Voyage of Despair

The Hannibal, its captain and all who sailed in her, 1693–1695

Publication Details
Number: 6
By: Rosemary L Caldicott
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 978-1-911522-63-8
Number of pages: 250
Format: Book

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Bristol Post book review: “Brecon Town Council honoured a slave ship captain with a memorial plaque in 2010! Rosemary L. Caldicott’s book Voyage of Despair looks both at Phillips journal and other sources to reveal the absolute horrors of the trade in general and the Hannibal’s journey in particular. It also examines the campaign and arguments around the plagues removal. It’s an issue that Caldicott makes clear… he business of enslaving people, and the profits made on the back of it, reach deep into the U.K”

Read full review of Voyage of Despair in the Bristol Post.

Welsh poet Marvin Thompson writes:  ‘However, my early online research led me to an article by Rosemary Caldicott of the Bristol Radical History Group. In it, I read about the slave trader Captain Thomas Phillips. In 2010, during Black History month, Brecon County Council honoured this man with a blue plaque. My sestina ‘Triptych’ was born.’  As cited in “Welsh Plural – essays on the future of Wales”  an essay “On Writing a Modern Welsh Horror” by Welsh poet Marvin Thompson p.167.

The brutality of the slave trade.

In 1693, Captain Thomas Phillips embarked on a voyage from London to Guinea, where he purchased enslaved Africans on behalf of the Royal African Company. The subsequent journey across the Atlantic witnessed a tragic toll, with hundreds of the enslaved captives, and many of the crew, losing their lives before the ship reached the shores of Barbados.

Fast forward to 2010, three centuries later, in 2010, Brecon Town Council made a startling decision—to honour Captain Phillips with a plaque. Brecon Town Council’s decision to honour Captain Phillips with a plaque ignites controversy.

In this engaging and original narrative, Rosemary Caldicott analyses the pages of Phillips’s journal to reveal the day-to-day brutality that defined the triangular trade, uncovering the forgotten stories of the victims in this dark chapter in history. She also reveals the compelling story of the campaign to remove the plaque, a campaign that finally bore fruit amid the world-wide ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests that reached the heart of Brecon.

Front cover with picture of a slave ship off Africa, colourised in blue, purple and pinkBack cover. a continuation of the front cover, with back blurb overlaid

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