The Matilde was the thirty ninth conviction of a slave ship by the Havana Slave Trade Commission. This Spanish schooner, under the command of Pedro Mas, began its voyage at Santiago de Cuba on an unknown date and set sail for Ambriz loaded with a cargo of linen bales, 250 iron bars, muskets and aguardiente. Pedro Mas was left behind in West Africa as a prisoner, after which Miguel Aldabo assumed command of this ship. In total, 272 people boarded this ship and 13 individuals died during the middle passage.
On 4 December 1837, the HMS sloop Snake, under the command of Alexander Milne, detained this ship around N19°38 and W77°12. After the capture and during the trial, another 4 people died. On 18 December, the court condemned this slave vessel for sale and issued emancipation certificates for 255 people. Upon their arrival to Havana, these people were put on board the Romney, which was a ship the British Government owned and moored in the Bay of Havana to house and look after Liberated Africans during the trial.
The decision to remove people from the Empresa from Havana to Nassau in the Bahamas occurred shortly after the trial, whereby 1 other person died. On 31 December, 220 people were sent to Belize, 16 men enlisted in the First and Second Companies of the British West India Company to serve on the Romney and 18 people were quarantined in Havana due to small pox.
Please Note documentation from Belize confirming the arrival of people from the Matilde appears to be unavailable in the FO 84 series from Cuba.
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