A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw



One of the earliest slave narratives printed in the English language and the first published book by an African in the UK. It gives a vivid account of Gronniosaw's life, from his capture by traders in Africa, through slavery in the West Indies to his family life when he settled in England. Although it is doubtful that he visited Liverpool in person, his story does give an insight into the experience of the many Black seamen (some possibly formerly enslaved) who passed through British ports. “…I had a vast inclination to visit England, …I entertain’d a notion that if I could get to England I should never more experience either cruelty or ingratitude… I expected to find nothing but goodness, gentleness and meekness in this Christian land, …” However, Gronniosaw had mixed fortunes in England. He married an English woman and had a family, but unemployment led them to experience periods of grinding poverty, conditions faced by many Black people and the poor in general in 18th century Britain.