Talk: Before 1619: Free Africans in Tudor and Stuart England before the first African Americans
Chester: Friday 25 October, 1700-1800
Talk synopsis: While African American histories usually begin with the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia 400 years ago, in August 1619, there had by that time already been Africans living freely in England for more than one hundred years. Just five months previously, a free African sailor, John Anthony of Dover, had set out for Virginia aboard the Silver Falcon. The ship only made it as far as Bermuda, but a few months later, John Anthony successfully petitioned for his wages, and was paid with interest to compensate for the delay. His experience, and that of over 300 Africans Dr Kaufmann has identified living in England between 1500 and 1640, provide a fascinating contrast to the well- established (and yet still contested) narrative of the African experience and legal status in Colonial Virginia. In this talk, Dr Kaufmann explores the lives of these Black Tudors and Stuarts; how they came to England, what occupations and relationships they found there and how they were treated by its church, its law courts and its people.
Speaker bio: Dr Miranda Kaufmann is the author of the critically acclaimed, Wolfson History Prize and Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize shortlisted, book Black Tudors: The Untold Story. An Oxford-educated historian, she is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Liverpool, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she co-convenes the successful Black British History workshop series.