Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Prince, Mary
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Bermudian slave and writer

Born into slavery in Brackish Pond, Bermuda, she was sold to a number of different owners before being purchased by John Wood, a plantation owner, and sent to Antigua. There she attended meetings at the Moravian Church, where she learned to read. In the 1820s she moved with Wood and his wife to England, where she escaped to the Moravian Mission House in Hatton Gardens. She was employed as a domestic servant for Thomas Pringle, secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society. In 1831 Pringle arranged to transcribe and publish The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in England. The book provoked a number of libel suits, and fuelled the abolitionist movement. Prince remained in England until her death.

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

Related Articles

Full text Article Prince, Mary (c.1788-?)
Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English

Bermudan autobiographer Mary Prince, also known as Molly Wood, Mary James, or Mary, Princess of Wales, was born into slavery in Bermuda. She...

Full text Article Prince, Mary c. 1788 - ?
The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English

Bermudan writer and antislavery campaigner. Born into slavery in Bermuda, Prince resisted her condition from an early age and...

Full text Article Prince, Mary> (c. 1788 - c. 1833)
The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature

Mary Prince was a slave who, on being abandoned in London in 1831, was befriended by Susannah Moodie (one of the first...

See more from Credo