John Archer was elected as Mayor in radical Battersea in 1913 - the first black man ever to become a Mayor in Britain. Wandsworth Museum opened a small exhibition in October 2005 looking at his life, politics and circle.
John Richard Archer was born in Liverpool in 1863. His father was from Barbados and worked as a ship’s steward. His mother was Irish. Nothing is known about Archer’s education but as a young man he travelled the world probably spending some time in the West Indies and North America. During this time he met and married Bertha, a black Canadian.
Archer and his wife settled in Battersea in the 1890s and in 1898 were living at 55 Brynmaer Road, near Battersea Park. By 1908 he had set up a photographic business at 208 Battersea Park Road.
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