Royal Naval Museum


Slave ships and Squadron Vessels

HMS Black Joke capturing El Almirante after a 31-hour chase and action lasting 80 minutes.

HMS Black Joke was originally the slave ship Henriquetta built in Baltimore. Captured in 1827, the Navy purchased the ship because of its speed.  It became one of the most successful ships in the squadron. In one sixteen month period it caught nine slavers including El Almirante.

Peter Leonard, surgeon on another vessel, described the Black Joke as the ship ‘which has done more towards putting an end to the vile traffic in slaves than all the ships of the station put together’.

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