Britain was involved with the tri-continental slave trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas.Black slaves were attendants to sea captains and ex-colonial officials as well as traders, plantation owners and military personnel.In 1764 The Gentleman's Magazine reported that there was 'supposed to be near 20,000 Negroe servants' -Evidence of the number of black residents in London has been found through registered burials.
Leading black activists of this era included Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho and Quobna Ottobah Cugoano.
With the support of other Britons these activists demanded that Blacks be freed from slavery.
One example is the writings of Equiano, who became an unofficial spokesman for Britain’s Black community.
A memoir about his life is entitled, The Interesting Narratives of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
The Blacks in London lived among the whites in areas of Mile End, Stepney, Paddington and St Giles.
The majority of these people did not live as slaves, but as servants to wealthy whites.In 1737 George Scipio was accused of stealing Anne Godfrey's washing, the case rested entirely on whether or not Scipio was the only black man in Hackney at the time.Around the 1750s London became the home of many of Blacks, Jews, Irish, Germans, and Huguenots.Fewer blacks were brought into London from the West Indies and parts of Africa.The 19th century was also a time when "scientific racism" flourished.Many white people claimed that they were the superior race and that blacks were not as intelligent as whites.