Evidence to suggest that
and his wife Susannah took up residence in Soham, Cambridgeshire comes from
the fact that both of their children were born and baptised there. Their firstborn, Anna
Maria arrived on 16th October 1793, and was baptised in St. Andrew's Church, Soham on
30th January 1794. Their second child, Joanna was born on 11th St. Andrew's Church, Soham on 29th April 1795. Susanna was always thought
to have died during Joanna's birth, however, records show that she died a
year later on 21st February 1796. She is believed to have been buried in St. Andrew's Church
cemetery with her gravestone marked as 'Susannah Vassa, Wife of Gustavus the
African, aged 34 years'.
The following year, in 1797, Gustavus
Vassa died at the age of 52. His death was recorded in Paddington Street,
Middlesex, London on 31st March 1797 but the whereabouts of his burial is still
unknown. Sadly, his eldest daughter Anna Maria Vassa, died just a few months
after Equiano on 21st July 1797 aged just four years and is buried at St. Andrew's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge where there is a commemorative plaque in her memory.
Anna Maria Vassa - b.1793 d.1797
Anna Maria Vassa's memorial plaque is located outside
St. Andrew's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge:
Near this Place
Anna Maria Vassa
Daughter of Gustavus Vassa, the African
She Died July 21 1797
Aged 4 Years
Should simple village rhymes attract thine
Stranger, as thoughtfully thou passest by,
Know that there lies beside this humble stone
A child of colour haply not thine own.
Her father born of Afric's sun-burnt race,
Torn from his native field, ah foul disgrace:
Through various toils, at length to Britain came
Espoused, so Heaven ordain'd, an English dame,
And follow'd Christ; their hope two infants dear.
But one, a hapless orphan, slumbers here.
To bury her the village children came.
And dropp'd choice flowers, and lisp'd her early fame;
And some that lov'd her most, as if unblest,
Bedew'd with tears the white wreath on their breast;
But she is gone and dwells in that abode,
Where some of every clime shall joy in God.
Joanna Vassa - b.1795 d.1857
Joanna Vassa's Gravestone at Abney Park Cemetery shortly after its
re-discovery in 2005, awaiting restoration
daughter, Joanna Vassa, inherited a sizable estate from the
wealth her father had accumulated from the sale of his book, equivalent
to around £100,000 in today's money. She went on
to marry The Reverend Henry Bromley
and they ran a Congregational Chapel at Clavering near Saffron Walden in
Essex, before moving to London in 1845.
Joanna died on 10th March 1857 at the age of 61 and was buried at
Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington on 16th March 1857, her
husband Henry survived her for 20 years and was eventually buried
alongside her on 12th February 1878. It's not yet known whether they
had any children. The inscription on her gravestone reads 'Memory of
Joanna beloved wife of Henry Bromley, daughter of Gustavus Vassa,
the African. Born April 11, 1795 and died March 1857'.