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Africanus, Scipio (c. 1702–1720), servant, was born of an African family that most likely came from west Africa, where many Bristol merchants bought or captured black men and women for transport to the American colonies. He became the servant of Charles William Howard, ...

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Ashford, Mary Ann (1787–1870), domestic servant and autobiographer, was born on 30 October 1787 in London, where she was baptized at St Mary Woolnoth on 2 December 1787, the second child of Joseph Ashford (d. 1800), tanner, and his wife, Jane, née...

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Barber, Francis (c. 1745–1801), servant, was born a slave in Jamaica; his birth name and family are unknown. He was brought to England by Richard Bathurst, father to Johnson's friend of that name, who had him baptized and named Francis Barber, and sent him to a school in ...

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Isabella Mary Beeton (1836–1865) by Maull & Polyblank, c. 1860–65 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beeton [née Mayson], Isabella Mary (1836–1865), writer on household management and journalist, was born on 14 March 1836 at Milk Street, off Cheapside in the City of London, the eldest in the family of three daughters and a son of Benjamin Mayson (1801–1840)...

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Carryl, Mary (d. 1809), servant and friend of the Ladies of Llangollen, was one of at least three children of humble parents from Ross, co. Wexford. Little is known of her background or upbringing, but her forceful personality was apparent at an early age; it was reported that as a young woman 'she went by the name of ...

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See Women traders and artisans in London

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Coker, Frances [Fanny] (1767–1820), freed slave and domestic servant, was born on 26 August 1767 on Mountravers plantation, Nevis, in the West Indies, the first of five children of Black Polly (b. c.1752, d. in or after 1823). Her mother was probably enslaved in ...

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Colling, Mary Maria (1804–1853), poet and domestic servant, was born on 20 August 1804 (although she later claimed to have been born a year later), in Tavistock, Devon, and was baptized there on 2 September 1804, the daughter of Edmund Colling (1769/70–1855), husbandman and assistant to the surveyor of the highways, and his wife, ...

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Cowper [known as Shell], Agnes (b. c. 1559, d. after 1619), servant and vagrant, was born in the parish of St Olave, Southwark, Surrey, the daughter of William Cowper (d. c.1565), an embroiderer, and his wife (d. c.1570), whose name is unknown. Her life story is illuminated by the chance of her encounter in 1619 with the exhaustive record keepers of the parish of ...

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Falcieri, Giovanni Battista [Tita] (1798–1874), servant, was born in Venice, the son of a gondolier, also Giovanni Battista Falcieri (1761–in or after 1835). The Falcieri were hereditary gondoliers to the Mocenigi family and, as a result, the younger Giovanni's service came with the house when ...

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Fettiplace [née Poole; other married name Rogers], Elinor, Lady Fettiplace (b. c. 1570, d. in or after 1647), writer on household management, probably born at Pauntley, Gloucestershire, was the eldest daughter of Sir Henry Poole (d. 1616) of Sapperton in Gloucestershire...

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Fletcher, William (b. 1773, d. in or after 1841), valet, was the son of John Fletcher (c.1750–1808), a farmer, and his wife, Mary (c.1750–1800). He was already a manservant at Burgage Manor, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, when Catherine Byron and her son arrived there in July 1803. On 23 July 1804 he married ...

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Gronniosaw, Ukawsaw [pseud. James Albert] (1710x14–1775), freed slave and autobiographer, was probably born in Bornu (now north-eastern Nigeria), the youngest of the six children of the eldest daughter of the king of Bournou (Bornu). Spiritually dissatisfied with the animist faith in which he was brought up, he soon alienated himself from his friends and relatives by his constant questions challenging their faith in physical objects, as well as by his growing belief in the existence of an uncreated creator. Increasingly 'dejected and melancholy' (...

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Henson, Josiah (1789–1883), escaped slave, slavery abolitionist, and Methodist minister, was born on 15 June 1789 in Charles county, Maryland, USA, one of six children of slave parents. He experienced the harsh realities of slavery early in life. He saw his father receive 100 lashes and then have his ear cut off as punishment for defending his mother from the plantation overseer. His father was then sold south and was never heard from again. ...

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Hochee, John (1789–1869), servant and landowner, was born Ho Chee, otherwise Ho Chi or He Zhi, in Canton, China, in 1789, the son of Ho Foo, a mandarin. After education he probably worked for the East India Company in Canton, since he met and became a trusted servant of ...

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Husee, John (d. 1548), agent and soldier, is known to history principally as the servant of Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, governor of the English outpost at Calais between 1533 and 1540. Thanks to that employment, and as a result of the seizure of ...

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See Servants of Samuel Pepys

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Jermy [née Withers], Louise Jane [Louisa] (1877–1952), domestic servant and autobiographer, was born on 30 January 1877 at Howe Lane, Romsey, Hampshire, on the Broadlands estate where her maternal grandmother, Sarah Medley, was laundress to the ‘great house’. Her mother, Selina (...

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Kennedy [known as Douglas], Scipio [Sipio] (1693x7–1774), freed slave and weaver, was born in Guinea, on the west African coast, from where he was taken by slave ship to Jamaica about 1702. Details of his family are unknown. On his arrival in ...