Revolt on Bristol Ship Narborough


In 1753 the Bristol ship Narborough put out from Bonny with a cargo of slaves.  The captain ordered some of the men to be unshackled and help with the ship’s duties.  The small arms chest was either left unlocked or a negro stole the key.  With firearms they dealt with the white men mercilessly—massacring all but a few whom they commanded to take the ship to Bonny.  The fate of the returned negroes is unrecorded, but it may well be that were recaptured by their fellow countrymen and sold again as were those of whom Jerome Weuves—a fort Governor of the Gold Coast—spoke, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Committee.

Source: Details of the life of the seamen in the Guinea trade have been compiled from Alexander Falconbridge’s account and from the evidence of himself, Captain Knox, Jerome Weuves and others, given before the Parliamentary Committee in 1789.  Knox told the Committee that on his first voyage as master of the Liverpool ship Fairy, in 1782, he had a crew of forty-five men, more than one half of which were landsmen, “seamen not then to be got.”