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The British Vice Admiralty Court


The British Vice Admiralty Court - After abolishing the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in 1807, Britain annexed Sierra Leone. As with all British colonies, a Vice Admiralty Court was established in 1808 to hold jurisdiction over maritime activities. British abolitionists were keen to use this court to stop the slave trade. Intervention and prevention involved raiding coastal barracoons, seizing slave vessels at sea, and escorting the captains, crew, and captives into Freetown to be tried for slave dealing. Between 1808 and 1819, the Vice Admiralty Court was involved in several hundred cases and emancipated over 12,000 people, who were removed from slave ships, seized from the colony and rescued following attacks on coastal barracoons. Many of the documents to be displayed herein were digitized from the archives at Fourah Bay College as a result of the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme. This section is currently under development. Please check back on an ongoing basis for updates. Read more...


Settlement of Liberated Africans, Sierra Leone