The Royal Africa Company, chartered in 1672 by the English government, engaged in trade in gold and enslaved men, women and children in western Africa. This stock certificate demonstrates the investment in the company that provided the greatest number of enslaved persons to the British colonies.
Stock option certificate from the Royal African Company. The document is handwritten in ink on one page of a bifolio sheet and discusses the transfer of stock shares from Champion Ashby to Thomas Louws (possibly Lowes or Loews). The document begins: [In consideration of Twenty guineys received of Thomas Louws of London XXX I Champion Ashby of London Esquire Do oblige my self [sic] my heires [sic] Execs & Adms to transferr or cause to be ~/~ transferred unto the said Thomas Louws ~ his Execs Adms or ~ assignes Two hundred pounds of the present credit in the Joint Stock of the Royal Affrican [sic] Company of England ...] At the bottom right is the signature and red wax seal of Champion Ashby. At the bottom left is
[Sealed & Delivered / In the presence of / John Holker / Wm Thorowgood]. On the verso, at the top horizontal center is written: From 3d Aug / to 3d Sept } 1691 / Champion Ashby, Esq. / obligacon [sic] to Tho Loews to deliver / him 200 Afr. Stock paying 200 in 1 month / Void]. There is a circular watermark just below and to the right of "Void."