Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance

The Prince of Slavers

Humphry Morice and the Transformation of Britain's Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1698–1732

Authors: Mitchell, Matthew David

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  • Demonstrates why the vast majority of the early independent British slave traders lacked the capital, both financial and informational, to succeed in the slave trade 
  • Analyses Morice's voluminous surviving papers and offers intriguing insights into his strategy
  • Connects Morice’s business practices with the “commodification” of enslaved human beings on the Middle Passage
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eBook 85,59 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-33839-8
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About this book

Much scholarship on the British transatlantic slave trade has focused on its peak period in the late eighteenth century and its abolition in the early nineteenth; or on the Royal African Company (RAC), which in 1698 lost the monopoly it had previously enjoyed over the trade. During the early eighteenth-century transition between these two better-studied periods, Humphry Morice was by far the most prolific of the British slave traders.  He bears the guilt for trafficking over 25,000 enslaved Africans, and his voluminous surviving papers offer intriguing insights into how he did it.

Morice’s strategy was well adapted for managing the special risks of the trade, and for duplicating, at lower cost, the RAC’s capabilities for gathering information on what African slave-sellers wanted in exchange.  Still, Morice’s transatlantic operations were expensive enough to drive him to a series of increasingly dubious financial manoeuvres throughout the 1720s, and eventually to large-scale fraud in 1731 from the Bank of England, of which he was a longtime director.  He died later that year, probably by suicide, and with his estate hopelessly indebted to the Bank, his family, and his ship captains.  Nonetheless, his astonishing rise and fall marked a turning point in the development of the brutal transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans.

About the authors

Matthew David Mitchell is Assistant Professor of British History at Sewanee: The University of the South, USA.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 85,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-33839-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Prince of Slavers
Book Subtitle
Humphry Morice and the Transformation of Britain's Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1698–1732
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-33839-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-33839-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-33838-1
Series ISSN
2662-5164
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 317
Number of Illustrations
2 illustrations in colour
Topics