New evidence on the historic black presence in Croydon

New evidence on the historic black presence in Croydon: H. E. Lewis and Marion Mattie Lawrence

Continued research is revealing new evidence of people of African heritage in Croydon and its immediate environs:

  • H. E. Lewis, “the Negro Mesmerist” 1851-1856

Jeff Green has written about Lewis in posting No. 141 on his website http://www.jeffreygreen.co.uk. He then added a note I sent to him on Lewis demonstrating his skills at Crown Lane as reported in the Croydon Chronicle & East Surrey Advertiser.

  • Marion ‘Mattie” Lawrence. Jubilee Singer in England 1890-1907 

A member of the fourth group of Fisk Jubilee Singers under Frederick Loudin, friend of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor,Lawrence  married Croydon’s successful retailer Henry J Thrift. They had two daughters.  Jeff is in touch with researchers in Australia and the United States, and I will be undertaking research in Croydon’s Local Archives and Studies.

The third latest posting on Jeff’s site is No. 142 is on the entertainer Pete Hampton who lived in Colliers Wood before returning to the United States at the beginning of the First World War.

Jeff always welcomes receipt of new information from other researchers.

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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