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The Royal African Company was a British mercantile company founded by the Stuart family, along with London merchants, in order to facilitate trade along the west coast of Africa. Due to its Crown-granted trading monopoly on ivory, gold, silver and slaves, it soon became the single largest trader of slaves on the oceans.
In the early 18th century, the pirates Charles Vane and Edward Kenway pursued and assaulted the slave ship Royal African Pearl in their pursuit of the Sage Bartholomew Roberts, who they believed to be serving aboard the Princess, the Pearl's sister ship.