Sources for Black and Asian History
Worcestershire Record Office is supporting the work of the
Black and Asian Studies
Association (BASA) by trying to map the historical presence of
ethnic minorities in Britain. There has been a Black presence here
in Worcestershire since the 17th Century, although it may not
always be obvious.
Below are some examples from the archives. Most of these are
available as a larger image if you click on them:
1698 - Baptism of John Langley, a Niger of Jameca
in the parish registers for Norton and Lenchwick. 'John Langley a
Niger of Jameca about 30 years of age was baptised the 6th day of
We do not know why John was here in Worcestershire, but perhaps he
was a servant of a local family, or accompanied someone back from
the Caribbean when they visited sugar plantations.
Ref: x850 Norton and Lenchwick
1788-1790 - A Black Family at All Saints and St Andrews,
Three entries for a family, described as Negroes, at churches in
Baptism at All Saints of 'Susanna,
daughter of Lashington Barret Drummer of the 29th and Susan his
wife: all three Negroes'.
9 September 1788
Burial at St Andrews of
'Lashington Barrett Drummer of the 29th of foot, a Negroe'.
11 February 1790
Burial at All Saints of
Susanna, daughter of late Lashington Barret Drummer and Susanna his
Wife Negroes. P [pauper].
Lashington Barret was a drummer in the 29th Regiment of Foot,
which in 1782 had become the Worcestershire Regiment. Between 1759
and 1843 there were at least 40 Black drummers who had served in
the 29th, most recruited whilst the regiment was stationed in the
West Indies, America or Canada. Barrett is listed as being in the
Regiment by 1765, and came to Worcester when the 29th Regiment were
stationed here in 1787.
Some of the above information was provided by the Worcestershire Regiment
1713 - Peter Kuffey, Worcester
Baptism at St Johns 29 October 1713, 'Peter Kuffey, a Black,
Burial at St Johns 17 November 1713.
12 April 1781 Death of Thomas Otempora at Upper Arley
A report in the Berrows Worcester Journal for 12 April 1781
mentions the death of Thomas Otempora.
Lord Valentin's, at Upper Arley, age upon 56, Thomas Otempora
(called Othello), a native of America, from African parents'.
1840 Black child found in package of raw sugar.
A report in
the Worcester Herald, Saturday 25th April 1840.
Ref: 110 BA1:738/489.
1853 The 'Horrors of Slavery'
advertising a lecture to be given in Stourbridge on the horrors of
Throughout the campaign to abolish slavery, public meetings were
held up and down the country to persuade public opinion. Although
Slavery had been abolished in the British Empire by this time, it
still existed in America. On this occasion, a former slave, Mr J
Watkins, gave the talk.
The poster is part of a large group of posters, pamphlets and other
ephemera collected by Alderman Palfrey. Many are on the Stourbridge
area and give an insight into life in the area at that time.
Ref: b899:31, BA3762, parcel 10a, vol 5.
Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) wrote and
conducted a piece for the 1898 Three Choirs Festival on the
recommendation of Sir Edward Elgar, and his Orchestral Ballade in A
Minor was very well received. Elgar wrote that he was, 'Far away
the cleverest fellow amongst the young men'. Coleridge-Taylor
returned to conduct his own compositions in 1899, 1900 and
Coleridge-Taylor was born in Holborn, the son of a Sierra Leone
Doctor and an English mother. His music mixed black traditional
music with concert music. He suffered from racial prejudice both in
Great Britain and when he visited America, and he was a supporter
of the Black people around the world. He ran workshops for Black
musicians and composers, and was seen as a role model for them.
Whilst in America, he was invited to the White House by President
Ref: 899:1283, BA13,008
1933 Nawab of Pataudi scores 231 not out for Worcestershire.
Newspaper report from Berrow's Worcester Journal, 12 August
The Nawab of
Pataudi scored four double centuries for Worcestershire, three of
them in 1933. This was his highest score, as he helped the county
to a draw after they were forced to follow on by Essex at New
Ali Khan, the Nawab of pataudi, was born in New Delhi, India, in
1910. He played with distinction for Worcestershire between
1932-1938. He was an outstanding batsman for the county, and he is
one of the few players, along with Graeme Hick, to have a career
average of over fifty for Worcestershire. He played three tests for
England, and later captained India.
1940s Black troops queuing for food in the YMCA canteen
A photograph showing troops queuing in the YMCA canteen in St
Helen's Church, Worcester.
If you come
across references to Black and Asian people in our collections,
please let a member of staff know so that it can be noted. Some of
the above references were discovered by members of the public
whilst researching their own projects.
Have you got any material that can help tell the story of Black and
Asian people in Worcestershire? We would love to talk to you to
help cover this important part of the country's heritage.
This page was last reviewed 15 May 2013 at 20:54.
The page is next due for review 11 November 2014.