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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎87r] (41/50)

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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Lordship in my despatch No, 20 of the 22nd May. It seems to me that the most just
and ready way would be to authorize a Commission, consisting of myself and Sheikh
Suliman-bin-Ali, the Sultan's Secretary, to examine and decide all claims brought before
it, empowering me at the same time to disburse the sum allowed. It is of great importance
that all such matters should be settled speedily, as thus alone will the Arabs be convinced
of our justice; and I would bring to the knowledge of your Lordship that this is the first
instance in which a decision has been obtained in favour of one of Seyd Majid's subjects.
I have, &c.
(Signed) JOHN KIRK.
No. 21.
The Secretary to the Admiralty to Mr. Otway.—(Received October 13.)
Sir, Admiralty, October 12, 1869.
I AM commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith
for the information of the Earl of Clarendon, a copy of a letter from Commodore Sir L.
Heath, dated the 22nd September, relative to Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa.
With reference to your letter of the 4th instant suggesting that the instructions which
my Lords propose to issue for the guidance of naval officers employed in the suppression
of Slave Trade should be referred to the Commission which will shortly meet for the
discussion of Slave Trade questions, in order that some decision may be come to with
regard to the best places for landing liberated slaves taken from vessels captured on the
East Coast; their Lordships, in bringing the inclosed despatch under Lord Clarendon's
notice, would suggest whether it may not be expedient at once to issue the instructions,
leaving the question as to where slaves should be landed for the consideration of the
Copies of the instructions, when printed, will be sent to Foreign Office.
I am, &c.
Inclosure in No. 2].
Commodore Sir L. Heath to the Secretary to the Admiralty.
Sir, "Forte," at Aden, September 22, 1869.
IN reply to your letter of the 14th July with its inclosures, on the subject of the
alleged unsatisfactory system at present pursued by Her Majesty's cruizers in dealing
with vessels suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, and directing me to furnish
their Lordships with specific information and explanations on the points raised in the
inclosures, informing me also of the intention of forming a Committee to report upon
the whole subject. I have the honour to refer in the first place to my letters to their
Lordships Nos. 112,214, 231,233, 237, of 1868, and Nos. 03, 92, 93, and 123 of 1869, and
to request that copies of them and of their inclosures may be laid before the Committee.
2. With respect to the specific cases referred to by Mr. Otway, viz., a capture by
Her Majesty's ship "Peterel," and one by Her Majesty's ship "Nymphe," I have to state
that the " Peterel" being on the Cape of Good Hope station, I am not in communication with
her Commander. With respect to the vessel captured and destroyed by the " Nymphe," and
for which compensation has been decreed by the Vice-Admiralty Court at Zanzibar, I beg
to point out that an appeal against the decision of the Court is as open to the captors as
to the captured, and to state that I understand Commander Meara is about to appeal against
Dr. Kirk's decision, and that although doubtless in this case the Government would pay the
compensation if the judgment of the Vice-Admiralty Court should be maintained, yet
the claim will not be against the Government as stated by Mr. Otway, but against the
3. On the 9th April, 1868, in my letter, I reported to their Lordships the opinion
given by the Advocate-General at Bombay that the presence of domestic slaves on board
a dhow was not evidence sufficient to convict her as a slaver, I gave reasons in that letter
against this opinion, and I pointed out that if the Advocate-General was borne out by the
Law Officers in England, it would be necessary to revise the instructions given to naval
officers. I would now again urge an immediate answer to that letter, for it is a hardship
to the officers commanding on this station that notwithstanding the numerous precedents
[410] M

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' [‎87r] (41/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B84, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 February 2020]

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