Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Memorial for abolitionist Equiano

Memorial to Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano was baptised at St Margaret's Church on 9 February 1759

An African campaigner involved in the 18th Century abolitionist movement which brought an end to the slave trade is to be honoured.

Olaudah Equiano, also known by his slave name Gustavus Vassa, will be honoured with a memorial in St Margaret's Church at Westminster Abbey.

Despite his enslavement as a young man, he purchased his freedom and worked as a seaman, merchant and explorer.

He was baptised at St Margaret's Church on 9 February 1759.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will attend the dedication of the memorial in St Margaret's Church on Monday at 1830 BST.

In his autobiography, Equiano wrote that he was born in Eboe in what is now southern Nigeria before being kidnapped with his sister as a young boy, sold by local slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to Barbados and then Virginia in the US.

However, he later said he was born in the Americas.

More than three million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic in the 18th Century, before Parliament passed the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, banning the trafficking of Africans as slaves.

Britain's act to abolish slavery itself was not passed until 1833.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Church link to ex-slave honoured
20 Dec 07 |  Cambridgeshire
All pupils to learn about slavery
26 Aug 08 |  Education
Schools 'must teach Britishness'
25 Jan 07 |  Education
Black history 'harder to teach'
13 Oct 06 |  Education

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific