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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎73v] (14/50)

The record is made up of 1 volume (25 folios). It was created in 29 Oct 1869. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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No. 7*.
Mr. Rothery to Mr. Oho ay.—{Received August 24.)
Sir, Admiralty Registry, Doctors' Commons, August 23, 1869.
I HAVE to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Murray's letter of the 15th of June last,
forwarding, by directions of the Earl of Clarendon, copy of a despatch from Her Majesty's
Acting Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. and Consul at Zanzibar, with the papers, in original, relating to the
cases of ten Arab dhows which had been captured by Her Majesty's ship " Nymphe," and
condemned in the Consular Court at Zanzibar for being engaged in the Slave Trade.
I have delayed answering Mr. Murray's letter, as there was until recently a Bill
pending before Parliament for the purpose of defining the jurisdiction of the Consul in
cases of this description; and ft seemed uncertain whether that Bill would become law.
The Bill, however, was passed just before the close of the session, and 1 now, therefore,
propose to state the position in which these cases stand.
As you are aware, the authority under which the Consul acted in these cases was
Her Majesty's Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers). of the 9th of August, 1866, the 29th section of which
provides that " Her Majesty's Consul within the dominions of Zanzibar shall, for and
within the said dominions, and for vessels and persons coming within those dominions,
and in regard to vessels captured on suspicion of being engaged in the Slave Trade within
those dominions, have all such jurisdiction as for the time being ordinarily belongs to
Courts of Vice-Admiralty in Her Majesty's possessions abroad."
It will thus be seen that the jurisdiction thereby conferred upon the British Consul
was smpjy over vessels engaged in the Slave Trade, either coming within or captured
within the dominions of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Now of the ten dhows in question, the
nrst appears to have been captured off Dalrymple Bay, in Madagascar; the four next at
Majungo m Madagascar ; the two next in Boteler River, also in Madagascar ; the eighth
m Delgado Bay, the ninth in Mungollo River, both on the East Coast of Africa; and the
tenth in the harbour of Zanzibar. The last case, no doubt, falls within the terms of the
S 0011 " 1 ' as ?? also ' P^bably, the eighth and ninth cases; but in the first seven
cases the Consul would seem, so far as can be ascertained from the papers, to have acted
without any authority whatever, and to have condemned vessels over which he had
absolutely no jurisdiction at all.
Commi^?nn With f u™™ . meet , ca if s of this description that I was directed by the Lords
M? t " er r Maje f y S 10 P re l ,are a short Bin ' ha ™8 for ^ object to
IhctW ttn l 8 , su ! al Zamth-M jurisdiction over all Zanzibar vessels captured,
nation nnw'I? ^ ^ommions of Zanzibar, as also over all vessels name and
The Bi» T ent ed t0 , da " n the Flection of the flag of any State or nation,
irant the nlST 086 ?' am0n8 f 0tller tbiD ? s ' t0 em po w er the Lords of the Treasury to
Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers). ou ? "r 8 on ' e ca .P tu r e ot any such vessels, a power not given by the
^e^ of the grounds for passing the Bill is
Juris«clL h nTzaS^l at t d 'iifin.? i JL WaS passed ' and is entitled " The Slave Trade
provides that Her r ^ u ^ 33 Vict " ca P- 75 ' = ^ 2nd section
the commencement nAh* 3 ^^have, and shall be deemed to have, always since
belongs to Vipp AH ' if 6 saul 0rder m Council had " all such jurisdiction as ordinarily
beyond the d^minbns^nf 7^ ^ T* Zanzibar VesSels ca P tu ^ whe ther within o^r
4th section nrov dlTth .1 fvf"! an ^ over vessels name an d nation unknown. And the
of being engao-ed in nr 6 • C j r a PP^ to cases vessels captured on suspicion
Majesty's Consul at 7 a n Slave Trade, and adjudicated upon by Her
So far ?hpLf .T' Wheth J er bef0re 0r after the P assin S of thi s Act." ^
previously irreguW fh/A f 86 * and , s ™ llar cases ^ which the Consul's Decrees were
niigbt be^vell pal 1 n0 p d0Ubt ' haS rendered them valid - At the same time, it
case, before adiudioatino- on ^ s attention to the fact,^ and to direct him in any future
Order in CounHI nr ff 1 V ^ r^ Ulte certa ^ 11 ^at it comes within the terms of the
absolutely invalid inH ^ Kf i ^ i lament ' ^ 0r ' otherwise, his proceedings would be
Her Majesty's Go'vernment ^ dem ' dnds for c o m P^s a tion being made upon
carefully vvatched^v^n ^ proceedings before the Consul are stated to have been
prop^ty. This TfK 0 * Hls . Hi S h "^ the Sultan, in defence of his subjects'
eno-a^ed in the SI- ivp T^ 8 ^n 01 ?' aS 1 j a ^ or d s the best security that only vessels actually
—tx:^ ••— *
be, as I believe it is, a port to which not only great numbers of Arab

About this item


This file contains correspondence between British officials regarding their attempts to monitor and prohibit slave traffic on the East Coast of Africa. The correspondence dates from March 1869 to October 1869.

Of particular interest are the following folios:

  • Folio 71 - French Government boat registration papers that had been given to 'Arab Dhows' allowing them to travel under the French flag.
  • Folio 73 - A chart entitled 'Memorandum of Number of Slaves landed and liberated at Aden, and how disposed of'.
  • Folio 74 - A copy of the Slave Trade Jurisdiction (Zanzibar) Bill, May 1869.
  • Folios 89-91 - 'A Memorandum by Mr. Churchill [Henry Adrian Churchill, Britain's Agent in Zanzibar] respecting Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa'.
Extent and format
1 volume (25 folios)

The file is arranged in rough chronological order, with the earliest correspondence at the beginning of the file and the latest at the end of the file.

Physical characteristics

Condition: contained within a bound volume that contains a number of other files.

Foliation: The foliation for this description commences at f 67, and terminates at f 91, as it is part of a larger physical volume; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 5-134; these numbers are written in pencil, but are not circled, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎73v] (14/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B84, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 February 2020]

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