17th Century

  • 1600s

    Dutch enter the trade.The ivory trade is so rampant that elephant numbers begin to decline in West Africa

  • 1607

    English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, founded

  • 1610-1660

    110,000-135,000 white English went to the Caribbean mainly as indentured labourers, some as transported prisoners

  • 1615

    First European poem against slavery, by Gerbrand Brederoo, The Little Moor

  • 1618

    British Crown allows the 'Guinea Company' to trade with West Africa: the main interest was gold

  • 1619

    First recorded cargo of enslaved Africans is landed in Virginia

  • 1623

    Thomas Warner founds the first successful English settlement on St Kitts

  • 1625

    First English settlement on Barbados

  • 1626

    First boatload of African slaves to St. Kitts

  • 1630

    British King Charles I grants patent to Sir Nicholas Crisp to trade to West Africa First slave rebellion in an English colony - Santa Catalina in E. Caribbean. One Puritan colonist there advises slaves to abscond as slavery was wrong Bristol merchants give credit to early colonists in Caribbean in return for a share in their tobacco crops

  • 1631

    King Charles I grants a monopoly on the Guinea trade to a group of London merchants

  • 1639

    Slave revolt in the French part of St. Kitts

  • 1640s

    Sugar cultivated in Barbados by mixed teams of white and black labourers

  • 1646

    Sir Thomas Browne writes against the slave trade in Vulgar Errors

  • 1649

    Slave revolt in Barbados

  • 1652

    First coffee house established in Britain

  • 1655

    British take Jamaica from the Spanish - Bristol Admiral Sir William Penn in command. Slaves in Jamaica escape into the mountains and establish 'Maroon' settlements.

  • 1656

    Slave revolt in Guadeloupe led by Angolans

  • 1657

    Juan de Bolas, a Jamaican leader of escaped slaves ('Maroons') surrenders to the British but on terms of pardon and freedom. Other Maroons continue to fight British rule

  • 1660's

    Demand for African labour for the Barbados sugar plantations intensifies

  • 1663

    Charles II charters 'The Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading to Africa'

  • 1664

    A law passed in Maryland refers to inter-racial unions as 'shamefull Matches' and to 'diverse free-born English women disgrac[ing] our nation'

  • 1667

    Act to Regulate Negroes on the Plantations passes in Virginia: masters who kill slaves whilst punishing them shall not be accounted guilty of murder

  • 1668

    'Lobby's rebellion' in Jamaica 200 Africans escape to the mountains

  • 1672

    The London-based Royal African Company is established, with a monopoly of British trade to Africa

  • 1675

    35 enslaved people executed for conspiracy to rebel in Jamaica

  • 1677

    First mention of a Bristol coffee house (in the tenure of John Kimber of High Street)

  • 1678

    A 'slave mutiny' reported and martial law enforced in Jamaica

  • 1679

    Slave revolt in Haiti

  • 1683

    Slave conspiracy in Jamaica uncovered

  • 1685

    Judge Jefferies accuses Bristol aldermen and justices of kidnapping English people to serve on their plantations in the Caribbean and Virginia

  • 1685-1686

    Slave rebellion in Jamaica suppressed

  • 1688

    The Bristol ship Society laden with enslaved Africans and 'elephants teeth' from Guinea is seized and condemned in Virginia as was the Betty, also of Bristol, for breaking the monopoly of the Royal African Company. Quakers in Pennsylvania publish the anti-slavery Germantown Protest

  • 1690

    Major slave revolt in Jamaica - begins in Clarendon

  • 1692

    Slave conspiracy to massacre whites discovered in Barbados

  • 1696

    Board of Trade and Plantations set up by the British

  • 1698

    British monopoly of the Royal African Company ended 1698 First legal slaving venture out of Bristol: the Beginning carried enslaved Africans from Africa to Jamaica

  • 1699

    80% of Caribbean residents are African slaves