Confusingly, none of the land of Equatorial Guinea actually lies on the equator, it’s all north of the line, except for a little island that lies to the south.
In 1778, Portugal ceded the territory of Equatorial Guinea to Spain, and in the nineteenth century we set up an anti-slaving base on the island of Bioko, then known as Fernando Po. In 1827, Spain abandoned the island and we took control. It wasn’t really much of an invasion since we leased the base from Spain, but we did make ourselves at home. We named the base Port Clarence after the Duke of Clarence, and William Fitzwilliam Owen conducted vigorous anti-slaving operations so that in three years his forces freed 2,500 slaves and detained twenty ships.
In 1840, the naval ship Wolverine, under Wilham Tucker, captured the Island of Corisco, off what is now Equatorial Guinea, and destroyed the slaving establishments there. The fighting must have been fierce because of the landing party of forty, ten were killed or wounded.
Gradually, from 1843 onwards, Spanish control was re-asserted over Bioko, and our lease finally ended in 1855.