i wonder if this is how rotton row came to be namedBelow is an extract from "Resources, Products & industrial history of Birmingham and the Midland Hardware District" by Samuel Timmins p 274, which states that early on some Birmingham manufacturers (not named) tried a con on the natives by making "manillas" of iron and coating with copper, which made the customers wary of Birmingham products, but that later a Thomas Horne produced acceptable manillas.
View attachment 149478
Around 1840 he had a brass business in Temple Row and Cliveland St:
Horne Thomas, brass founder, &c. Temple row; and patent hinge manufacturer, Cliveland st (Pigot's 1841 directory)
but earlier he was in partnership with a Mr Rotton
View attachment 149479
Earlier than this (Wrightsons 1833 directory) he may have been part of Horne , Richards & Co, brassfounders, Belmont Row
“With inflation a female slave aged 16 in Benin cost between about 50 manillas in 1522. Indeed, smaller pattern Popo Manillas, which were too small to wear as bracelets, were manufactured in Birmingham solely for the slave trade...”The word manillas on this thread rang a bell with me and then I remembered I had seen one on display earlier this year as part of an exhibition project (quite complicated to explain) to do with British involvement in the slave trade.
The exhibition leaflet states they were brass manillas manufactured in Birmingham 18th century and goes on to say...they were used as one-directional currency, which Europeans would offer as payment but never accept. The Portuguese determined the value of slave life at 12-15 manillas in the early 1500's.
Birmingham was the primary producer of brass manillas in Britain, prior to the city's central role in the Industrial Revolution.
“Registered in Liverpool, the Douro was travelling to Portugal with a declared cargo of textiles and munitions, but was wrecked on the Western Rocks on the Isles of Scilly on 28th January 1843. Divers in the 20th Century later discovered that the Douro had an undeclared cargo of brass manillas, a currency widely used in the slave trade on the West African Coast. This was a significant discovery because the slave trade had been abolished by the British government in 1807, followed by the abolition of slavery itself within the British Empire in 1833. With a wreck date of 1843 and having not declared the manillas as part of its cargo, the Douro was almost certainly participating in the illegal trading of slaves....”