John Bridge Aspinall

???? - 1830


Biography

Liverpool slave-trader, brother of Thomas Aspinall (q.v.) and Mayor of Liverpool. John Bridge Aspinall's son James has an entry in the ODNB as 'Church of England clergyman and author', which describes John Bridge Aspinall simply as 'of Liverpool', making no mention of his slave-trading. His great-grandson Sir John Audley Frederick Aspinall has an entry as 'mechanical engineer' which is equally silent on the source of the family wealth.

His father James Aspinall, along with William Gregson, John Gregson, James Gregson and Edward Wilson were the co-owners of the slave ship Zong, the subject of a famous legal action in 1781-3. Hundreds of enslaved people were thrown overboard in a voyage across the Atlantic when the ship ran low on drinking water. 232 of the 440 enslaved people who embarked on the voyage died before disembarkation at Black River, Jamaica. The ship's owners then claimed compensation from their insurers. The insurers refused to honour the claim. Judge Mansfield ruled that, although the ship's crew were found to be negligent, the enslaved people were to be treated like any other property and the ship's owners were acquitted of any liability.


Sources

Matthew, H. C. G. "Aspinall, James (1795?–1861), Church of England clergyman and author." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sep. 2004; Accessed 18 Feb. 2020. https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-802; Birse, Ronald M. "Aspinall, Sir John Audley Frederick (1851–1937), mechanical engineer." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sep. 2004; Accessed 18 Feb. 2020. https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-37130.

www.slavevoyages.org ID 84106; 'Gregson v. Gilbert', Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of King's Bench (1831) vol. 3 pp. 232-235.

We are grateful to Christopher J. Barnes for his assistance with compiling this entry.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
Married but no further details

Relationships (3)

Brothers
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Business partners