CNA Staff, Jul 8, 2020 / 04:00 am
She was voted the "greatest Black Briton." A statue of her stands opposite the Houses of Parliament. Her heroic life is taught to students in England as part of the National Curriculum. Yet few people know that Mary Seacole was a Catholic convert.
There may be a good reason for that: although the 19th-century businesswoman who cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War is a celebrated figure today, little is known about her journey to Catholicism.
Jane Robinson, author of a 2004 biography of Seacole, told CNA: "I was unable to find out much about Mary's Catholic faith myself, but given that she was a convert, I can only assume that it meant a great deal to her."
"It's frustrating that in this, as in many areas of her personal life, information is scant. She obviously considered it to be a private affair."