Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780), African Man of Letters, Campaigned Tirelessly Against Slavery

[Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters; Reyahn King et al.; National Portrait Gallery of the U.K. (1997)]

The Blackheath Bugle
London, U.K.
August 11, 2008
Blackheath and the Slave Trade
The “Breaking the Silence” website has a lot about the Blackheath Golf Club (which has been covered before in a different light here). It says the club was: …the first official golfing club in Great Britain. Its membership was exclusively Masonic and disproportionately connected to local slave trading interests, from the plantation owner turned banker Francis Baring, to the slave trader turned Lloyds bank founder, John Julius Angerstein (founder of the National Gallery). Also members, were the Greenwich iron merchant Ambrose Crowley, who manufactured shackles and collars and the West India merchant William Innes. The golf course was seen as an ideal place to share ideas and make slave trading alliances. Greenwich was also home to some of the greatest resistors of enslavement and anti-slavery campaigners, who strongly influenced public opinion and exposed the terrible truths of slavery to an awakening European conscience. Former enslaved Africans such as Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho, both Greenwich based for much of their lives, campaigned tirelessly through their narratives and letters against the institution of slavery. Olaudah Equiano, stolen from his home in what is now south-eastern Nigeria at the age of ten, first published his narrative in 1789 (and subsequently in nine British editions during the course of his lifetime). [The African composer and author Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780) is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

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