T. Miles: So what happened to the original swarthy black Britons? – A ship called the “VETERAN”

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The aboriginal Britons (England, Wales ,Scotland) were described by Tacitus, ancient Roman as swarthy, short and curly haired.

So what happened to those original swarthy black Britons?

In 449 AD the Northern Germanic invasion of Briton pushed the surviving British population West to Cornwall, Wales and Ireland and North to Scotland.

In 1688 AD the Stuart king James II was replaced by parliament with William III and Mary II. They produced no children and succession to the throne got complicated. The Irish and Scottish were later recruited by another Stuart cousin born in France known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to help him capture the British throne.

This war was called the Jacobite rebellion. When they lost that battle many Scots and Irish were rounded up by the English and imprisoned and later deported to the Caribbean. A close inspection of these ships logs describe these prisoners.

For example on the 5th of May 1747 a ship called the “VETERAN” captained by John Ricky, left Liverpool with Irish and Scottish prisoners. The ships log describes a percentage of these prisoners as being Brown skinned, swarthy or Black.

The prisoner numbered 132 on the “veteran list” was said to be George Hume a writer in the legal profession. He was aged 30 from Edinburgh and described as a “black man”. From what I can tell he was the most educated prisoner on the ship.

Prisoner 1519 Andrew Langer numbered 86 on the veteran list was described as a 40 year old, dark complexioned 5 foot 6 inch tall weaver from Dublin.

Prisoner 3314 James Urquhart, numbered 78 on the veteran list was described as an 18 year old with a brown complexion and said to be a 5 foot 5 inch Labourer from Aberdeen.

Prisoner 2602 James Neilson from Aberdeen was entered in as swarthy complexioned. Whereas Prisoner 1138 Charles Grant from Abernethy was listed as brown skinned, Prisoner Dunbar James from Moray was described as black.

Prisoner with Veteran List Number 96 Donald McDonald from Edinburgh was described as swarthy. James Reed with Veteran List Number 122 was described as prisoner with dark visage, so also was Prisoner 2797 George Reed from Banff who was described as dark. There were several more dark skin and swarthy Scottish and Irish prisoners on that ship; and a quick look through this list will quickly provide any researcher the correct perspective.

These prisoners were originally captured on the 30th December 1745 and imprisoned in York castle, Lincoln castle among other locations.

The ship sailed near Antigua on the 28th of June 1747. However for reasons unspecified the prisoners were taken by the Diamond privateer Paul Marsale and released in Martinique on the 30th June 1747.

See link below for more information: Black Scots
http://www.jacobites.net/uploads/2/4/3/9/24396590/list_of_prisoners_transported_on_veteran.pdf


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3 thoughts on “T. Miles: So what happened to the original swarthy black Britons? – A ship called the “VETERAN””

  1. The original settlers of Britain were dark skinned 12,000 years ago, as were all Europeans. The genetic variations on 3 genes for white skin only entered Europe via the Caucasus 10,000 years ago, and worked their way throughout the continent. Comparatively later, the Romans brought black Africans to Britain. There are a small number of white family names clustered around old Roman garrison towns today where there is a high instance of African paternal y chromosome haplogroups. There will also be African maternal mitochondrial haplogroups in a minority of white British people thanks to the diversity of the Roman Empire. “Ivory Bangle lady” and “Beachy Head Woman” were both black.

    By Tudor times, black people were coming to Britain through trade and English piracy on the Spanish Empire. The great English sea captain Sir Francis Drake had a black man freed from Spanish slavery in his crew called Diego. Meticulous historical research by Miranda Kauffman has uncovered 360 confirmed cases of black people living in Britain between 1500 & 1640, before the British started our global exploits. To find 360 must mean there were more.

    Strabo actually describes the Britons as follows: “The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. The following is an indication of their size: I myself, in Rome, saw mere lads towering as much as half a foot above the tallest people in the city, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric.” It was Jordanes who described some ancient Britons as having “swarthy features and are usually born with curly black hair”, he was describing the powerful Silures tribe of South West Wales, and the description still fits many people from that area today. Perhaps this is indicative that they retain more of the ancient dark skinned genes of the original settlers, they also tend to be shorter than the English & Scots.

    Jordanes also remarked on the tall height & red hair of the Caledonian (Scotland & Northern England) peoples, so he certainly wasn’t saying we were all like that. The most famous ancient Briton was the warrior queen Boudicca of the Iceni tribe from central eastern England. The Roman scholar Dio describes her thus: “In stature she was very tall, in appearance most terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh; a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips”. I live in the old territory of the Iceni today – tall, tawny haired & fierce describes several women I know. Maybe we haven’t changed all that much.

    There is no great mystery to black history in Britain. Once, our ancestors were all dark skinned, and gradually became white through migrationary ties to Europe & the genetic shift that started there 10 millennia ago. For the last 2 millennia, there have been black people settling here too.

  2. Perhaps you would be interested in reading this book, whence the black Irish.
    There is an archive for it. Look it up, images and all.

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