1-20 of 23 results  for:

  • Military and Intelligence Operations x
Clear all

Article

David Dabydeen

Africanservant who served and died in Henbury, Bristol. Africanus was the servant of Charles William, Earl of Suffolk and Bindon. The Earl married into the Astry family of Henbury House. Africanus, who was named after an ancient Roman general, was a symbol of their wealth. He, like other servants of African origin who worked in aristocratic homes, was a novelty who, besides doing domestic chores, also functioned as a showpiece for wealthy guests.

In the 18th century thousands of male and female slaves arrived in Britain to become servants of the rich minority They mainly came from the New World rather than directly from Africa The common erroneous belief was that Bristol slavers brought Africans back and kept them chained in the Redcliff caves before shipping them across the Atlantic The truth was that most African slaves were part of the triangular trade being transported from ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

also known as Tallen and John Bull, was enslaved in Africa, shipped to America, freed by the interception of a British vessel, made prisoner of war while serving in the British navy, then tricked into slavery in Savannah, Georgia; he earned and purchased his freedom three times over, being defrauded the first two times.

From accounts he gave later in life, it is believed he was born among the Kissi, a people ethnologically related to the Malinke, in what is now Guinea, on a tributary of the Niandan River. His given name was Tallen. Captured in a local war at age 12, and brought to the coast for sale as a slave, he was being transported across the Atlantic when the ship carrying him was intercepted by a British vessel, probably in 1811. The exact circumstances remain a matter of controversy. By his own account, recorded in 1857 ...

Article

Jane Poyner

British colonel turned revolutionary, and African‐Caribbean wife (also described as African‐American in origin). In 1790, when Colonel Despard arrived in London after nearly twenty years of British military service in the Caribbean, he brought with him his wife, Catherine, and their young son James. Catherine's background remains unclear: by some accounts she was the daughter of a Jamaican preacher, by others an educated Spanish Creole. The couple had married some time between 1786 and 1789, while Edward was Superintendent of the newly created British enclave of Belize. The Despards' mixed‐race marriage was perhaps the only such example in Britain at the time.

In London the Despards, turning their backs on respectable society, threw themselves into radical politics, Catherine focusing her energies on abolitionism and prisoners' rights. Edward's political views fell under government suspicion and Catherine took an increasingly public role in defending him against charges of ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

African‐American playwright and journalist in London. Downing enjoyed a varied career. In his youth he was a sailor, and later worked for the United States foreign service in Angola. He also managed a New York press agency representing prominent black leaders including Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, and Ida B. Wells. Around 1895 Downing and his reputedly white American wife, Margarita (c.1873–c.1950), arrived in England and settled in Chiswick, west London.

A fortuitous meeting with the African‐American poet Paul Dunbar in London resulted in Downing's management of Dunbar's 1897 successful reading tour throughout England. As Dunbar's manager, Downing played an instrumental role in bringing together two of the most famous and talented black artistes of the 19th century. Impressed by his stewardship of Dunbar's tour, Samuel Coleridge‐Taylor contacted the pair and thus began a series of collaborations between the ...

Article

Vincent Carretta

The most important and one of the most widely published authors of African descent in the English‐speaking world of the 18th century. Equiano helped to found the genre of the slave narrative when he published The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African: Written by Himself in London in March 1789. The Interesting Narrative is a spiritual autobiography, captivity narrative, travel book, adventure tale, slavery narrative, economic treatise, apologia, and argument against the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. From its first appearance the Interesting Narrative has also been recognized as the classic description of an African society before contact with Europeans, as well as of the forced transatlantic transportation of enslaved Africans known since the 18th century as the Middle Passage.

By his own account, Equiano was born in 1745 in Eboe in the kingdom of Benin in what is now south ...

Article

Bill Nasson

Cape Coloured rural artisan and British collaborator in the Anglo-Boer or South African War of 1899–1902, was born on 12 September 1864 near Carnarvon in the northern Cape Colony He was the only son of Adam Esau and Martha April who lived and worked as itinerant field laborers and house servants on several farms in the interior of the northwestern Cape He received some elementary schooling in English at a Wesleyan mission station outside Prieska This period of education had a significant formative influence that was deepened through his adolescence In the 1870s the Esau family had a lengthy period of service on the farm of a paternalist English speaking farmer with a local reputation for seeing to the needs of laboring families The Esau household developed a distinctly Anglicized cultural sensibility and became differentiated socially from surrounding rural Dutch Afrikaans speaking working class people Growing up in a ...

Article

M. W. Daly

British soldier and administrator in the Sudan, was born at Woolwich in England on 23 January 1833, the son of General H. W. Gordon and his wife, Elizabeth Enderby. Owing to his exploits in the Sudan, culminating in his death at Khartoum in January 1885, Gordon was and remains one of the most famous figures in the colonial history of Africa.

A Royal Engineer, Gordon served in the Crimea (1855) and as a commissioner delimiting the Russo-Turkish borders in Bessarabia and eastern Anatolia. For his soldiering during the Second Opium War and suppression of the Taipeng rebellion in 1860–1864 he became known popularly in Britain as “Chinese Gordon.” In 1874 he began the first of three stints in the Egyptian Sudan where the Khedive Ismaʿil had begun to rely on European officers to suppress the slave trade As governor of Equatoria Gordon continued the work of Samuel ...

Article

David Killingray

West African medical doctor, army officer, and political writer born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the son of a liberated slave. He went to school and studied at Fourah Bay Institute with a view to entering the Christian ministry. However, along with two other men, he was selected in 1853 to study medicine in Britain with a view to returning to West Africa as an army medical officer. Horton studied first at King's College London and graduated from Edinburgh in 1859. He was very conscious that he was an African and adopted the name ‘Africanus’. Commissioned into the Army, he returned to West Africa, where he spent twenty years practising as a military doctor and occasionally serving as an administrator. He retired as a lieutenant‐colonel in 1880 Early in his career many of his white fellow doctors resented his role and they persuaded the War Office not to appoint ...

Article

Ian Jones

African‐American scientist and inventor who worked in Britain. Lewis Latimer's parents were Rebecca and George Latimer, fugitive slaves from Virginia who gained their liberty in the free state of Massachusetts, where Lewis was born. Lewis served in the American Civil War (1861–5), after which he worked as an office boy in a patent law firm. His employers soon recognized his talent for drawing and made him head draughtsman. He married Mary Wilson (1848–1937) in 1873 and wrote a poem for his wedding, which he later published in his collection Poems of Love and Life.

When he was 25, Lewis invented an improved toilet for railway carriages, and in 1876Alexander Graham Bell hired him to produce the drawings he needed to patent the telephone. Lewis was later headhunted by the US Electric Lighting Company, and in 1882 was awarded a patent for a ...

Article

Wunyabari Maloba

legendary and enigmatic Mau Mau rebel leader in Kenya, was born around 1919 in Mahiga Nyeri District He enlisted in the British army during World War II and like so many other African enlisted men he fought in Burma After the war he joined many radical political and social movements in the country especially in Nairobi He was one of the founding members of the Anake 40 the Forty Group that was based in Nairobi but had representation in all the districts in Central Province This group overwhelmingly Kikuyu in composition included war veterans petty traders thieves and criminals It was however associated with defiance of colonial rules and regulations Loosely organized it carried out armed robberies as both a source of income and a means of raising funds for the purchase of weapons needed by the Mau Mau Many members of the Forty Group were also informally linked ...

Article

Nazneen Ahmed

First Baron Barham, British naval administrator, and politician active in the campaign to abolish slavery. Middleton entered the Royal Navy in 1741, passing his lieutenant's examination in 1745. He was appointed to the illustrious position of Comptroller of the Navy in 1778, despite a lack of experience of naval administration. He proved to be adept at his role, creating numerous structural and administrative reforms to increase the efficiency of the Navy, for example, the introduction of lemon juice into navy victuals to prevent scurvy, and the introduction of the carronade cannon. His attention to strategic details at ship level contributed significantly to the victory at Trafalgar. His achievements as naval Comptroller were publicly recognized when he was created a baronet in 1781. Middleton and his wife held profoundly evangelical Anglican beliefs. During the 1780s, and through the influence of the clergyman James Ramsay a former ...

Article

Peter Fraser

Best known for his attempt in the 1930s to develop a fascist mass movement in Britain, Mosley ended his political career in the late 1950s and 1960s by attacking West Indian and other non‐white immigrants to Britain. He served on the Western Front in the First World War. This experience shaped his outlook: he tried to avoid war, to build a society fit for heroes, and used the military as his template for solving social problems. He was elected to Parliament as a Unionist candidate in December 1918 but rebelled against the violence of the pro‐Unionist irregulars (the Black and Tans). He left his party in 1920 and eventually joined the Labour Party in 1924, attempting to outline new economic policies. In the 1929 election which brought Labour to power again he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster but felt that only a new political movement ...

Article

Cecily Jones

Nickname of Rahasya Rudra Narayan (1938–1998), barrister and civil rights activist. He was born in British Guiana (now Guyana), the ninth of ten children of Indo‐Guianan parents. He arrived in Britain in 1953, and after a series of menial jobs enlisted in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, where he served until 1965, before leaving with the rank of sergeant. He then read for the Bar, at Lincoln's Inn, where he helped to found the Bar Students' Union, and later also became the Union's first president. He was called to the Bar in 1968, a year before his marriage to Dr Naseem Akbar, with whom he had two daughters.

When, in 1973, Narayan and Sighbat Kadric QC founded the Association of Commonwealth Lawyers (the predecessor to the Immigrant Lawyers' Group, which became the Society of Black Lawyers in 1981 the chairman of the ...

Article

Shivani Sivagurunathan

Haitiansoldier who served in the 71st (Highland Light Infantry) Regiment. He enlisted in Cork in January 1815. The reasons behind his arrival and stay in Ireland are unknown. The 71st left for the Low Countries in 1815 after Napoleon escaped from his prison on Elba and sent his men to Belgium. Following the battle at Waterloo, over 200 out of the 800 men in the Regiment were dead, wounded, or missing. Peters survived and remained in Belgium for the next two years. He was part of the Army of Occupation and was awarded the Waterloo Medal for his bravery and efforts during the battle. In 1820 he transferred to the 2nd West India Regiment after serving for five years in the 71st in England and Ireland. In the 2nd West India Regiment he served in the Gold Coast campaign of 1823–4 During his service he reached the ...

Article

John Gilmore

Clergyman of the Church of England and critic of Caribbean slavery born in Scotland. Originally trained as a surgeon, he spent six years in the Royal Navy in that capacity. On one occasion during this period he visited a slave ship where there was an epidemic on board in order to provide treatment to the victims. Ramsay eventually decided to leave the Navy because of an accident that had left him lame. In 1762 he was ordained by the Bishop of London, and returned to the Caribbean island of St Kitts (St Christopher), which he had previously visited while in the Navy. He spent most of the next nineteen years in St Kitts, as rector of two parishes there, and married the daughter of a local planter.

Ramsay s attempts to preach Christianity to the slaves and his involvement in local political issues made him unpopular with his white parishioners ...

Article

Peter Fraser

West Indian passenger on board the Empire Windrush. In 1948Vincent Reid arrived in England on the Empire Windrush the youngest West Indian to do so Consequently he became the first member of the post war West Indian migration to experience the school system at first hand Born in Kingston Jamaica he was brought up by adoptive parents who decided to seek work in England He was placed in a secondary modern school in London where he was the only black child being put in the lowest ability class He soon moved to the top form but encountered a teacher who laughed at his accent In his own words he basically stopped going to school because he felt angry and ashamed Having left school without qualifications and unhappy at home he joined the Royal Air Force serving in Malaya at the time of the Emergency A boxer he ...

Article

Assumed name of Joseph de Bologne (or Boulogne) (c.1740–1799), international composer and violinist and one of the best fencers in Europe. He was born in Guadeloupe as Joseph, the son of George de Bologne, a wealthy plantation owner. His mother, Nanon, was an African slave. He and his mother were taken to France in 1753. He received a gentleman's education at the fencing school La Boëssière's Royal Academy of Arms. Its focus was on academic study, music, dance, and languages. His fame at fencing was such that he was called le Chevalier de Saint‐Georges.

François‐Joseph Gossec (1734–1829) invited him to be leader of the Concerts des Amateurs orchestra in 1769, and later, its musical director. Between 1772 and 1777 he composed premiered and published violin concertos some of the earliest string quartets in France violin sonatas and symphonies concertantes ...

Article

Paul Bjerk

the first African to command the Tanzanian army was born near Arusha, in northern Tanzania. He attended Nkoaranga Lutheran Primary School there, moving on to Old Moshi secondary school in the neighboring town of Moshi at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Apparently a decisive and commanding young man, he tells the story of the time when, dressed as a policeman for a school play, he stopped an unlicensed cab driver and upbraided him for various infractions and sent him to report to the real police station. With this inspiration, he sought to join the Police College in Moshi, but instead was invited to continue his education at the prestigious Tabora Boys’ Senior Government School, which he joined in 1957.

The following year the colonial army the King s African Rifles was recruiting for prospective officers with the intention of sending top candidates to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst ...

Article

Jane Robinson

Jamaicannurse, hotelier, entrepreneur, writer, and heroine of the Crimean War. She was born Mary Grant, but no official records of her birth or parentage exist; in her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857), she stated her father to be a soldier of Scottish descent (possibly James Grant of the 60th Regiment of Foot) and her Creole mother to be the keeper of a Kingston hotel, Blundell Hall, and a well‐respected ‘doctress’, skilled in the traditional African use of herbal remedies. Her mother's guests and patients included British army officers garrisoned in Kingston, and Grant enjoyed a close relationship with the Army all her life. She had one sister, Louisa Grant (c.1815–1905), and a half‐brother, Edward Ambleton, who died during the 1850s.

Grant was educated by an elderly woman described in the autobiography as my kind ...

Article

Robert Skinner

South African nationalist, was born near Riebeeck West, in the Cape Colony. After beginning his schooling late at twelve years old, he soon showed a remarkable capacity for learning and gained entry to Victoria College, Stellenbosch. Here he encountered the political ideas of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, began to formulate ideas about a unified South Africa, and discovered an interest in botany. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Isie Krige. His academic success was awarded with a scholarship for overseas study, and in 1891 he traveled to the United Kingdom, where he studied law at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Having passed his law examinations in London, Smuts returned to South Africa in 1895, where he began to be involved in political activities, supporting the partnership between Hofmeyr and Cecil Rhodes. However, following the Jameson Raid of 1896 Smuts became disillusioned with Rhodes and became an ...