During the 18th century the
slave trade dominated the British economy. It supplied fashionable
society with sugar, chocolate, coffee and tea to consume, American
cotton cloth to wear and tobacco to smoke.
In the middle of the 18th century
there was an influx of Black people as naval captains, colonial
governors, plantation-owners and merchants came back to live in
Brighton & Hove, choosing to bring with them their house-slaves
and servants, rather than employing English servants. Young slaves
were in demand as household servants. They were popular with officers
from the slave ships and with West Indian planters who wish to continue
the privileged way of life that they had enjoyed in the colonies.
Little Black pageboys in fancy clothes, were fashionable status
symbol for many families.
The right to buy and sell human beings
went largely unchallenged in Britain, until the late 18th century.
Between 18 and 22 million African were transported
in this way. As many as one million died in transit.