A Victorian market in the City
Leadenhall Market, London

One of the locations for the Harry Potter films, this elegant market is one of London’s hidden gems with stalls selling flowers, cheese, meat and other fresh foods as well as shops, pubs and restaurants. Photo by Colin Roberts - More info

Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins (2013)

“Do we imagine English history as a book with white pages and no black letters in? 

We sometimes think of Tudor England in terms of gaudy costumes, the court of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and perhaps Shakespearian romance.
Onyeka’s book acknowledges this predilection but challenges our perceptions. 

Onyeka’s book is about the presence, status and origins of Africans in Tudor England. In it Onyeka argues that these people were present in cities and towns throughout England, but that they did not automatically occupy the lowest positions in Tudor society. This is important because the few modern historians who have written about Africans in Tudor England suggest that they were all slaves, or transient immigrants who were considered as dangerous strangers and the epitome of otherness. However, this book will show that some Africans in England had important occupations in Tudor society, and were employed by powerful people because of the skills they possessed. These people seem to have inherited some of their skills from the multicultural societies that they came from, but that does not mean all of those present in England were born in other countries: some were born in England.”

 By Onyeka Nubia

Get it  now here

Onyeka Nubia (whose novels are published under the name Onyeka) is a British writer, law lecturer and historian. His books document the lives of Black Britons and his third novel, called The Phoenix, has been awarded the 2009 African Achievers award for Communication and Media for the psychological portrayal of the Black British experience.

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I fucking love Gothic architecture so much. Gross demons and judgy saints hunching everywhere. Pointed arches and carved foliage. Fucking gargoyles and shit. Setting up the guttering so that the devil can vomit water on you. High cross-rib vaulting. This weird blend of the organic and the demonic in stone. All those oppressive geometrical patterns, the spikes and thorns, the monotony of it all, the way it’s such a precise miracle of engineering meant to raise you up to the glory of God but it’s so heavy and earthy that it drags you to hell simultaneously. It’s the perfect blend of the beautiful and the ghastly, the heavenly and the demonic, glorifying God with its high spires and condemning man with its enclosed vaults and I can never get enough of it.


Elizabeth I’s diamond and ruby ring, bearing her initial and taken from her body after her death in 1603, reveals more than meets the eye. A secret compartment opens to display two miniatures of Elizabeth and her mother, Anne Boleyn. The second of Henry VIII’s wives, Anne was executed on May 19, 1536 on charges of incest, adultery, and high treason. The future queen was only two years old at the time of her mother’s death.