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Muster roll

Muster roll


Ships’ muster rolls from 1748 – 1749; Society of Merchant Venturers’ archive.
Muster roll no: 166.

Muster roll of the ship, the Duke of Queensbury, sailing for Africa and Jamaica, to return to Bristol, 1747.
The Duke of Queensbury sailed to Africa with orders to buy 480 slaves. The number actually bought is not known, but 373 were sold at Jamaica. The crew included Free Essex, a negroe. His name implies that he was a free man. His usual place of abode is given as Bristol.

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: 1747

Copyright: Copyright The Society of Merchant Venturers

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