Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

The Museum was built as servant quarters, riding school and stables for King George IV and is now the home of Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

The Brighton and Hove Museum holds some of the city’s treasures, paintings, and artefacts dating back from the Neolithic period some 4500 years ago, including  the amber cup considered to be one of Britain’s most important Bronze Age finds,  many fine art collections, paintings and images of the City’s rich diverse history.Read More »

Brighton Museum was founded by a local brewer, Henry Willett.  He collected pottery and porcelain in order to tell the history of the British people, showing the changing roles of Black people in Britain. There are some 1,700 pieces in his collection, most of them dating from 1600-1900.

There are records of Black and Asian visitors to these shores from the time of the Roman occupation. The continuous history of Black people in Britain dates from the 16th century and the beginning of the slave trade, the number of Black people gradually increased during the 17th and 18th centuries, when young slaves were in demand for the military and as household servants. Little Black page boys in fancy clothes were fashionable status symbols amongst many families; they were bought and sold and given as gifts.

  1. The Prince of Wales, (later King George IV),  while in Brighton purchased the talented 9 year-old Barbadian  violin prodigy George Polgreen Bridgetower. Young George  played in the Prince’s band in Brighton for 14 years. Find out more » .
  2. Sarah Forbes Bonetta was given as a gift to Queen Victoria from the King of Dahomey.  She was married in St Nicholas Church Brighton on the 26th August 1862. Find out more »
  3. Sake Dean Mahomed  ‘Dr Brighton’ was appointed by King George  IV as his shampooing surgeon in Brighton, so renowned was his fame that hospitals referred patients to him Find our more »

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