Mary Prince may not be an international household name – but she had a significant role in British as well as Bermudian history. Her beginnings were humble in the extreme: she was born about 1788 in Bermuda. Her mother was a household slave and her father, a “sawyer”, belonged to a ship builder. After living as a slave in Bermuda, Turks Island and Antigua she was taken to London eventually escaping from slavery in 1828.
She wanted to tell her story so “that good people in England might hear from a slave what a slave had felt and suffered”. Her narrative was published in 1831 at a time when the anti-slavery lobby was reaching is height. The first black British woman to escape from slavery and publish a record of her experiences, Mary Prince has been and described as “an indomitable self-made heroine”.
Her extraordinary, spirited and heart-rending narrative is published as “The History of Mary Prince”.