Paterson Joseph presents “Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho”

Thursday 12 October

Paterson Joseph will perform excerpts from his debut novel in St Margaret’s Church where Sancho was married and his children baptized.


Paterson Joseph, the distinguished actor, will perform excerpts from his debut novel The Secret Diaries Of Charles Ignatius Sancho, the famous Georgian man of letters who escaped from a background of slavery, to become a best-selling author.

Paterson will be accompanied by composer/musician, Ben Park as they offer us musical and historical tributes to Sancho who was married and his children baptised in St Margaret’s Church. Original marriage and birth certificates will be on display during the evening.

Sancho was greatly supported by the Duke of Montagu’s family, whose valet he became and who had helped to educate him. It was because of this association that Sancho had his portrait painted by Gainsborough. With their help he purchased a shop in King Charles Street which gave him a living and a property qualification that enabled him to vote in a Parliamentary election, the first man of African descent to do so.

He was a correspondent of Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, whom he encouraged to campaign against slavery. Leading aristocrats were among those who subscribed to his letters which were published posthumously.

Sancho lived for an important part of his life in the vicinity of Thorney Island first in Cannon Row and then in King Charles Street (off today’s Parliament Street) where there is a plaque on the wall of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Paterson, who is Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, is well known for his roles in numerous TV shows including Peep Show, Casualty, Noughts and Crosses, including stage roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Old Vic where he starred as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol in 2019/2020.

Doors open at 6:00pm

A short tour of St Margaret’s church will be available to ‘early birds’ from 6:00pm to 6:20pm

Main event starts at 6:30pm

The evening will conclude with a drinks reception and an opportunity for you to buy your own signed copy of ‘The Secret Diaries Of Charles Ignatius Sancho’ by Paterson Joseph.

The Thorney Island Society is grateful to Westminster Abbey our co-hosts, for enabling the talk to take place in the church where Sancho was married and his children baptised.

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