed by any Order in Council, so as the same shall not exceed the Sum of Forty Pounds lawful Money of Great Britain for every Man, or Thirty Pounds of like Money for every Woman, or Ten Pounds of like Money for every Child or Person not above Fourteen Years old, that shall be so taken and condemned, and shall be delivered over in good Health to the proper Officer or Officers, Civil or Military, so appointed as aforesaid to receive, protect, and provide for the same; which Bounties shall be divided amongst the Officers, Seamen, Marines, and Soldiers on Board His Majesty's Ships of War, or hired armed Ships, in Manner, Form, and Proportion, as by His Majesty's Proclamation for granting the Distribution of Prizes already issued, or to be issued for the Purpose is or shall be directed and appointed, and amongst the Owners, Officers, and Seamen of any private Ship or Vessel of War, in such Manner and Proportion as, by an Agreement in Writing that they shall have entered into for that Purpose, shall be directed.
Certificates to entitle to Bounty.
IX. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That in order to entitle the Captors to receive the said Bounty Money, the Numbers of Men, Women, and Children, so taken, condemned, and delivered over, shall be proved to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy, by producing, instead of the Oaths and Certificates prescribed by the said Act as to Head Money, a Copy, duly certified, of the Sentence or Decree of Condemnation, whereby the Numbers of Men, Women, and Children, so taken and condemned, shall appear to have been distinctly proved; and also, by producing a Certificate under the Hand of the said Officer or Officers, Military or Civil, so appointed as aforesaid, and to whom the same shall have been delivered, acknowledging that he or they hath or have received the same, to be disposed of according to His Majesty's Instructions and Regulations as aforesaid.
Claim to Bounty shall be determined by the Judge of Admiralty.
X. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That in any Cases in which Doubts shall arise whether the party or parties claiming such Bounty Money is or are entitled thereto, the same shall be summarily determined by the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, or by the Judge of any Court of Admiralty in which the Prize shall have been adjudged, subject nevertheless to an Appeal to the Lord Commissioners of Appeals in Prize Causes.
On Condemnation of Forfeitures of Slaves for Offences against this Act, these shall be paid to the Prosecutor 13l. for a Man, 10l. for a Woman, and 3l. for a Child &c.
XI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That on the Condemnation to the Use of his Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, in Manner aforesaid, of any Slaves or Natives of Africa, seized and prosecuted as forfeited for any Offence against this Act, or any other Act of Parliament made for the restraining or prohibiting the African Slave Trade (except in the Case of Seizures made at Sea by the Commanders or Officers of His Majesty's Ships or Vessels or War) there shall be paid to and to the Use of the Person who shall have sued, informed, and prosecuted the same to Condemnation, the Sums of Thirteen Pounds lawful Money aforesaid for every Man, of Ten Pounds like Money for every Woman, and of Three Pounds like Money for every Child or person under the Age of Fourteen Years, that shall be so condemned and delivered over in good Health to the said Civil or Military Officer so to be appointed to receive, protect, and provide for the same, and also the like Sums to and to the Use of the Governor or Commander in Chief of any Colony or Plantation wherein such Seizure shall have been made; but in Cases of any such Seizures made at Sea by the Commanders or Officers of His Majesty's Ships or Vessels of War, for Forfeiture under this Act, or any other Act of Parliament made for the restraining or prohibiting the African Slave Trade, there shall be paid to the Commander of Officer who shall so seize, inform, and prosecute for every man so condemned and delivered over, the Sum of Twenty Pounds like Money, for every Woman the Sum of Fifteen Pounds like Money, and for every Child or person under the Age of Fourteen Years the Sum of Five Pounds like Money, subject nevertheless to such Distribution of the said Bounties or Rewards for the said Seizures made at Sea as His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, shall think fit to order and direct by any other Order of Council made for that Purpose; for all which Payments so to be made as Bounties or Rewards upon Seizures and Prosecutions for Offences against this Act, or any other Act of Parliament made for restraining the African Slave Trade, the Officer or Officers, Civil or Military, so to be appointed as aforesaid to receive, protect, and provide for such Slaves or Natives of Africa so to be condemned and delivered over, shall, after the Condemnation and Receipt thereof as aforesaid, grant Certificates in favour of the Governor and Party seizing, informing, and prosecuting as aforesaid respectively, or the latter alone (as the Case may be) addressed to the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury; who, upon the Production to them of any such Certificate, and of an authentic Copy, duly certified, of the Sentence of Condemnation of the said Slaves or Africans to His Majesty's Use as aforesaid, and also of a Receipt under the Hand of such Officer or Officers so appointed as aforesaid, specifying that such Slaves or Africans have by him or them been received in good Health as aforesaid, shall direct Payment to be made from and out of the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain of the Amount of the Monies specified in such Certificate, to the lawful Holders of the same, or the Persons entitled to the Benefit thereof respectively.
Counterfeiting Certificates Felony without Clergy.
XII. And be it further enacted, That if any Person shall willfully and fraudulently forge or counterfeit any such Certificate, Copy of Sentence of Condemnation, or Receipt as aforesaid, or any Part thereof, or shall knowingly and willfully utter or publish the same, knowing it to he forged or counterfeited, with Intent to defraud His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, or any other Person or Persons whatever, the Party so offending shall, on Conviction, suffer Death as in Cases of Felony, without Benefit of Clergy.
Recovery and Application of Penalties and Forfeitures.
4 G.3. C15.
XIII. And be it further enacted, That the several Pecuniary Penalties or Forfeitures imposed and inflicted by this Act, shall and may be sued for, prosecuted, and recovered in any Court of Record in Great Britain, or in any Court of Record or Vice Admiralty in any Part of His Majesty's Dominions wherein the Offence was committed, or where the Offender may be found after the Commission of such Offence; and that in all Cases of Seizure of any Ships, Vessels, Slaves or pretended Slaves, Goods or Effects, for any Forfeiture under this Act, the same shall and may respectively be sued for; prosecuted and recovered in any Court of Record in Great Britain or in any Court of Record or Vice Admiralty in any Part of His Majesty's Dominions in or nearest to which such Seizures may be made, or to which such Ships or Vessels, Slaves or pretended Slaves, Goods or Effects (if seized at Sea or without the Limits of any British Jurisdiction) may most conveniently be carried for Trial, and all the said Penalties and Forfeitures, whether pecuniary or specific (unless where it is expressly otherwise provided for by this Act) shall go and belong to such Person and Persons in such Shares and Proportions, and shall and may be sued for and prosecuted, tried, recovered, distributed, and applied in such and the like Manner and by the same Ways and Means, and subject to the same Rules and Directions, as any Penalties or Forfeitures incurred in Great Britain, and in the British Colonies or Plantations in America respectively, by force of any Act of Parliament relating to the Trade and Revenues of the said British Colonies or Plantations in America, now go and belong to, and may now be sued for, prosecuted, tried, recovered, distributed and applied respectively in Great Britain or in the said Colonies or Plantations respectively, under and by virtue of a certain Act of Parliament made in the Fourth Year of His present Majesty, intituled: An Act for granting certain Duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America, for continuing, amending, and making perpetual an Act passed in the Sixth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty, King George the Second, intituled: 'an Act for the better securing and encouraging the Trade of His Majesty's Sugar Colonies in America; for applying the Produce of such Duties to arise by virtue of the said Act towards defraying the Expences of defending, protecting, and securing the said Colonies and Plantations; for explaining an Act made in the Twenty-fifth Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, intituled: "An Act for the Encouragement of the Greenland and Eastland Trades, and for the better securing the Plantation trade, and for altering and disallowing several Drawbacks on Exports from this Kingdom, and more effectively preventing the clandestine Conveyance of Goods to and from the said Colonies and Plantations, and improving and securing the Trade between the same and Great Britain."'
Seizures may be made by Officers of Customs or Excise, or Navy.
XIV. And be it further enacted, That all Ships and Vessels, Slaves or Natives of Africa, carried, conveyed, or dealt with as Slaves, and all other Goods and Effects that shall or may become forfeited for any Offence committed against this Act, shall and may be seized by any Officer of His Majesty's Customs or Excise, or by the Commanders or Officers of any of His Majesty's Ships or Vessels of War, who, in making and prosecuting any such Seizures, shall have the Benefit of all the Provisions made by the said Act of the Fourth Year of His present Majesty, or any other Act of Parliament made for the Protection of Officers seizing and prosecuting for any Offence against the said Act, or any other Act of Parliament relating to the Trade and Revenues of the British Colonies or Plantations in America.
Offences triable as if committed in Middlesex.
XV. And be it further enacted, That all Offences committed against this Act may be inquired of, tried, determined, and dealt with as Misdemeanors, as if the same had been respectively committed within the Body of the County of Middlesex.
His Majesty may make Regulations for Disposal of Negroes after their Apprenticeship.
XVI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for his Majesty in Council, from Time to Time to make such Orders and Regulations for the future Disposal and Support of such Negroes as shall have been bound Apprentices under this Act, after the term of their Apprenticeship shall have expired, as to His Majesty shall seem meet, and as may prevent such Negroes from becoming at any Time chargeable upon the Island in which they shall have been so bound Apprentices as aforesaid.
Negroes enlisted as Soldiers not entitled to Pensions, &c.
XVII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That none of the Provisions of any Act as to enlisting for any limited Period of Service, or as to any Rules or Regulations for the granting any Pensions or Allowances to any Soldiers discharged after certain Periods of Service, shall extend, or be deemed or construed in any Manner to extend, to any Negroes so enlisting and serving in any of His Majesty's Forces.
XVIII. And be it further enacted, That if any Action or Suit shall be commenced either in Great Britain or elsewhere, against any Person or Persons for any Thing done in pursuance of this Act, the Defendant or Defendants in such Action or Suit may plead the General Issue, and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evidence at any Trial to be had thereupon, and that the same was done in pursuance and by the Authority of this Act; and if it shall appear so to have been done, the Jury shall find for the Defendant or Defendants; and if the Plaintiff shall be nonsuited or discontinue his Action after the Defendant or Defendants shall have appeared, or if Judgement shall be given upon any Verdict or Demurrer against the Plaintiff, the Defendant or Defendants shall recover Treble Costs and have the like Remedy for the same, as Defendants have in other Cases by Law.