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An 18th Century Voyage of Discovery


 

Questions and Evidence

Many questions arise out of this voyage, which the sources used as evidence may help to answer:

  1. Was the intention of the voyage to harass the enemies of the Crown?
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  2. Was the intention of the voyage to gain a profit for the Crown?
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  3. Was the intention of the voyage to gain a profit for the merchants who backed the voyage?
    View the sources
  4. Was there any difference between privateering and piracy?
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  5. Was Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, involved in the capture and sale of slaves?
    View the sources
  6. Was Woodes Rogers involved in slave trading?
    View the sources

  7. Were captured slaves brought back to England and sold?
    View the sources
  8. Was Thomas Goldney II, the principal shareholder in Woodes Rogers’ voyage, guilty of making profits out of plunder and slave trading?
    View the sources

  9. Was the expansion of Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire partially funded through the profits made by Woodes Rogers’ voyage?
    View the sources
  10. Can it be argued that the Industrial Revolution was partially built on the profits of slavery?
    View the sources
  11. Is there any evidence to link Goldney Hall to the Slave Trade?
    View the sources

  12. Is there any evidence to link the Iron Bridge in Shropshire to the Slave Trade?
    View the sources
  13. Is there any evidence that reveals the existence of a Black and Asian Presence in Bristol before 1850?
    View the sources

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1. Was the intention of the voyage to harass the enemies of the Crown?

Letters of Marque and Reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Document | Transcript
Letters of marque and reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Letters of marque and reprisal were obtained from the Lord High Admiral. These letters enabled merchant ships to be armed for self-defence from foreign ships but also sanctioned attacks on foreign ships, especially those deemed enemies of Britain. In reality, privateering was little more than high seas piracy and the booty collected was another way of making money when ‘normal’ maritime trade was suspended, such as in time of war.
Monies were also paid as customs duties to the Crown on the ship’s return, the captured ships being condemned in Admiralty courts and confiscated.

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2. Was the intention of the voyage to gain a profit for the Crown?

Letters of Marque and Reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Document | Transcript
Letters of marque and reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Letters of marque and reprisal were obtained from the Lord High Admiral. These letters enabled merchant ships to be armed for self-defence from foreign ships but also sanctioned attacks on foreign ships, especially those deemed enemies of Britain. In reality, privateering was little more than high seas piracy and the booty collected was another way of making money when ‘normal’ maritime trade was suspended, such as in time of war.
Monies were also paid as customs duties to the Crown on the ship’s return, the captured ships being condemned in Admiralty courts and confiscated.

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3. Was the intention of the voyage to gain a profit for the merchants who backed the voyage?

Letters of Marque and Reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Document | Transcript
Payments made by Thomas Goldney II for the Duke and Dutchess.


Documents showing the shares owned by, and payments made to, the Bristol merchant backers including Thomas Goldney II - opens new window
Document | Transcript
Documents showing the shares owned by, and payments made to, the Bristol merchant backers including Thomas Goldney II.

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4. Was there any difference between privateering and piracy?
Letters of marque and reprisals for the Cinque Ports - opens new window
Document | Transcript
Letters of marque and reprisal for the Cinque Ports galley.
Letters of marque and reprisal for the St. George - opens new window
Document | Transcript
Letters of marque and reprisal for the St George.
Letters of marque for the Duke and Duchess - opens new window
Document | Transcript
Letters of marque and reprisal for the Duke and Dutchess.
Letters of marque and reprisal were obtained from the Lord High Admiral. These letters enabled merchant ships to be armed for self-defence from foreign ships but also sanctioned attacks on foreign ships, especially those deemed enemies of Britain. In reality, privateering was little more than high seas piracy and the booty collected was another way of making money when ‘normal’ maritime trade was suspended, such as in time of war.
Monies were also paid as customs duties to the crown on the ship’s return, the captured ships being condemned in Admiralty courts and confiscated.

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5. Was Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, involved in the capture and sale of slaves?

Extract from Alexander Selkirk's deposition in Cresswell -v- Dampier & Others - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This deposition made by Alexander Selkirk in a court case against William Dampier does not mention his own activities apart from his role as master on the voyage in 1703.
Captin Rogers' people stripping some ladies of their jewels - opens new window
Document
This source shows that the crews of the Duke and Dutchess were involved in raiding towns for plunder.
List of Slaves captured for the Ascencion -  opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that the crews of the Duke and Dutchess were involved in the capture of ‘Negro’ slaves.
List of slaves captured from the Havre de Grace - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that the crews of the Duke and Dutchess were involved in the capture of ‘Negro’ slaves.

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6. Was Woodes Rogers involved in slave trading?

List of Slaves captured for the Ascencion -  opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that the crews of the Duke and Dutchess were involved in the capture of ‘Negro’ slaves.

 


List of slaves captured from the Havre de Grace - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that the crews of the Duke and Dutchess were involved in the capture of ‘Negro’ slaves.
Particulars in respect of future accounts - entry for money owing for "severell Negroes sold in England" - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source suggests that slaves captured on the voyage were brought to England.

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7. Were captured slaves brought back to England and sold?

Particulars in respect of future accounts - entry for money owing for "severell Negroes sold in England" - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source suggests that slaves captured on the voyage were brought to England.

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8. Was Thomas Goldney II, the principal shareholder in Woodes Rogers’s voyage, guilty of making profits out of plunder and slave trading?

Owners orders to the Directors and Managers - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that Thomas Goldney II was the principal shareholder in the voyage of Woodes Rogers and therefore made the most profit out of it.

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9. Was the expansion of Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire partially funded through the profits made by Woodes Rogers’ voyage?

Owners orders to the Directors and Managers - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that Thomas Goldney II was the principal shareholder in the voyage of Woodes Rogers and therefore made the most profit out of it.
Indenture, between Abraham Darby I and Thomas Goldney II, providing security for Goldney's investment  - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This shows that £1,700 was paid by Thomas Goldney II to fund the expansion of the Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire. This was two years after the return of the Woodes Rogers voyage and after most of the plunder had been sold.

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10. Can it be argued that the Industrial Revolution was partially built on the profits of slavery?

Owners orders to the Directors and Managers - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that Thomas Goldney II was the principal shareholder in the voyage of Woodes Rogers and therefore made the most profit out of it.
Indenture, between Abraham Darby I and Thomas Goldney II, providing security for Goldney's investment  - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This shows that £1,700 was paid by Thomas Goldney II to fund the expansion of the Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire. This was two years after the return of the Woodes Rogers voyage and after most of the plunder had been sold.

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11. Is there any evidence to link Goldney Hall to the Slave Trade?

Thomas Goldney II's will - opens new window
Document | Transcript
The will of Thomas Goldney II shows that he left his country house to Thomas Goldney III, who greatly expanded the house, gardens and grounds.


Owners orders to the Directors and Managers - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This source shows that Thomas Goldney II was the principal shareholder in the voyage of Woodes Rogers and therefore made the most profit out of it.

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12. Is there any evidence to link the Iron Bridge in Shropshire to the Slave Trade?

Indenture, between Abraham Darby I and Thomas Goldney II, providing security for Goldney's investment - opens new window
Document | Transcript
This shows that £1,700 was paid by Thomas Goldney II to fund the expansion of the Coalbrookdale ironworks in Shropshire. This was two years after the return of the Woodes Rogers voyage and after most of the plunder had been sold. The Iron Bridge, built 70 years later, was conceived by Abraham Darby III’s Coalbrookdale Company, which expanded after the partnership with the Goldney family.

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13. Is there any evidence that reveals the existence of a Black and Asian Presence in Bristol before 1850?

Particulars in respect of future accounts - entry for money owing for "severell Negroes sold in England" - opens new window
Document | Transcript

This source suggests that slaves captured on the voyage were brought to England.


Account of the purchase taken of the ships Duke and Duchess - extract from crew's wages, entry for John Walker, the black
Document | Transcript
This source suggests that Black people who lived in Bristol at the time of Woodes Rogers’ voyage or who were crew made a small profit out of the voyage.

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