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Muster roll

Muster roll detail


Ships’ muster rolls from 1748 – 1749; Society of Merchant Venturers’ archive.
Muster roll no: 84.

Detail of muster roll for the ship, the Marlborough, sailing for Africa and St Christophers, in the Caribbean, 1748.
Amongst the crew is listed a Negroe Boy of Bristol. He had sailed on the Marlborough before. He may have been a slave belonging to the captain, although possibly he was free.

The muster roll is a list of all crew signed on for all or part of a voyage, which was used to calculate the money each man should pay to the Sailors’ Hospital Fund (insurance).

The Society of Merchant Venturers is a Bristol-based organisation, which was formed in 1552 as an elite body of merchants involved in overseas trade. The Society still exists today.

The language used to describe people of African descent in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is unacceptable in today’s terms. We cannot avoid using this language in its original context. To change the words would impose 20th century attitudes on history.

Date: 1748

Copyright: Copyright The Society of Merchant Venturers

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