Glenda Forde, Chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Association unveiled a portrait of Mary Seacole at City Hall Norwich on Monday, October 1. The portrait by Jamaican artist, Danny Keen, will be on display at City Hall until Wednesday, October 31, marking Norfolk Black History Month.
Mary Seacole, the 19th century Jamaican nurse, entrepreneur, adventuress, and writer is remembered for her work caring for sick British soldiers during the Crimean War. She has strong Norfolk connections through her husband Horatio Hamilton Seacole. Officially he was the godson of Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton, but it is believed that he may have been their natural child.
Danny Keen’s portrait of Mary Seacole was commissioned by the Mary Seacole Memorial Association. Glenda Forde, the association’s Chair said: “I would like to thank Danny Keen for his wonderful portrait of Mary Seacole, which celebrates a unique connection between the UK, Norfolk and Jamaica.”
Danny Keen added: “It has been a great pleasure to paint Mary Seacole’s portrait. She is an inspirational figure, with this close connection with Norfolk through Horatio Nelson. Jamaica, to my knowledge, is the only place where you can visit one of Nelson’s homes, which today is cared for by the Jamaican National Trust.
Norfolk Black History Month runs throughout October with a busy programme of art, music, film, talks and history events celebrating 70 years of the Windrush generation, and also marking the centenaries of the end of World War I and the Representation of the People Act, which gave women the right to vote. For the full programme of events see www.norfolkblackhistorymonth.org.