Author of Black Tudors to give talk at University

Posted on 23rd February 2018

The story of a group of men and women of African origin who found themselves in England during Tudor times is the subject of a public lecture at the University of Chester next week.

Dr Miranda Kaufmann
Dr Miranda Kaufmann

Dr Miranda Kaufmann will be speaking about her book, Black Tudors: The Untold Story, at the University’s History and Archaeology Research Seminar on Wednesday, February 28.

According to the book’s website,, Black Tudors is structured around the lives of 10 Africans, with different careers, and Miranda Kaufmann traces their tumultuous paths in the Tudor and Stuart eras, uncovering a rich array of detail about their daily lives and how they were treated. 

They came to England from Africa, from Europe and from the Spanish Caribbean. They came with privateers, pirates, merchants, aristocrats, even kings and queens, and were accepted into Tudor society. They were baptised, married and buried by the Church of England and paid wages like other Tudors.

Yet their experience was extraordinary because, unlike the majority of Africans across the rest of the Atlantic world, in England they were free.

Dr Miranda Kaufmann is an expert in the history of Africans in Renaissance Britain and is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in the University of London. Black Tudors: The Untold Story is published by Oneworld. More information can be found at:

During her talk, Dr Kaufmann will tell the intriguing tales of three Africans featured in her book: a diver employed by Henry VIII to recover guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose; a Moroccan woman baptised in Elizabethan London; and a porter who whipped a fellow servant at their master’s Gloucestershire manor house.

Dr Thomas Pickles, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History and History Programme Leader at the University of Chester said: “We are extremely excited to welcome such a high profile speaker as Dr Kaufmann to the University, and to hear more about her book. Black Tudors was nominated as a Book of the Year 2017 by the Observer newspaper, and it has been extremely well received by reviewers. This seminar is free and open to the public - all are welcome to attend.”

The lecture takes place at 4pm on Wednesday, February 28 at the University of Chester’s Parkgate Road Campus – in the Binks Building, Room CBK013.