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Allan Glaisyer Minns

Allan Glaisyer Minns

Doctor and mayor
Allan Glaisyer Minns
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Doctor and mayor
Was Politician
From United Kingdom
Type Politics
Gender male
Birth 1 January 1858, Inagua, Bahamas
Death 1 January 1930, Dorking, Mole Valley, Surrey, South East England (aged 72 years)
The details


Allan Glaisyer Minns (1858 – 16 September 1930) was a medical doctor, and the first black man to become a mayor in Britain. Born in The Bahamas, he was elected mayor of Thetford, Norfolk, in 1904. He was elected to the town council of Thetford in 1903 and served two one-year terms as mayor from 1904.

John Archer, elected mayor of Battersea in 1913, had been thought to be the first black British mayor. However, in reporting Archer's election, the American Negro Year Book 1914 (founded by Monroe Work) recorded that:

In 1904 Mr Allen [sic] Glaisyer Minns, a col'd man from West Indies, was elected Mayor of borough of Thetford, Norfolk.

Minns was educated at Nassau Grammar School and Guy's Hospital in London. He was registered with the British Medical Association on 14 February 1884; his qualifications were MRCS (1881), and LRCP (1884). He was based in Thetford from 1885 until 1923, when he moved to Dorking where he died. His eldest brother, Dr Pembroke Minns (1840–1912), was already in medical practice in Thetford when he moved there.

He was one of nine children of John Minns (1811–1863) and Ophelia (née Bunch, 1817 – 1902). His paternal grandfather, also John Minns, had emigrated circa 1801 from England to the Bahamas where he married Rosette, a former African slave.

He was twice married; first to Emily Pearson (1859–1892) in 1888 and secondly to Gertrude Ann Morton in 1896. He had children by both wives.

His son Allan Noel Minns (1891 – 1921), also a doctor, was one of the few black officers to serve in the British Army during the First World War.

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