History, storytelling and escape from slavery in 17th and 18th Century London Between the 1650s and 1780s many hundreds of enslaved people were brought to London. Most were African although a significant minority were South Asian and a smaller number were indigenous American. While in the capital some attempted to escape and, on occasions, those who pursued them placed advertisements in London newspapers seeking the capture and return of these freedom-seekers. The average age of the runaways was 16.

These ‘runaway advertisements’ reveal the existence of enslaved people in London yet tell us very little about them, and all through the eyes of those who enslaved and pursued them. Taking the historical research of Professor Simon Newman and Dr Peggy Brunache as the starting point, Runaways’ poets Abena Essah, Momtaza Mehri, Gboyega Odubanjo, Oluwaseun Olayiwola and Memoona Zahid; and artists Tasia Graham and Olivia Twist reimagined the stories of London’s runaways, showing people of colour to have been present in London, and as having been actors of resistance and resilience.

Buy the anthology here: https://inksweatandtears.co.uk/product/runaways-london/

Find out more about the Runaways London project, including  resource packs for Key Stage 3 and 4 classes here: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/projects/runaways/

Discover the Runaway Slaves in Britain archive from the University of Glasgow here: https://runaways.gla.ac.uk/