Former home of Olaudah Equiano marked with memorial plaque

A plaque to mark the former home of the campaigner for the abolition of slavery, and a former slave himself, Olaudah Equiano has been unveiled on a building in Fitzrovia.

Blue plaque on building.
The plaque on the Tottenham Street building where Equiano lived in 1788.

On Saturday 24 October the mayor of Camden Maryam Eslandoust unveiled the plaque at 37 Tottenham Street where Equiano had lived in 1788, reported the Camden New Journal.

Painting of Olaudah Equiano.
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797).

His book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, not only helped to bring about the abolition of slavery but also made him a wealthy man. He travelled widely promoting the book, which became immensely popular. It is one of the earliest books published by a black African writer.

The memorial plaque is sponsored by The Equiano Society.

Green plaque on building.
A plaque at 73 Riding House Street (formerly 10 Union Street) marks the site where Equiano lived in 1789.

Equiano is now remembered with two plaques on buildings in the neighbourhood. The other is at 73 Riding House Street, where he wrote his autobiography in 1789, and installed by Westminster council in 2000. Equiano died in 1797 and was buried in the cemetery of Whitfield Chapel. The site is now occupied by The American Church and Whitfield Gardens public open space.

Editorial note: This article was corrected at 2pm on Thursday 5 November 2020. We originally stated that a memorial to Equiano was also to be installed at Whitfield Gardens. Camden Council has confirmed that this is incorrect. We apologise for the error.