This chapter describes the British slave trade. The slave trade directly or indirectly led to the initial interaction between Africans and the British Navy. The trade was a ready source of future black sailors, both free and un-free. In the years of the British slave trade, many other un-free black sailors would serve Britain in their master's name. Enslaved seafarers of African descent would take up many roles and become known as a valuable asset to Britain's navy. There was no shortage of black seamen ready to provide their services to ships' captains whenever needed. There was a demand for able-bodied seamen throughout the entire period of the British slave trade. Against the backdrop of the slave trade, the British Empire was growing into the greatest melange of different cultures, races and languages since the Roman era.
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