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Author Topic:   medieval ethnic minorities
Senior Member
posted 05-07-2003 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for deborahknowles   Click Here to Email deborahknowles     Edit/Delete Message
I'm writing a novel (adult) in which the hero time-travels from 1321 to the modern day and falls in love with a girl whose dad is from Jamaica (because I wanted her to be as alien to him as poss) Would anyone from that time have seen people who were not white? (particularly if they had stayed in England/Scotland all their lives)


Erik Schmidt
Senior Member
posted 05-08-2003 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Erik Schmidt   Click Here to Email Erik Schmidt     Edit/Delete Message
Unlikely. The only likely case I can think of would be a travelling show as 'slaves' were generally of local origin.

During Roman occupation, maybe dark skinned soldiers or slaves, and also much later dark skinned servants or curiosities.


Senior Member
posted 05-09-2003 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for duncan   Click Here to Email duncan     Edit/Delete Message
My opinion after studying ship manifest's of around that era,
Very likely as to European, Middle Eastern, and this is a long shot maybe even Asian, but its extremely doubtful of seeing some one of the black race in England or Scotland during that time frame.
In the following article note some of the artefact's.

Medieval ship excavated from river bank

Archaeologists excavating a medieval ship older than the Mary Rose have finally finished the painstaking task of removing it piece by piece from a muddy bank ready for conservation.

In the New Year, officials from Newport, south Wales, will embark on the process of getting the 65ft ocean-going vessel reconstructed and on display to the public.

But the job will not be an easy one, according to Newport City Council's museums and heritage officer, Ron Inglis.

"The timbers are all being held in water tanks to preserve them so they can be recorded," Mr Inglis said.

It was discovered during the construction of a theatre and arts centre on the River Usk in June.

Campaigners demanded the ship, which tree-ring dating has shown was made from an oak tree felled between September 1465 and April 1466, be fully reconstructed and put on display in the city, but the council said it could not afford to preserve them.

In August, the Welsh Assembly stepped in and promised up to 3 million for the ship to be lifted from its resting place and housed beneath a glass floor in the new arts centre for visitors to admire.

Since then more than 1,000 timbers - 95% of the ship itself - have been removed from the site and archaeologists have also discovered a cradle structure beneath it, and most recently skeletal remains believed to be medieval.

Artefact's found on the ship included shoes, woollen cloth and Portuguese pottery. There also appears to be evidence the ship was being repaired in Newport.

Next year archaeologists will also examine the possibility of removing the bow and stern of the ship, which it is feared may have been damaged beyond salvation.

Story filed: 08:43 Sunday 29th December 2002 http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_734006.html?menu=

Megan and Ralph at
Castle Duncan,
Castles and Medieval Discussion Forums

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posted 05-09-2003 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
I agree to disagree.
It is possible ( as Erik pointed out), but more likely to be with the higher classes. The Tower in London was known to have its 'Zoo' by the early 14thC. With its first Keeper of Lions in 1313. With the 'gifts' of these animals, slaves were also sent with them to advise on their upkeep.
We must also remember the earlier Crusades brought back prisoners & slaves from the Holy Land and Africa.
Whilst people with a black skin would certainly be rare, those of Arabic extract would not. Rememeber the Jews were an established part of society by then. Many of these being very dark skinned and of different facial features. Which of course set them apart and easy to target.
Even those Normans that did not make it to '1066', operated in Sicily & beyond. Many of those returning to northern France bringing servants & slaves with them from those climes.
It might be said that whilst they might be known in northern France & England, they would never be seen as equal to the elite of those times. That would be a far harder concept to come to grips with.

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 05-09-2003).]

Senior Member
posted 05-09-2003 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for deborahknowles   Click Here to Email deborahknowles     Edit/Delete Message
Cheers, everybody. v helpful


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