The earliest known records of Africans in the British Isles dates around the 15th century. Imagine researchers’ surprise when they unearthed the remains of what they believe to be a Tunisian man dating back to the 13th century.
Forensic experts from the University of Dundee Scotland are claiming that the bones most likely belonged to a man from Tunisia based on his bone structure, specifically the size of the nasal passage. Yet, researchers are puzzled about how someone from Tunisia could have made it all the way to Ipswich, England, during medieval times.
The earliest known Africans in England, identified through tax records, had been believed to reach the UK 150 years later.
Some scientists believe the mystery man may have been brought back from North Africa to work as a servant for a British big shot named Lord Tiptoth, who founded the friary. He likely spent about a decade in England before he died.
No one knows whether he lived as a prince or a pauper in England, but he seemed to have died with honors. He was buried on consecrated ground, meaning he was a Christian or an acclaimed member of society.