Death Sentences in Disguise


In April 1781 John Glover, Benjamin Bowsey and a number of other prisoners awaiting execution all received royal pardons. There was, however, a sting in the tail. These pardons were conditional on serving - presumably for life - as soldiers on the African coast. Conditions there were so appalling and disease so rife that this was generally considered to be a death sentence in itself.

SP 44/95, p. 115 (30 April 1781)

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