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Reasonable Blackman

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Reasonable Blackman (c. 1579 - 1592)..[1] was a silk weaver resident in London in the late sixteenth century. He is notable because he is believed to be among the first people of African heritage to be working as independent business owners in London at the time, although he was not the first as there is a record of an African needle-maker some thirty years earlier[2]. He may have originally come from the Netherlands, which had a relatively significant African population at the time and also a significant trade in silk.

By 1587 Blackman was married and therefore clearly had sufficient means to support a family. He had at least three children, of which at least one (Edward) was baptised at St Olave's Church, Southwark, and a fourth child with a similar surname who was also baptised at St Olave's may also have been his[3]. Two of his children, Edmund and Jane, died in 1592 of plague. They were buried with due ritual in the parish churchyard[4]

The name and ethnicity of Blackman's wife are unknown. The small number of people of African descent in London at this time makes it likely she was a white Englishwoman. At this time there does not appear to have been any hostility to inter-racial marriages in London[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "10 Black Tudors". Miranda Kaufmann. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  2. Kaufmann, Miranda (2017). Black Tudors: The Untold Story. UK: OneWorld. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-78607-396-9.
  3. Kaufmann, Miranda (2017). Black Tudors: The Untold Story. UK: OneWorld. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-78607-396-9.
  4. Kaufmann, Miranda (2017). Black Tudors: The Untold Story. UK: OneWorld. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-78607-396-9.
  5. Kaufmann, Miranda (2017). Black Tudors: The Untold Story. UK: OneWorld. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-78607-396-9.


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