Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours, Michael Graham-Stewart collection, Special collections

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'The slave ship Brooks'

Fine art

Object details:

Object ID ZBA2721
Description This is a late variant of the well-known and widely copied set of stowage plans of the Liverpool slave ship 'Brooks', first published in 1789 (see ZBA2745). The Liverpool ship, the ‘Brooks’, was used in the slave trade in 1781. In 1788, abolitionists in Britain commissioned a drawing of how people were squeezed on board the ‘Brooks’ to raise awareness of the inhumanity of the slave trade. The image was so effective that it was soon reproduced and distributed widely around the country and abroad. The crisp drawing of the ship’s architecture contrasts with the figures of enslaved Africans crammed below decks, without room to sit let alone to stand. Even today, the image of the Brooks is one of the most powerful and recognisable images associated with the slave trade and its abolition.
Date made 1814

Artist/Maker Phillips, James
Place made London, England
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Materials wood engraving and letterpress
Measurements Image: 444 mm x 297 mm; Mount: 485 mm x 636 mm
  • 'The slave ship Brooks' (ZBA2721)
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