Model of the Brookes, slave ship

This is a wooden model of the Brookes, owned by a Liverpool family, which carried slaves from the West coast of Africa to Jamaica in the West Indies. Two models of the ship were commissioned by Thomas Clarkson around 1790, after a plan of the Brookes was successfully produced on posters as part of the abolition campaign. The extreme overcrowding of enslaved Africans packed into the ship’s hold brought the horrors of slavery to wider public attention in Britain. On one voyage the Brookes carried a total of 609 slaves (351 men, 127 women, 90 boys and 41 girls). William Wilberforce used this model in one of his speeches to illustrate the horrors of slavery. The other model was made for the Comte de Mirabeau, French statesman and poet, during Thomas Clarkson’s visit to Paris in August 1789 to agitate for the abolition of slavery.

© Hull Museums

Accession reference: Hull Museums, KINCM: 1982.347