Equiano's Marriage in Soham
A watercolour of St. Andrew's Church dating from about
the time of the Abolition of Slavery in 1810.
Quite how such an eminent member of London's
abolition movement came to reside in Soham remains a mystery, perhaps by a
chance meeting in Cambridge during one of his many book tours. On 7th April 1792, Gustavus Vassa
- An African (Bachelor of St. Martin in the Fields) married Susannah
Cullen (Spinster of the Parish of Soham) at St.
Andrew's Church, Soham
Cambridgeshire. The marriage
was by special licence and witnessed by Francis Bland and Thomas Cullen.
Marriage Certificate of Gustavus Vassa & Susannah Cullen at St
Andrew's Church 7th April 1792
Previous accounts of this marriage have recorded the bride as coming from
either Ely or Fordham, whereas the actual record shows Susannah as 'Spinster
of the Parish of Soham'. Unfortunately, as there is no record of her birth
or baptism in the Parish, it is likely that she came to Soham with her parents
as an infant, probably from the nearby village of Fordham (Cullen or Collen being a local name).