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King George III (1760-1820)
The Case of Jonathan Strong (1) : Granville Sharp and his surgeon brother William rescued a young African man from the streets of London.
The Case of Jonathan Strong
Part one

Based on Self-Help, by Samuel Smiles.

Granville Sharp, from County Durham, acquired a reputation as a formidable anti-slavery campaigner. It all began quite by accident in London, where Granville received a letter from someone called Jonathan Strong, claiming to know him.

ONE day in 1767, Granville Sharp received a letter from a Jonathan Strong, saying he was in jail and needed help. Unable to put a face to the name, Sharp made enquiries at the jail. When he was told no such person existed, he demanded to check every inmate himself.

As soon as he laid eyes on him, he recognised Jonathan as a young African whom Sharp’s brother William, a surgeon, had rescued from the streets two years before, lame and nearly blind. The brothers had paid for treatment at St Bartholomew’s, and then obtained a place for Jonathan at a pharmacy.

Jonathan now explained that he had been helping his employer’s wife into her carriage, when by dreadful chance his former master, a Barbados lawyer called David Lisle who happened to be visiting London, had recognised him, and claimed him as a runaway.

So it was that Jonathan was lying in a city jail, waiting to be shipped off to the West Indies.

Based on Self-Help, by Samuel Smiles.

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Modern History (138) Granville Sharp (1) Abolition of Slavery (14) Georgian Era (111) History (406)

Picture: © Chris Downer, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Giltspur Street in London, with St Bartholomew‘s Hospital on the left, and the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral against the sky.

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