Published: Wednesday, 29th July 2020

Medway Council is encouraging residents to explore a virtual exhibition into the life of William Cuffay, to mark the 150th anniversary of his death. 

William Cuffay was the grandson of a West African slave, the son of a West Indian slave, who was born in Chatham and  stood up for what he believed in and fought for rights and freedoms and democratic processes which still form such an important part of residents’ lives today. 

Cuffay was a tailor by trade and died in July 1870 in Tasmania in Australia. The virtual exhibition, which features resources from Medway Archives Centre, explores how he ended up in Australia and why it is important to remember him today.

The council’s Heritage Team education officer, Dr Jeremy Clarke, has also created a video about Cuffay’s life including how he became part of the Chartism political movement.

It is important to recognise the work Cuffay did in fighting for rights and freedoms

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that we are marking the 150th anniversary of William Cuffay with a virtual exhibition. It is very important to recognise the work Cuffay did in fighting for rights and freedoms, such as the right to vote. I would encourage residents to explore the online exhibition and find out more about Cuffay’s interesting life.” 

Medway Council is proud of the diverse and multi-cultural communities which make Medway the special place it is today.

View the virtual exhibition.

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