The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Ignatius Sancho

Ignatius Sancho cover


190 x 128 mm, 128 pages
17 black and white illustrations
ISBN 1 85514 192 2
£9.95 (paperback)
Special offer price: £5

This product is supplied by the National Portrait Gallery Company Limited. For more information on the Company, click here. Every purchase supports the National Portrait Gallery.

Out of print

Ignatius Sancho
An African Man of Letters
Reyahn King, Sukhdev Sandhu, James Walvin and Jane Girdham
Foreword by Caryl Phillips

Born on a slave ship in the mid-Atlantic, Sancho defied "the miserable fate" of his fellow blacks to become a respected figure in the literary, musical and artistic circles of 18th century London. During his lifetime he wrote a Theory of Music for the Princess Royal and corresponded with Laurence Sterne. In addition, two years after his death, his Letters became an immediate best-seller.

An exciting addition to black cultural studies, Ignatius Sancho looks both at Sancho's accomplishments and at the context in which they were achieved. It discusses Sancho's friendship with Sterne, the influence of his patron the Duke of Montagu, and wider issues such as abolitionism and the slave trade. With insights into Sancho's musical achievements (a previously neglected area), Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters is a well-rounded view of a extraordinary man and his times.



Gallery blog

Read our latest news and have your say.

Join the conversation

Tell us More about our silhouettes, photograph of Hubert Leslie, Silhouettist

Identify our Silhouettes

Join enthusiastic contributors who have already identified 155 sitters.

Help transcribe signatures

Tell us More about our Silvy sitters, photograph of Camille Silvy, photographer with boy

Tell us more about our Silvy sitters

Help us identify the sitters who visited Camille Silvy’s photographic studio during the 1860s.

Identify our sitters