Mary Prince (1788- 1833)

A British abolitionist, her autobiography The History of Mary Prince was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the UK. 

Born in Bermuda into an enslaved family, Prince was separated from her sisters when they were each sold to a difference family at auction. Upon arriving in London with her owners, Prince was able to leave their house as a free woman as by this point it was illegal to transport slaves out of England. Whilst her owners refused to full emancipate her, Prince was eventually offered paid work in the household of anti-abolitionist Thomas Pringle. During her time there, she narrated her biography for transcription and its publication sold out of three print runs. 

Her narrative brought an authentic and vivid perspective to the arguments surrounding abolition, which were until then dominated by economic and political concerns. This also led Prince to become the first woman to present an anti-slavery petition to parliament.