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The October update adds 18 new articles featuring 24 lives and 6 portrait likenesses drawn from Black British history. The focus of this release – curated by Dr Miranda Kaufmann and Dr Anders Ingram – is early Black British history (notably the sixteenth century) and represents a very substantial expansion of this area.
Former sailor and reputed ‘King of the Beggars’, Billy Waters, was a noted street performer. He became famous after being depicted in Pierce Egan’s Life in London (1821). When this was adapted into a stage play Waters featured as himself. He was also immortalised as a figure in nineteenth century popular culture through numerous engravings and pewter and plaster cast figures.