After the Abolition Act had come into effect and Sierra Leone had become a British Colony, the Navy were mostly involved in trying to intercept the still on-going Slave Traffic. One of the most effective vessels charged with this responsibility was ironically a former slave vessel itself, the Black Joke, formerly called the Henriquita.
Captured vessels where brought to Sierra Leone were an Admiralty Court had been set up to deal with the legal aspects including issues around the liberation of the slaves and condemnation of the vessels.
The rescued slaves where landed at King Jimmy Wharf and taken to a compound constructed for them. This site was referred to as the King’s Yard where they could be accessed and housed until plans had been made for their resettlement. As many of them were in need of medical help, it was also known as an Asylum. Popular figures to have passed through The Asylum include Samuel Adjai Crowther and John Ezzidio. The Gateway to the King’s Yard now leads to a part of the Connaught Hospital and Sight Savers.