A gripping, meticulously researched and artfully written account of the life, exploits and character of notorious sea-dog John Hawkyns, England's first slave trader.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries England was the greatest slave trading nation in the world. John Hawkyns, Queen Elizabeth's personal slave trader, had established the pattern during the 1560s, when he led three voyages to West Africa. His men ransacked African villages, and attacked Portuguese slave ships and barracoons. In colonies along the Spanish Main and the West Indies, Hawkyns colluded with the settlers to sell the slaves they needed for their sugar mills, pearl-fishing operations, mines, and farms. The enterprise came to grief in 1568, smashed by the Spanish treasure fleet At the Mexican port of San Juan de Ulua.
'The Queen's Slave Trader' tells the story of England's first incursions into the trade she would come to dominate, the way they were used to attack the Portuguese and Spanish super-powers, and the involvement for the first, but not the last, time of the English crown in the shameful traffic of human beings. A story of survival, revenge, and the destruction of a race.