Mingo - 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)

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