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Miranda Kaufmann – BBC History Weekends

16th October, 2019

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.

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