Sjoerd Spoelstra • Link
Mingo is the black servant of Sir William Batten, Samuels neighbor, who enters the diary on three occasions (so far).
Each entry offers a little tempting information to build on. We learn that Mingo is a very trusted servant, on one occasion gets beaten by underpaid sailors while carrying his masters' cloak. He has enough of a sense of humour to share a joke with Samuel on Valentine's day 1661. He seems to be good with animals as well: the parrot in the April 10th entry recognises him immediately.
Black servants seem to be kept firstly as an exotic luxury. "At last we made Mingo, Sir W. Batten's black, and Jack, Sir W. Pen's, dance, and it was strange how the first did dance with a great deal of seeming skill.”
The name Mingo seems to have connotations of fun and games, Domingo beeing the court jester of Henry VIII, referred to in plays and drinking songs.
But looking at Sir Battens will (http://www.pro.gov.uk/pathways/bl…) the old sailor must have developed a genuine liking for his servant, providing him with a well paying job as lighthouse keeper in Harwich.
According to the Huntingdon Civic Society (http://members.fortunecity.co.uk/…) a Thomas Mingo is recorded as marrying at St Mary’s Church, “(The first black person to marry in this country) in 1685 as a part of Huntingdon’s rich black history.”
If it is not the same Mingo, the connection to Huntingdon (“seat” of Montagu and thus of Pepys) is a coincidence.