Bristol has a lot of myths, one of them is that fortunes were still being made from the trade in human flesh right up to the end of the trade, in the Act of Parliament largely promoted by William Wilberforce, a northern banker and an unlikely champion of Africans.
“The short-lived Whig Ministry of 1806 succeeded in passing through Parliament a bill for the suppression of the inhuman slave-trade between Africa and the West India colonies. the measure was opposed by Mr Bathurst, one of the members for Bristol, where the trade had flourished exceedingly during the previous century. Public opinion, however, had nearly brought about its extinction, a paper in the Monthly Magazine for May, 1799, observing that it was “just expiring” in Bristol; and Mr Protheroe, M.P., stated that when the Act passed not a single slaver hailed from the port. A reference to Clarkson’s work on the subject will prove that the conversion of local merchants had been remarkably rapid. Slavery was even recognised in England. In Sarah Farley’s Bristol J0urnal for Jan. 9, 1768, was the following advertisement:- “To be sold a healthy Negro Slave,named Prince, 17 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches high, and extremely well grown. Enquiries of Joshua Springer in St Stephen’s Lane.” So late as Dec. 8, 1792,.a local journal reported that a wealthy citizen had just sold a “black servant-girl, who had been many years in his service,” into perpetual bondage, and that the price of the unhappy woman, who was shipped to Jamaica, was £800 in colonial currency. when she “put her feet into the fatal boat at Lamplighter’s Hall, her tears ran down her face like a shower of rain.”
For more information on this topic, please refer to my two books on kindle, both of which deal with the topic and its social and historical content:
Bristol’s Slavery & Abolitin: Overview, Context and Walkng Trail which includes a map and colour pictures
Brtain’s Abolitin of the Slave Trade: A Source Book: This is a more extended overview, with details of people involved, and an extended timeline.