The English East India Company and the Story of Corey, the Sadhanian; a presentation for Black History Month by Dr M Ahmedullah, Secretary of Brick Lane Circle
Corey, described as a ‘reluctant immigrant’, was the first black boy from the Cape of Good Hope to be brought to London by an East India Company ship. This happened in the autumn of 1613.
He lived inthe house of Sir Thomas Smythe, governor of the East India Company. Smythe took responsibility for 'equipping him for civilised life’. He provided a nice diet, facilities for entertainment and the comfort of English society of the time.
But Corey wasn’t interested in any of these. In broken English, he uttered, ‘Coree home go, Souldania go, home go.’ As a result, he was repatriated six months later. Upon arrival in Saldanha Bay in June 1614, he threw away all his Western clothes and ran away to live the life he loved.
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