"He was a black fellow who had run away from a sailing family in Wapping "
John Spencer & son, with their servant Caesar Shaw by Knapton (c.1744)
Public DomainJohn Spencer & son, with their servant Caesar Shaw by Knapton (c.1744) - Credit: George Knapton

Wapping is a district of northeast London, in the Borough of Tower Hamlets; it forms part of the area known today as the Docklands. It has a long maritime history. The London Docks were built there between 1799 and 1815.

In the 17th and 18th Centuries, some African and Afro-Caribbean slaves were brought to Britain to work as servants in aristocratic families. It is also estimated that by the 1800s there were between 15,000 and 20,000 free black people living in London. 

The Slavery Abolition Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1833.

 

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