Ignatius Sancho (c.1729 - 1780) MP

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Ignatius Sancho's Geni Profile

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Death: Died in Greater London, UK
Cause of death: Effects of Gout
Occupation: Writer, shopkeeper
Managed by: Sophie Williams
Last Updated:

About Ignatius Sancho

Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729 – 14 December 1780) was a composer, actor, and writer. He is the first known Black Briton to vote in a British election. He gained fame in his time as "the extraordinary Negro", and to 18th century British abolitionists he became a symbol of the humanity of Africans and immorality of the slave trade. The Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African, edited and published two years after his death, is one of the earliest accounts of African slavery written by a former slave in English.

Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship in 1729; his precise birthplace is thus unknown. After his mother died in the Spanish colony of New Granada and his father committed suicide rather than live as a slave, Sancho was taken to England and in 1731 was given to three maiden sisters living in Greenwich. While a young man, he met John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, who took an interest in his education (much as Montagu already had in Francis Williams's education), and in 1749 Sancho ran away and sought refuge with the Montagu families. The Duke had just died but his wife agreed to employ him as butler; when the Duchess of Montagu died in 1751 she left Sancho an annuity of £30 and a year's salary. The salary and his savings gave Sancho £70 in available money, which he spent on women, gambling, and the theatre. An attempt at a career as an actor, playing roles in Othello and Oroonoko, failed.

In 1766, Sancho became valet to the newly recreated George Montagu, first duke of the new creation and son-in-law of his earlier patrons. In 1768, Sancho's portrait was painted by Thomas Gainsborough. With help from Montagu, Sancho and his wife, Ann Osborne, set up a grocery shop in Westminster, early in 1774. In addition to shopwork, Sancho wrote and published a Theory of Music and two plays. As a financially independent male householder living in Westminster, Sancho qualified to vote in the parliamentary elections of 1774 and 1780; he was the first black person of African origin known to have voted in Britain. At this time he also wrote letters and in newspapers, under his own name and under the pseudonym "Africanus": he supported the monarchy and British forces in the American Revolutionary War. ( Wikipedia ).

http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/sancho1/sancho1.html http://www.docstoc.com/docs/15036778/DIARIES-OF-SLAVERY portrait painted 1768 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rossselwyn/genealogy/census.html http://http-server.carleton.ca/~mflynnbu/PositivePresenceAbsence/Ignatius_Sancho.htm http://www.onyeka.co.uk/links/links1.htm

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=104571588&ref=wvr

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Ignatius Sancho's Timeline

1729
1729
1758
1758
Age 29
UK
1761
1761
Age 32
UK
1763
1763
Age 34
UK
1766
1766
Age 37
1771
1771
Age 42
1773
1773
Age 44
1775
1775
Age 46
UK
1780
December 14, 1780
Age 51
Greater London, UK