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General Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and
Vessels employed in the Suppression of the Slave Trade.

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High
Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, &c.

1. THE Slave Trade has been denounced by all the civilized AUTHORITY. world as repugnant to every principle of justice and humanity. You are, however, to bear in mind, that Great Britain claims no rights whatever with respect to foreign ships engaged in that traffic, excepting such as the Law of Nations warrants, or as she possesses by virtue of special Treaties and Conventions with particular States.

2. In proceeding to deal with a vessel suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, you are in the first instance to refer to that part of the Instructions which applies to the particular circumstances of the case. But those Instructions in no degree diminish the necessity of a careful study of the Treaty, Convention, or Law, upon which they are founded. You are, therefore, to make yourself thoroughly conversant with the Treaties, Conventions, and Laws, as well as with all the Instructions given to you relative to the Slave Trade; and you are to enjoin the Officers under your command to make themselves acquainted with the parts that refer to the duties which those Officers may have to perform; taking care to afford every facility for this


3. The powers with which you are invested on this service are entrusted to you for the sole purpose of suppressing the Slave Trade, and are never to be exercised without reasonable grounds of suspicion, that the case is one of a vessel liable, on account of being engaged in the Slave Trade, to be brought to justice by Her Majesty's ship under your command.

4. You are not to visit a vessel under a Foreign flag on the High Seas on suspicion of Slave Trade, except in virtue of special authority under Treaty, or in case you have reason to





believe that the vessel has no right or title to claim the protection of the flag she bears.

5. You are not on any account to search any vessel, whether British or Foreign, lying within the recognized jurisdiction of a Foreign civilized State, without the formal permission of the local Authorities.

6. Towards every functionary, British or Foreign, with whom you may come into contact, you will invariably maintain a respectful and courteous demeanour.

7. Towards the masters and crews of vessels whose cases it will be your duty to investigate, in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade, you will not only use moderation, and discretion, combined with firmness in the execution of the duty entrusted to you, but will take every opportunity of affording them assistance in distress; giving them medical advice when required, and furnishing supplies where they are urgently needed, and can properly be spared by Her Majesty's ships.

8. You will take special care to ensure propriety of language and demeanour on the part of Officers, seamen and marines, towards all persons with whom they may come into contact in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade; and they must be reminded that any breach of discipline, or any exhibition of intemperance, will be visited with severe punishment. And in all cases Her Majesty's Officers are to recollect, that they will be held answerable, not only for their own conduct, but for that of their men.

9. You are not, without necessity, to resort to coercive meaVESSELS TO. Sures for bringing vessels to; and you are to be cautious not to occasion further deviation from the course such vessels are steering, than a due regard to the service on which you are employed may require; and you will bear in mind that, in every case, and in all stages of the proceedings, it is highly important to cause to the vessel visited as little delay or inconvenience as possible, consistent with the effectual discharge of the duty to be executed.



10. You are not entitled to insist, that a boat shall be sent to you from a vessel which has been brought-to for the purpose of being visited, or that any person shall come, or that any papers shall be brought, on board of Her Majesty's ships upon

such occasion.

11. On all occasions of visiting suspected vessels, the Officer sent on board is to be in proper uniform, and of the rank required by the Treaty or Instructions under which the visit is made; and the boat in which he goes is always to carry a British flag and pendant: and he is to be provided with the documents conferring authority to Visit and Search, and the Instructions applicable to the occasion.

12. Before an Officer proceeds to search a vessel, the minutest inspection is to be made of her papers, and every information

elicited which can be obtained by enquiries courteously made; as by this means the necessity of a search may be avoided.

13. The crew of a boat sent to visit a suspected vessel is never to be suffered to quit the boat unless specially ordered to do so. The Officer is not to order them to quit the boat unless it may be necessary to search the vessel, or unless circumstances of the moment imperatively require it. If further assistance is obtained from the cruizer for the purpose of making a minute search, the additional men must be accompanied by a sufficient number of Officers, to prevent damage to the cargo, or any irregularity or excess.

14. Neither the Master, nor any of the persons on board the vessel are to be removed during the search, without their consent.

15. When, after the examination, there appears to be no sufficient ground for seizure, every thing that has been removed is to be replaced as quickly as possible, and carefully restored to its original state and condition; and the vessel is to be permitted to pursue her course without delay.

16. In the case mentioned in the preceding Article, before the Officer quits the vessel, he is to ask the Master whether he has any complaint to make of the manner in which the search has been conducted, or on any other ground: if the Master should have any complaint to make, the Officer is to request him to specify the particulars in writing, for your information; and you are to investigate the same most carefully, and to lose no time in applying such remedy as circumstances admit, and the case may require.

If you make the search in person you will yourself follow the directions contained in this Article.

17. In all cases where vessels are visited or searched on suspicion of being engaged in the Slave Trade, the visiting Officer, before quitting the vessel, is to offer to enter on her log a statement of proceedings on board, and, in case the offer is accepted, he is to be careful to note down the exact time that elapsed from the time the vessel was boarded to the time she was liberated or seized.

18. When the visiting Officer has verbally reported his proceedings to you, he is, in all cases, whether the vessel be seized or not, to commit the same to writing immediately, with all the particulars, while the facts are fresh in his memory: and this written statement is to specify whether any complaint was made by the Master or any other person on board the vessel. This statement is to be inserted in the log, with the Officer's signature attached, and you will forward a copy of it with your own remarks, to the Senior Officer of the station, and a duplicate thereof to the Admiralty, by the first opportunity.

19. When you have determined to detain a vessel, you will DETENTION. immediately notify your intention to her Master; you will cause a careful search to be made for all papers and documents on board; and will take possession of the same, causing them to be numbered and described in a list which you will sign. In this


list the papers voluntarily delivered up must be distinguished from any that may have been concealed. If any should have been destroyed or thrown overboard, the nature of the papers, so far as it may be known, with the circumstances under which they were made away with, must be carefully stated at the bottom of the list; and some person cognizant of the facts, must be sent with the vessel to make affidavit thereof to the Court of Adjudication.

20. On the detention of a vessel, you will have a note made of the quantity of money or other valuables on board, and sign the same, and have that note duly witnessed, to be produced upon the trial of the case; and you will take especial care that the articles are deposited in safe custody.

21. Whatever arrangement may be made for the disposal of the crew of a captured vessel, the Master and two persons at least of her crew, must be sent, together with the vessel, to be produced before the Court, as necessary witnesses in every case. And one of those persons should be the Chief Mate, Supercargo, or Boatswain.

22. If you do not yourself accompany the detained vessel for FOR ADJUDI. trial, you will give the Officer in charge directions in writing, for his conduct during the voyage.



23. You will place under the command of the Officer sent in charge, a crew sufficient for the vessel's safe conduct, with provisions for the voyage; and you will give the Officer strict orders for the preservation of the ship, her cargo, and everything on board, and for the prevention of embezzlement, excess, or irregu larity of any sort.

24. You will deliver to the Officer sent in charge all the papers found on board, together with the other necessary documents, and the Officer must be careful to keep them in safe custody during the voyage. You will also instruct him to endeavour to obtain, by every proper means, additional information as to the case; and if he succeeds in finding any additional papers or documents, he is to preserve them carefully to be produced at the trial.

25. The Officer in charge, as soon as possible after he has gone on board the vessel, is to draw up, with the assistance of the Master, an inventory of the stores, furniture, and also of the cargo of the vessel, so far as it can be ascertained without disturbing the stowage; and, should it be practicable, the cargo is to be secured by sealing down the hatches. The inventory is to be made out in duplicate, and signed both by the Officer in charge and the Master of the vessel; and one of these documents is to be retained by the Officer, and the other by the Master.

26. If Slaves should be on board, every effort is to be made to alleviate their sufferings and improve their condition, by a careful attention to cleanliness and ventilation, by separating the sickly from those who are in good health, by encouraging the

Slaves to feel confidence in Her Majesty's Officers and men, and promoting amongst them cheerfulness and exercise.

27. The Officer in charge of a captured Slave-ship will be warranted in landing the Slaves, or transferring them to other vessels, whenever such measures are absolutely necessary, but not otherwise; and in such cases a certificate of all the circumstances must be drawn out, and be taken with the vessel to the place of adjudication.

In most cases of seizure under Treaty, this contingency is provided for: under some of the Treaties, the Slaves must be carried eventually to the Port of Adjudication. Reference on this, as on other points, must be had to the Treaty or Convention applicable to the case, and to the Instructions thereon.

28. All British subjects found employed on board a detained FREE PERBritish or Foreign Slave-vessel are to be sent with two witnesses to a British port for trial as soon as possible.


Foreigners on board a British Slave-vessel, or in a Foreign VESSEL. Slave-vessel seized in British waters, are to be dealt with in the same manner as British subjects.

Foreigners forming the crew of Foreign vessels captured under Treaty, are to be dealt with according to the stipulations thereof.

29. The Master and crew, or such part of them as may be left on board a detained Slave-vessel, are to be well treated, and not to be subjected to further restraint than may be requisite for ensuring the due execution of the service entrusted to the Officer in charge; but it will be necessary to guard against attempts at recapture, whether by open force, or any other means.

30. The Officer in charge is to keep a log of his proceedings from the time he goes on board until he is relieved from his charge; he is to note in this log any perceptible changes in the state, quantity, or position of the cargo, and all accidents to the vessel, or her rigging, and their results.

31. In all cases of capture a full and accurate account of everything captured or destroyed and of the disposal of the same is to be sent in, together with a report of the case, by the Officer in charge to the Senior Officer on the station, and a duplicate thereof to the Secretary to the Admiralty, by the earliest opportanity.

32. If a vessel, at the time of seizure, should be run on shore and wrecked, or afterwards lost or abandoned, the Slaves, the stores, cargo, &c., that can be saved and transported, are to be taken to the Port of Adjudication, together with the necessary witnesses. All papers which may be found are to be carefully preserved, and an affidavit of the facts must be made as the foundation of the proceedings before the Court for trial of the case. When there are no Slaves on board, the equipments, or such parts thereof as are saved, should be carried to the Port of Adjudication for the purpose of supplying evidence of the SlaveTrading.

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