The Felice Adventurero was a merchantman brig commandeered from the Spanish fleet, and purchased at auction by James Delaney to enter the maritime business with his newly established company, the Delaney Nootka Trading Company.


James Delaney acquired a brig currently known as Felice Adventurero at an auction held in London, raising Benjamin Wilton's interest in the recently established business venture called Delaney Nootka Trading Company. Later, James went to the docks to control the purchase and sign the final documents related to the sale. Once on board, James looked around, finding colored glass beads stuck between the axes as well as some rusty shackles, coming to the conclusion that Felice Adventurero had been a slave ship.

Angry and distraught by this discovery, James began to dismantle the boards to gather all the beads he could find, carving the wood with shamanistic symbols after getting rid of his clothes, as he recited prayers in a kind of exorcism. After releasing beads and shackles in the waters of the Thames, James informed his attorney Robert Thoyt that he had discovered the former owners of his ship, namely the East India Company, as well as their illegal slave trade from Africa. [1]

James Delaney instructed his men, headed by Atticus, to arrange supplies to fill the ship's hold in anticipation of his journey to the Americas. [2]

Once at loggerheads, Sir Stuart Strange made sure to send loud and clear his declaration of war to James Delaney via Benjamin Wilton, instructing his men to blow up the ship and everything in it, leaving James without means. [3]

Memorable QuotesEdit

Auctioneer: "First item on the list a merchantman brig commandeered from the Spanish fleet by Captain Reeves, this last 12 months and one. Currently, the brig is named "Felice Adventurero." Who will start the bidding? 610. 620. 630. 640. 650. 660. Do I have 670?"
James Delaney: "£800."
Auctioneer: "I say! Who is that? Felice Adventurero sold for £800 to?"
James Delaney: "The Delaney Nootka Trading Company."

Robert Thoyt: "I hear you bought a ship."
James Delaney: "I did, then I discovered that it was formerly used for carrying slaves. I checked the vessel's log and, before it was taken by the Spanish, it was once owned by the Honourable East India Company. The shackles were all cast in London."
Robert Thoyt: "East India don't deal slaves."
James Delaney: "No, no, they don't. But they do run cloth and trade beads to Tangiers with the Scarfe family, and then slaves to Trinidad from Bunce Island through Spanish privateers. For one with such close connections, I am surprised that you don't know."



Season 1


  • A merchantman is any non-naval vessel, including tankers, freighters, or cargo ships, but not troopships; An East Indiaman was a merchantman licensed to or by an East India joint-stock company. Some of the East Indiamen chartered by the British East India Company were known as "tea clippers".
  • Wilton might have been present at the auction to buy the ship on behalf of the East India Company to prevent a possible new owner from discovering their illegal slave trades.
  • Felice Adventurero is actually a fictionalized reference to a historic vessel tied to the Nootka Crisis.
    • Lieutenant John Meares was in command of the Felice Adventurero as it arrived at Nootka Sound in 1788 and it flew Portuguese flags in order to bypass the watchful eyes of the East India Company. Meares, much like Horace Delaney, claimed that he had acquired some land from a Nootka Chief in exchange for pistols and other goods. The lasting legacy of the ship exists in the form of Felice Island in British Columbia and Felice Strait in Alaska. [4] [5]
    • Captain Reeves mentioned during the auction in “Episode 2” does not seem to be a significant historical figure, but Englishmen by that name and within that time period do pop up when searched. One is referenced being in Jamaica, while another mention credits him for bringing plant life back from China to be studied. [6]


  1. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 14, 2017, BBC; January 17, 2017, FX; "Episode 2". Taboo.
  2. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 21, 2017 BBC; January 24, 2017, FX; "Episode 3". Taboo.
  3. Hardy, Chips & Knight, Steven (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 11, 2017 BBC; February 14, 2017, FX; "Episode 6". Taboo.
  4. Pethick, Derek (1980). The Nootka Connection: Europe and the Northwest Coast 1790-1795. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.
  5. The Career of Lieutenant John Meares on Wikipedia. org
  6. Two Button, Taboo episode 2, Context, Questions and Theories
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