William Davidson (Biographical details)

William Davidson (Jamaican; British; Male; 1781 - 1820)

Also known as

Davidson, William


British Afro-Caribbean radical, born in Jamaica, allegedly the illegitimate son of the British Jamaican Attorney General (perhaps Robert Sewell apponted to that position in 1780 and resident on the island 1776-1795) and a local woman. Davidson travelled aged 14 to Glasgow to study law. Apprenticed to a Liverpool lawyer, he ran off to sea and was subsequently press ganged into the British navy. After discharge eventually settled in London where he worked as a cabinet maker. He was radicalised by Peterloo Massacre of 1819 and became a member of the Spencean Philanphropists. He was persuaded by the agent provacateur George Edwards (q.v.) to join Arthur Thistlewood (q.v.) in Cato Street conspiracy to murder cabinet. He was hanged and then decpitated with four other of the conspirators outside Newgate Prison on 1 May 1820.