Part of Bristol’s trading history, as explained below, included trade with Africa. This was known as the ‘Africa trade’. It was also known as the ‘Guinea trade’ after the Guinea coast area of West Africa where the merchants from Europe visited on their trade voyages. Although trade between Africa and Europe started with goods such as gold and ivory, it eventually included the trade in African people. This became known as the ‘Triangular Trade’. It was so called because the route usually taken between Europe, West Africa and the Caribbean formed a triangle. The Europeans went to West Africa and bought enslaved people, then took them to the Caribbean islands where they worked as slaves on their plantations .
The enslaved Africans did not come to Bristol directly. Their labour in the Caribbean made a huge profit for the city, like many European ports at the time.