A FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF THE ROYAL NAVY’S ENDEAVOURS TO SUPPRESS ‘THIS HATEFUL TRAFFIC’

A Three Years’ Cruize in the Mozambique Channel, for the Suppression of the Slave Trade.

London: Schulze and Co. for Richard Bentley, 1848.

8vo in 12s (195 x 120 mm), pp. xiii, [1 (blank)], 319, [1 (imprint)]; a few light spots; contemporary British speckled calf, boards with blind-ruled borders and central gilt arms of the Society of Writers to the Signet, rebacked, spine gilt in compartments, gilt morocco lettering-piece in one, lettered directly with date at the foot; extremities a little rubbed and scuffed, minor cracking on hinges, otherwise a very good copy, retaining the half-title; provenance: a few early annotations in pencil — The Signet Library (supralibros, pressmark label on upper pastedown) — Ida and Frederick William Hosken (engraved bookplate by Leo Wyatt dated 1979 on upper pastedown; sale, Stephan Welz & Co. and Sotheby’s, 12 September 2001, lot 98).

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First edition. ‘The expedition left Mauritius on the 9th of December 1842, and was actively engaged in carrying out the objects of the cruise during nearly the whole of three years, in the course of which many visits were paid to the ports and islands of the eastern and southern coasts of South Africa. During part of the year 1846, the ship (H.M.S. Thunderbolt) was engaged in doing transport work for the Kaffir War, and there is a narrative of some incidents of this campaign. Early in 1847 the Thunderbolt was ordered to Algoa Bay to embark the 90th regiment, but unfortunately it struck a sunken rock near Cape Recife, in sight of her destination. Strenuous exertions were made to save the vessel, but in spite of the aid of two ships, the Eurydice and the President, she became a total wreck’ (Mendelssohn).
 
Barnard (1813-1880) explains in his preface that the work was originally written for his father, Rear-Admiral Sir Edward King Barnard, and that he decided to publish it because, ‘[t]he possibility of effectually suppressing the slave trade is a question which is now engaging the serious attention of the legislature, and has been for some time past the subject of anxious speculation by the public. The author of the following pages has been induced to believe that the revelations contained in them are additions to the knowledge already acquired of this hateful traffic, and accordingly he has published them’ (p. [vii]).
 
Hogg 3294; Hosken p. 11 (this copy); Mendelssohn I, p. 82; NMM I, 227; SAB I, p. 132; Theal p. 19.
 

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