HM Brig 'Philomel' Capturing the Slaver, 'Condor', off the Coast of West Africa

The British turned from being the most efficient slave-trading nation of the 18th Century to the most aggressive anti-slaving nation in the 19th Century. This was despite the fact that it entailed the British challenging international law by boarding ships of other nations and losing many sailors to death in clashes with slavers or from diseases whilst on station in the tropics. This picture shows the Royal Navy swooping in to release slaves. If no obvious port of embarkation made itself apparent, the Royal Navy tended to take the released slaves to Sierra Leone.

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by Stephen Luscombe