Phillip Thompson

1805 - ????


Phillip Thompson was an enslaved man brought to England from Jamaica by Ann Katherine Storer (q.v.), probably between 1820 and 1823. He has not been identified in the slave registers: in 1820 Storer registered ownership of 22 enslaved people in Westmoreland, all except one purchased from a variety of vendors since 1817. She still owned the same group in 1832 but no mention is made in the registers of any of these people having left the island. Storer probably purchased Thompson and moved him to England before registering ownership of him in Jamaica.

Slavery was not legal within Britain so on entering the country Thompson became a free man. In 1824 Ann Katherine Storer was accused of maltreatment of Thompson who had been working as a servant at her country house, Purley Park in Berkshire.

In The Times of March 1st, 1825 he is described as "a black, 19 years of age". His testimony against Robert Stewart, the "mulatto" servant is as follows: "On the 15th of August, as he was cleaning the knives in the kitchen, two at a time, Stewart desired him not to do so, as he would let them fall. He gave an impertinent answer, on which Stewart struck him on the face. Thompson "hit again," and Stewart struck a second time, and aimed a third blow, which the boy warded off by the knife he held, which cut Stewart's hand. The defendant, after smearing the blood over the lad's face, left the kitchen, but, returning in a few minutes, collared him, took him to a potato cellar and locked him in. There he was compelled to pass the night, with a blanket and carpet to sleep on, and at five o'clock in the morning was brought out by Stewart to be flogged in the stable he having procured a hunting whip for the purpose. The lad was desired to strop off his jacket and waistcoat and having done so, and seeing Stewart take out a cord to tie him, slipped out of the stable. Stewart followed, seized him; dragged him along the ground, and at last shut him up in another stable. From this place, before any further infliction, he made his escape and came to Reading, where he case was taken up by an attorney, and he obtained a situation in a gentleman's family." In this case Stewart was found guilty. However in a second case, in which Ann Katherine Storer and Robert Stewart were defendants, both are found not guilty. In this case "Thompson complained of an assault about a month before he left Purley. He stated that, not being up in time to scour the libby, Mrs. Storer ordered him to be taken out and well flogged, and she would it done. Stewart then took him into the stable-yard, Mrs. Storer following, and ordered him to take off his coat and waistcoat, and strip down his shirt to the waist. This being done, Stewart proceeded to flog him with a postilions whip; and when he had given him about a dozen lashes. Mrs Storer said, "Well done, Robert, give him twice as much." The blood ran down into his trousers and over his shirt; and he was rendered unable to lie down by the effect of the flogging. Despite this account and supporting statements both Storer and Stewart were found not guilty.

In 1851 a Phillip Thompson, age 45, born in Jamaica, unmarried, occupation "labourer" was living at 95 Wentworth Street, Whitechapel, with a married couple and 12 other labouring lodgers. He may be the Philip Thompson, age 50, who was admitted to Marylebone Infirmary 16/08/1854 and died there on 30/10/1854.


Slave registers: T71/179 3 (1820); T71/180 Book 9 30 (1823); T71/181 357 (1826); T71/186 unpaginated (1829); T71/188 220 (1832).

The Times Mar 03, 1825 p. 3.

1851 census online., London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-2003 [database online].

We are especially grateful to Rita Lamb for help with compiling this entry.

Further Information


Relationships (1)

Enslaved-manumitted → Previous owner

Addresses (2)

95 Wentworth Street, Whitechapel, London, Surrey, London, England
Purley Park, Purley, Berkshire, Central England, England