The full-rigged ship was the essential technology that enabled the trans-Atlantic slave trade to flourish. Between 1698 and 1807 around 11,000 ships were fitted out in England for the slave trade, transporting around three million Africans.
But the trade also employed other vessels, from in-shore boats supplying the slavers, to the Navy vessels that protected them. Sickness and disease were constant companions to both slaves and crew. Mortality amongst both was high, from disease, mistreatment, accident and suicide
Dr Stuart Anderson explores the relationship between ships, slavery and sickness, and considers the measures eventually taken to improve health at sea.
Slavery, Ships and Sickness - Professor Stuart Anderson