Disabled plant seller, about 1800
Former slaves served in large numbers in Britain's army and navy during both the American and the Napoleonic wars. At the end of the wars many made their way to London where they settled among the City's poorer communities. Only chance gives us clues about their lives. The man shown here has lost both legs – an injury commonly associated with cannon fire, so he may have been a soldier or sailor.
On 21 June 1948, 492 West Indians arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex on the SS Empire Windrush. Read more...