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Gresham College: Black History Month: #3/5: Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories


About this series

Five renowned professors will talk about migration, Empire, slavery and reparations, issues that resonate to this day. One of the lectures will look at the stories of three Black Tudors.

About this lecture

Dr Kaufmann tells the intriguing tales of three Africans living in Tudor England – Jacques Francis, a diver employed by Henry VIII to recover guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose; Mary Fillis, a Moroccan woman baptized in Elizabethan London; and Edward Swarthye, a porter who whipped a fellow servant at their master’s Gloucestershire manor house.

Their stories illuminate key issues: – how did they come to England? What were their lives like? How were they treated by the church and the law? Most importantly: were they free?

Miranda Kaufmann

Professor Dr Kaufmann is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the University of Liverpool and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed, Wolfson History Prize and Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize shortlisted, book Black Tudors: The Untold Story (Oneworld 2017).

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