St. Helena timeline: 1807–1839

Sources are provided [within square brackets] at the end of each timeline entry, except for those sources which repeat. Recurring sources are (indicated by round parentheses), with the source citation abbreviated as shown in the following key:

  • Colonial List 1867: Great Britain. The Colonial Office List for 1867, by Arthur N. Birch and William Robinson (London: Harrison, 1867).
  • Jackson: St. Helena: The Historic Island, by E.L. Jackson (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905).
  • Mellis: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, by John Charles Mellis (London: L. Reeve & Co., 1875).
  • UK Legislation: United Kingdom. HM Government, delivered by The National Archives, (accessed 2015-06-28).

Note: Some articles contain language and characterizations which may have been in common use at the time the articles or stories were written, but which are no longer acceptable. Such language and chartacterizations do not reflect the opinions of the compiler or web site owner.

Please cite your sources.

1807-03-27: Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act, 47 Geo. III, Sess. 1, cap. 36, "An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade." This legislation "abolished the trade by Britain in enslaved peoples between Africa, the West Indies, and America." Source: How did the Abolition Acts of 1807 and 1833 affect the slave trade? The National Archives of the UK, online at education/resources/slavery/,
accessed 2015-06-28.

1808-1869: "Between 1808 and 1869 the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron seized over 1,600 slave ships and freed about 150,000 Africans but, despite this, it is estimated that a further 1 million people were enslaved and transported throughout the 19th Century." [Ibid.]

1833-08-28: Parliament passed The Slavery Abolition Act, 3 & 4 Will. IV, cap. 73, "An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies; for promoting the industry of the manumitted Slaves; and for compensating the Persons hitherto entitled to the Services of such Slaves." (UK Legislation: Slavery Abolition Act 1833)

1833-08-28: Control of the island of St. Helena passed from the East India Company to the Crown: "The island of St Helena, and all forts, factories, public edifices, and hereditaments whatsoever in the said island, and all stores and property thereon fit or used for the service of the government thereof, shall be vested in his Majesty, and the said island shall be governed by such orders as his Majesty in council shall from time to time issue in that behalf." (UK Legislation: Saint Helena Act 1833, c.85, sec. 112)

1836: H. Doveton was appointed chief clerk in Colonial Secretary's office, and William Wilde was appointed chief justice, both for the island of St. Helena. (Colonial List 1867, pp. 211, 256)

1836-02-24: "Major-General Middlemore, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the island of St. Helena, arrived, and, with a garrison composed of H.M.'s 91st Regiment, took possession of the Island in the name of King William the Fourth." (Mellis, pg. 29)

1839: "A Court termed 'The Supreme Court' was established in St. Helena, by order of Her Majesty in Council." (Jackson, pg. 259)
    The Vice-Admiralty Court was established, by the Act 2nd and 3rd Victoria, cap. 73, for the Suppression of the Portuguese slave trade. Source: Some Account of the Trade in Slaves from Africa as Connected with Europe, by James Bandinel (Longman, Brown & Co., 1842).
    J.N. Firmin, Queen's advocate, was appointed clerk of the admiralty court of St. Helena. (Colonial List 1867, pg. 215)

Please cite your sources.

Next: Timeline for the year 1840.

This page was first published on the 7th July 2015; subsequently edited, 13th July 2015.

Return to St Helena and the St Helena Regiment index page.
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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2015. All rights reserved.
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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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