15 Things You Did Not Know about the History of Black People in London before 1948
By Charmaine Simpson, December 2012
The presence of Africans in England dates back to at least the Roman period when African soldiers who served as part of the Roman army were stationed at Hadrian’s Wall during the 2nd century CE. Septimus Severus, the emperor who was born in Libya, spent his last three years in Britain before he died in York in 211 CE.
I will present 15 facts aimed at raising the level of knowledge, and uncovering the hidden histories, of people of African and Caribbean descent who have contributed to London before 1948.
1. The earliest known [public] record of a Black person living in London is of “Cornelius a Blackamoor” whose burial on 2nd March 1593 was recorded in the parish register at St Margaret’s Church in Lee. Continue reading