13 Annotations

First Reading

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.

Mary  •  Link

Mingo's origins.

For Professor Rucker's definition of 'Mingo' as a name deriving from the Wolof of Senegambia, with other occurrences amongst the Hausa and Mandika, see the diary annotations for 14th February 1660/61.

'Domingo' and its derivatives clearly have nothing to do with the case.

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

"Having connotations of" is not the same as "Is derived of" , I think ?

See http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLTnof…

for the text of a drinking song "Monsieur Mingo", and you can hear it as well if your computer can handle Real Audio files.

This is from Henry IV, Part Two, and it was published in a collection of drinking songs in 1611;

I suggest the name "Mingo" survived the transition because it was a well known name with a certain connotation, while other black servants that are mentioned for instance are called "Jack".

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Mingo appears to be a name of an Iroquois tribe in Pennsyvania in the 1600's

[control f Mingo]
" The Mingo ........
By 1740 there were almost a thousand Mingo living in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio...."
"...With two exceptions - the Mingo occupation of the upper Ohio Valley and the Caughnawaga migration to the upper St. Lawrence - the Iroquois did not, for the most part, physically occupy this vast area but remained in their upstate New York villages..."
So he may have been North American Indian
no proof except that names usually have some odd connections

Terry F  •  Link

Mungo/Mingo/Mingoe - from Servant to Lighthouse Keeper

Sir William Batten was granted Letters Patent by King James I to operate the Harwich Lighthouse, a profitable concern because of its strategic importance to shipping in 1664. These extracts from his will reveal that Batten wanted his 'servante Mingoe a Negroe' to become lighthouse keeper upon his death. The servant was also left a legacy of £20 per year for life - a substantial sum of money at the time.

PROB 11/325, q. 144 (Dec 1667) [Image and transcript of the portion of Sir W. Batten's will as it pertains to 'Mingoe'[Mungo] at the bottom of http://www.nationalarchives.gov.u…

JWB  •  Link

Mingo Indians

From Allan Eckert's "That Dark and Bloody River"-
"The Mingoes were not a tribe but rather a very loose confederation of Indians from a variety of tribes-Senecas, Cayugas, Delawares, Wyandot and even a few Shawnees-who disgruntled with the politics of their individual trbe or simply expatriates ...had banded together. Chief Logan(early 18th C.):'We are all warriers and we are all chiefs. Among the tribes to the south, a chief is called a Mingo, so we now call ourselves Mingoes, as we are all chiefs"'.

"...to the south" could connote that the name came from slaves or run-away slaves and thus of African origin.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Mingo In Batten's Will -- Reproduction & Transcript

"These extracts from his will reveal that Batten wanted his 'servante Mingoe a Negroe' to become lighthouse keeper upon his death. The servant was also left a legacy of £20 per year for life - a substantial sum of money at the time."

Text transcript:-

cgs  •  Link

more from OED:

[< Dutch Minquaas, plural (1625 in J. De Laet Nieuwe Wereldt; 1656 in form Minquas; 1659 in form Mingaes) < Northern Unami Delaware *ménkwe:w (compare Southern Unami (Oklahoma Delaware) ménkwe) < proto-Eastern Algonquian *me:nkwe:w.

Mingo, n. and adj.
The forms represent a learned reborrowing directly from Unami, popularized by the writer James Fenimore Cooper in the 19th cent.; most of the examples of these forms are in the plural (unchanged).]

A. n. Originally: a member of the Susquehannock people or of any of several related Northern Iroquoian groups of interior Pennsylvania. In later use: a member of an Iroquois Indian group, mostly Senecas, who were not affiliated with the League of the Iroquois and whose modern descendants are the Oklahoma Seneca-Cayuga.
The term is also occas. used to refer to a member of the Iroquois people inhabiting the valley of the Alleghenny-Ohio river, where they fell outside the immediate oversight of the chiefs of the League of the Iroquois in western New York.
Formerly also with preceding distinguishing adjective, as black, little, white Mingo, referring to specific groups.
1648 B. PLANTAGENET Descr. Prov. New Albion iv. 23 Above Watcessit South-West, are the black and white Mincos neer three hundred men.

B. adj. Of, relating to, or inhabited by any of these peoples.
1661 in Arch. Maryland (1885) II. 433 The Minqua or Sinigo [i.e. Seneca, used here for Susquehannock] Indians were aboute that tyme doeing mischeife and killing Cattle aboute Patapsco Riuor. 1673 A. HERRMAN Virginia & Maryland (map), Black Mincquaas River. 1683 in Arch. Maryland (1887) V. 393 All that tract of Land upon the West side of the River and Bay of Delaware..backwards into the Woods so far as the Minquai Country. 1

mungo, n.2

[Origin uncertain; perhaps < the Scottish personal name Mungo. The word first appears as the name of a black slave in I. Bickerstaffe's farce The Padlock (see quot. 1768), where it is perhaps used as a play on ‘mun go’ (see MUN v. and GO v.).
Later perhaps also with allusion to the name of Mungo Park (1771-1806), Scottish explorer; compare the following:
A black person, esp. a slave. Also used as a proper name.
1768 I. BICKERSTAFFE Padlock I. vi. 11 What e'er's to be done, Poor black must run; Mungo here, Mungo dere, Mungo every where.

mungo n3
[Origin unknown.]

A person of influence, position, or fashion.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thanks for the information about Mungo as a name - maybe it was or became a common name given to African origin servants just as Abigail and Susan were very common maids' names: Abigail evolved into being a synonym for maid. It was common practice for mistresses to rename their maids to suit themselves. maybe it happened to male servants too.

Second Reading

Mary K  •  Link

For a fascinating account of the surprisingly long history of free men and women of African origin living and working in England, see the following recently published book:

"Black Tudors" by Miranda Kaufmann.
A Oneworld book
ISBN 978-1-78607-184-2

Mary K  •  Link

Mingo's Hart Street antecedents.

Mingo was by no means the first black African to live in the parish of St. Olave's Hart Street.

John Barker, a merchant and MP living in the parish from about 1582 onwards, had in his employ in the later years of the 16th Century a number of African servants including Mary Fillis (a young girl described as a "Morisco"), George (a blackamore) and Leying Mouea ("a blackamore of 20 years). Alderman Paul Bayning, a Hart Street neighbour of the Baker family, employed at least 5 Africans over the same period including "three maids, blackamores" (one called Julyanne) and two men - Abell and Anthony.

Dr. Hector Nunes, a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition resident in the neighbourhood since 1549, had numerous black servants in his household including three women named Elizabeth, Grace and Mary.

Altogether between 1588 and 1638 St. Olave's Hart Street saw three baptisms and 12 burials of Africans, whilst the neighbouring church of St. Botolph's Aldgate saw just one baptism (of the aforementioned Mary Fillis) but 17 burials of Africans.

For further information, see the book "Black Tudors" cited in the note that precedes this one.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Also see "Tudor, English and black – and not a slave in sight" a review of Black Tudors: The Untold Story, which debunks the idea that slavery was the beginning of Africans’ presence in England, and exploitation and discrimination their only experience. https://www.theguardian.com/world…...

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.




  • Nov