Books : reviews

Mac Dowdy.
An Improving Town: the buildings of Soham 1792-1807.
Soham Action 4 Youth. 2007

Soham at the Time of the Abolition

In April 1792 former slave and Abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, known as Gustavus Vassa, The African, married Susannah Cullen, daughter of a local merchant trader, in the parish church of St. Andrew, Soham. On this, the anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, the event has caught the imagination of townspeople every bit as much as it must have done 200 years ago. Mac Dowdy, a Fellow and Director of the Architectural Research Group at Wolfson College, Cambridge, was invited by Soham Action 4 Youth and Soham Community History Museum to produce a book that would describe ‘Soham at the Time of the Abolition’. Here, Mac follows the development of the town from its earliest settlement to the late eighteenth century, describing the surviving dwellings in detail, using contemporary photographs and visual interpretations of the original buildings, to reveal the hidden history of Soham.