6 Annotations

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.uk/pathways/black…

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.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


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



  • Nov