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How does the 1817 Slave Register of former British Colonial Dependencies for Antigua corroborate the story of Mary Prince?


When the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed in 1807, the trade in captive Africans became illegal in British colonies. Because of this, British colonies began keeping slave registers, which listed colonial enslaved people. This was so authorities could make sure no captive Africans were imported from Africa. Then, in 1819, the Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves was established in London, and copies of the slave registers were sent by the colonies to this office. Colonial enslaved people were registered about every three years in each colony. The practice continued through to 1834, ending with the commencement of Emancipation.

Interested in further research with the Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies? Ancestry has an excellent and easily searchable database. The Slave Registers are also available at the National Archives of the United Kingdom.


Slave Register of former British Colonial Dependencies, Antigua, November 1817 (National Archives United Kingdom, T71/244, p. 814).

Do any other Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies or other primary sources suport the story of Mary Prince? Refer to the Primary Sources section of this website for information.


What other enslaved people are listed in this Slave Register under John Adams Wood?


What do we learn about these enslaved people?


How would these enslaved people shape the Wood household in Antigua?


“Marion and her children” are not mentioned in Mary Prince's slave narrative. What do we learn about John Adams Wood from their mention in the Slave Register?


What information is given about Mary Prince in the Slave Register? Why is it important that her age is given as thirty years old?


Why was Mary Prince listed as Molly Wood in the Slave Register? Hint: What were the names of the women who claimed her as property?







The following is a transcription of the text in John Adams Wood's section of the page above:


John Adams Wood            Dick                Male          Black             Thirty                      years

Merchant, Proprietor         Kit                    Male         Coloured       Twenty three         do

                                            Bristol             Male          Black             Twenty five            do

                                            William            Male          Black             Seventeen             do

                                           John Count     Male           Black             Fourteen               do

                                            Molly               Female      Black             Thirty                     do

                                            Lenty               Female      Black             Twenty four          do


                                                                                    Total    Seven


                                           John A. Wood  19th September 1817



“I John Adams Wood do Swear that the Return now by me delivered to be Registered contains to the best of my knowledge and belief a true faithful and accurate account and description of all the Slaves belonging to me, and being within this Island, save and except Marion and her Children now in the Island of Bermuda. And I do further swear that no one of the said Slaves had been to my knowledge imported into this Island contrary to the existing Laws for abolishing the Slave Trade.”


Sworn to before me this 19th day of Sept. 1817                                    So help me God

                                                            Rob French                                     John A. Wood




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