Record ID: 108

Site Name

Bristol, England


Seaport - European


English seaport SW England, at the confluence of the Avon and Frome rivers. First chartered as a city in 1155, it became a separate co. by order of Edward III in 1373, the 1st provincial town to receive this honor. Britol merchants underwrote the exploratory voyage of John Cabot to Newfoundland in 1497 and supported subsequent undertakings in the new world.

In the 18th cent. Bristol was active in the colonial triangular trade: Eng. goods went to Afr.; Afr. slaves to the West Indies; and West Indian sugar, rum, and tobacco to Bristol. The slave trade was opposed by John Wesley and by Quakers, who were influential here. In 1838 the Great Western, one of the 1st transatlantic steamships, was launched here. The port declined during the late 18th and early 19th cent. because of competition from Liverpool, the end of slave trading, and the decline of the West Indian trade. It revived in the mid-19th cent´┐Ż