Soon after 29 November 1781, the crew of the slaver Zong were running out of water following several navigational mistakes. The ship’s Liverpool-based owners had insured the slaves as cargo – a common business practice. To ensure their own survival, but also to cash in on the lives of the slaves who would perish without water, the crew threw the 133 Africans overboard. Upon reaching port in Jamaica, the owners made a claim on the murdered slaves. But their insurer refused to pay, and the dispute was heard by Lord Chief Justice, the Earl of Mansfield, who deemed the captain and crew at fault. The Zong massacre became the first of several legal cases that led to the abolition of slavery.