Inventory of the Archives of the Registrar and Guardian of Slaves, 1717 - 1848

Fonds Specifications


Biographical History

The slaves belonging to the Government were housed in the Slave Lodge, which was under the management of a Director. The medical care of the slaves was entrusted to a surgeon to the lodge. The organisation of this institution is reflected in the Instructions for the Director dated 17 March 1820: - "It is his particular duty to watch over the conduct of every individual commited to his charge" - both slaves and apprentices. He had to see to their food and habitation, and keep a general supervision. Although the hospital was not actually under his charge, he had to inspect it daily.
He had as assistent three white overseers, a Porter and a Schoolmaster.
The Director's "most particular duty" was to see that children of competent age attended school regulary. He had to watch the education and morals of the slaves. The schoolmaster had to see to the general as well as religious instructions of the inmates (Inst. 17.3.1820).
In 1826 Major Bourke submitted the following plan to the Secretary of State in connection with the Lodge: - "I submit to your Lordship the propriety of giving freedom to all those who are able to earn their own bread and of confirming the use of the Lodge as a hospital of Charity to those sickly and worn out individuals who are not capable of labour".
This plan was realised in 1828, when "the Hospital for Infirm Government Slaves and Government Apprentices" came into existence.