Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters
Reyahn King et al.
National Portrait Gallery of the U.K. (1997)
AfriClassical.com features Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780): From African Slave to Composer & Author; Abolitionist & Britain's First Black Voter
The article in the Bicester Advertiser states that Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship in 1729, according to the play by Paterson Joseph. Dr. Brycchan Carey of Kingston University is a leading Sancho authority on whose research the website relies:
Dr. Brycchan Carey of London's Kingston University has published "The extraordinary Negro": Ignatius Sancho, Joseph Jekyll, and the Problem of Biography', British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 26, 2 (Spring 2003), 1-13. His website on Sancho is http://www.brycchancarey.com/index.htm It reproduces the complete text of Joseph Jekyll's Life of Sancho. Dr. Carey writes, in part:
The major problem with Jekyll's Life of Ignatius Sancho is that much of it is unverifiable, and, worse still, much of it directly contradicts what Sancho himself says to people in his letters. For example, although Jekyll tells us that Sancho was born on a slave ship, Sancho himself seems convinced that he was born in Africa. For a more detailed reading of Jekyll's Life of Ignatius Sancho, see my article...that shows that Sancho was almost certainly not born on a slave ship.
The play was conceived, written and is performed by Paterson and is a tribute to the extraordinary life of British slave Charles Ignatius Sancho.
Sancho: An Act of Remembrance is set in the 18th century, when the British slave trade was at its peak.
Charles’s life, however, is full of twists and turns. He was an African man who “dared” to act, sing, write and voice his political opinions. Charles went on to become the first black man to vote in a parliamentary election.
Paterson Joseph has an impressive stage, film and television career to his name.
Comment by email:
Dear Bill, Thanks for this link. I have heard about the show from several sources, but I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to see it myself, sadly. Best wishes
Brycchan [Brycchan Carey]