All the 18th century ports of Dorset were involved with the slave trade, with ships from Poole, Weymouth and Lyme Regis making the vast journeys across the Atlantic from Africa to the West Indies.
The Burridge family of Lyme used many ports for their ships, including London and Liverpool, but some of their African voyages left from Lyme Regis. For example, in 1713 their ship John Frigate set off from Lyme on a mammoth voyage, calling at Ireland, Barbados, America, returning to Africa and then back to Barbados with 91 enslaved people. The ship stayed in the Caribbean for several months, before returning to Lyme after a voyage, which lasted three years.
Enslaved people were only part of these voyages, with trade goods including cloth, copper and iron being taken out to Africa, and sugar coming back from the West Indies.