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Talk Past event

Dockyard Talks -Billy Waters

30 Aug 2023

Included in ticket

Join Suchi Chatterjee, Curating For Change Fellow as she discusses Billy Waters, an African American residing in Georgian England. He became famous in his own right when he busked in London, but his naval career was forged in Chatham.  Billy is just one example of Chatham’s hidden stories that are waiting to be told.

Well known in the history books for his life as a busker in London where he wooed the crowds outside the Adelphi Theatre with saucy songs such as “Kitty Will You Marry Me” and other street favourites.

His time as an Able Seaman who served on the HMS NAMUR under the command of Jane Austen’s youngest brother Charles is an overlooked piece of history, and the fact he reached the rank of Gunners Mate before becoming disabled is nothing short of a miracle due to his race. Billy was severely injured in an accident aboard HMS GANYMEDE. This resulted in him becoming an amputee.

Location?No.1 Smithery
Cost?FREE, included in your entry ticket
Booking?Book on arrival at the Dockyard