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George Africanus - Nottingham's first black entrepreneur

George Africanus was born in Sierra Leone in west Africa. At the age of three he arrived in England as a household slave of the Molyneux family of Wolverhampton. This family provided for George's education.

In 1772 a law was passed making it illegal to own a slave in England. George was apprenticed to a brassfounder in Wolverhampton. On completing his apprenticeship George was free to travel and work where he wished. We do not know why he chose to come to Nottingham; nevertheless he arrived in the borough as a free man in the 1780s. The surviving documents concerning George's life show that he was an active and responsible citizen who integrated with the community. As an individual who experienced being a slave first-hand, his life is one of success and achievement against the odds.

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Nottingham St Peter marriage entry for George Africanus, 1788
Marriage of George Africanus
St Peter's parish register, 1788

Sutton and Sons trade directory, 1815
George Africanus' Businesses
Trade directory,
1815

Watch and ward register, 1816
Keeping the Peace
Watch and ward
register,
1816

Nottingham poll book, 1826
Voting in Elections
Poll book,
1826

Title deed showing George Africanus' property, 1829
George Africanus' Property
Title deed,
1829

Burial of George Africanus, 1834
Burial of George Africanus
St Mary's parish register, 1834

Will of George Africanus, 1833
Will of George Africanus
Last Will and Testament, 1833

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