Queen Elizaebeth c. 1595.
Portrait via Wikimedia.

[ 11 July 1596 ]

During the last years of her reign, Queen Elizabeth professed to be increasingly irritated by the number of black immigrants, who she claimed were mostly ‘infidels,’ whose appetites were supposedly further inflating the already high price of food. On 11 July 1596, she ordered a royal proclamation to be sent to the lord mayor of London and the mayors and sheriffs of several other English towns informing them that

‘Her Majesty understanding that there are of late divers blackamoors brought into this realm, of which kind of people there are already too many here…her Majesty’s pleasure therefore is that those kind of people should be expelled from the land, and for that purpose instruction is given to the bearer, Edward Banes, to take ten of those blackamoors that were brought into this realm by Sir Thomas Baskerville on his last voyage, and transport them out of the realm. In this we require you to give him any help he needs, without fail.‘1


Vast areas of Alexandria were ripped apart by the shelling – Image left via Wikimedia and also image on the right.

[ 11 July 1882 ]

Today in 1882,  shortly after sunrise, a British fleet of fourteen warships began a deafening bombardment of Alexandria’s coastal defences and harbour area.


  1. Peter Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Pluto Press, London, 1984, p. 10.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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