Committee For The Relief of The Black Poor - The Black Poor in 18th-century England

The Black Poor in 18th-century England

The "Black Poor" was the name given in the late 18th century to indigent residents of London who were of Black ancestry. The Black Poor had diverse origins. The core of the community were people who had been brought to London as a result of Atlantic slave trade, sometimes as slaves or indentured servants who had served on slave ships. At the time, Black American sailors served on both navy and merchant ships. The Black Poor had become a rare but noticeable sight on the streets of London. Most of the Black Poor lived in impoverished East End parishes, or in Seven Dials and Marylebone. They formed part of the broader Black British community, which predominantly consisted of people employed at menial urban jobs, but had prominent members such as Ignatius Sancho and Olaudah Equiano. While the broader community included some women, the Black Poor seem to have exclusively consisted of men, some of whom developed relationships with local women and often married them.

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