234 : Building your Library # 5

Studies of Africa and African society have long attracted academics, whose researches in the colonial archives have many attractions. Margaret Priestley investigated the Brew family of southern Ghana from mid-18th century to the twentieth century. Irishman Richard Brew started three decades of Africa life during the Atlantic slaving period, and his Afro-Irish family’s lives were traced by Priestley in London, Accra and Dublin, with many interviews in Ghana. Published by Oxford University Press in 1969, West African Trade and Coast Society: a Family Study unravels details of education, professional training, business and politics that linked colonial Ghana (the Gold Coast) and the British Isles. One individual – James Hutton Brew – lived in England from 1888 to his death in April 1915. He was a solicitor and aided visiting African delegations, and was involved in property. He died at 14 Paulet Road, Brixton, south London when his occupation was stated to be ‘land company promoter’. His photograph appears in Priestley’s book, which is available at £10.