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Chance encounters, 1891: a Kent Methodist farmer, Cape Muslim pilgrims, and an imperial queen

Recorded: 6 November 2019

Speaker: David Killingray, Emeritus Professor at Goldsmiths; Senior Research Fellow in the School of Advanced Study, University of London

Every day can be an adventure: where will we go, who might we meet, what will we talk about, and what could we learn? In 1891 Percyvall Bowen, a Kent farmer, took a holiday in the Canary Islands.  When he boarded the ship to return home, he met a group of South African Muslim pilgrims bound for Mecca via London. While sightseeing in London the Malays were seen by Queen Victoria who commanded them to come to tea. What do these encounters tell us about people, place and communities in a hierarchical and racially ordered imperial world?