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John Gilmore

Domestic servant to Samuel Johnson. He was born a slave in Jamaica, but his date of birth and original name are unknown. He was brought to England by Richard Bathurst, formerly a planter in Jamaica, who had him baptized and who gave him the name by which he is known. Bathurst sent him for some time to a school at Barton in Teesdale in Yorkshire, and his will (dated 1754) left Barber his freedom and £12.

By this date, probably in 1752, Barber had entered the service of Samuel Johnson, who was a friend of Bathurst's son (also Richard). The exact date, and how old Barber was at the time, are uncertain, but he was probably still a young boy. In 1756 he ran away and worked for about two years for a London apothecary though he returned to visit Johnson regularly during ...


Lucy MacKeith

Coachman painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. His portrait hangs in the home of Sir John Quicke just outside Newton St Cyres near Exeter, Devon. The oil painting on board shows a smiling African wearing a greeny‐brown velvet jacket, a white cravat, and a black trimmed hat with gold braid over a conventional wig of that time. The handwritten paper label on the back of the portrait reads: ‘Joe Green, Black Coachman for many years to Mrs Quicke. Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds’.

Records on the Quickes are scarce. In 1739 Mrs Quicke inherited £40,000 from her father, Thomas Coster, a merchant in Bristol with interests in the slave trade who was a mayor of that city and an MP. John Quicke was Jane's second husband and we know that she lived in Bath as a widow.

As to Joe Green searches so far have not revealed any records ...