Volume 2, Issue 4 (Originally Published 13 August 2012)
13 August, 1814 – Convention of London signed; stops Dutch slave trade
On this day in 1814, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 (also known as the Convention of London) entered into force between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The treaty declared the return of all colonial possessions of the Dutch as before the Napoleonic wars between 1803 and 1815. Great Britain ceded the Bangka Island, Indonesia in exchange for the Dutch settlement in Cochin, India.
Notably, the treaty contained a provision noting a declaration made by the Dutch that ships for slave trade were to be stopped in British ports. The treaty reflected an agreement by both parties that this was necessary to comply with the Netherlands’ ban on all forms of slave trading by Dutch citizens. This decision signaled the closing of a major chapter in the history of the Atlantic slave trade, following the footsteps of Britain, France and Portugal in abolishing slave trade because if its ‘repugnance to the principles of natural justice’.