(1729–1780), African — slave, shopkeeper, author
Born on board a ship travelling from Africa to the West Indies; his parents both died shortly after their arrival in the colony of New Granada and Ignatius was taken to England, where he was given to three sisters in Greenwich. He was hired as butler to Mary Montagu, duchess of Montagu (1689–1751) in 1749; after her death he became valet to the duchess's son-in-law George Montagu, duke of Montagu (1712–1790). In 1758 he married Anne Osborne (1733–1817); they had seven children. In 1774 he left the duke's service because of ill health and set up a grocer's shop; he also published newspaper essays, some under the pseudonym "Africanus". He had many literary and society friends; his correspondence with Laurence Sterne was published in 1782.
Biographical note by Electronic Enlightenment Project.
Updated January 2009.
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