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Documents
The documents here relate to just some of the experiences of Black and Asian people living in London from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. They are witnesses to the attitudes and behaviour of people in the past.

A satirical letter printed in The Tatler concerning the status

A satirical letter printed in The Tatler concerning the status
of a black servant, 1710.

This letter is supposedly signed by Pompey, a Black servant. However, The Tatler often made fun of people and this letter is being used to criticise rich people who have their Black servants baptised. The writer has a lot of sympathy for Pompey and his situation.

A Letter From Laurence Sterne to Ignatius Sancho, July 27 1766

A Letter From Laurence Sterne to Ignatius Sancho, July 27 1766

Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780) worked as a child slave, was butler to the Montague family and ran a grocery shop in Westminster . He was also a man of letters and music and was held in high esteem. He wrote many letters. One he sent to Laurence Sterne got this reply.  

[Read transcript]

A Letter From Laurence Sterne to Ignatius Sancho, July 27 1766 (second page)

A Letter From Laurence Sterne to Ignatius Sancho, July 27 1766 (second page)

Laurence Stern was a novelist. His best known book is Tristram Shandy. He was the vicar of a North Yorkshire village called Coxwold. He supported Sancho and admired his fight for freedom.

A letter from St. Christopher's, West Indies referring to the selling of slaves. December 3rd 1788

A letter from St. Christopher's, West Indies referring to the selling of slaves. December 3rd 1788

In this letter the selling of slaves is treated like the disposal of any other kind of property.

[Read Transcript]

 

Letter in Support of Slavery, printed in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1789

Letter in Support of Slavery, printed in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1789

This letter is full of prejudice and reflects many commonly held attitudes of the day. Anti-slavery campaigners like Ignatius Sancho faced a long battle with people like this.

An account of slaves and stock at Greenwich Park, 1828

An account of slaves and stock at Greenwich Park, 1828

Simple lists of goods reveal much about life at different points in history. The fact that the slaves are listed with stock or animals is important. It tells us about attitudes.

[Read Transcript]

The Abolition of Slavery. A letter to the Gentleman's

The Abolition of Slavery. A letter to the Gentleman's
Magazine, 1831


Mr Buxton wants to abolish slavery. Many people had joined the anti-slavery movement at this time.

 

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