As ODNB editor Henry Summerson writes on the OUP blog, Blanke's "fanfares enlivened the early Tudor court and [his] portrait image is the only identifiable likeness of a black person in sixteenth-century British art."
When I wrote letters to nine historical figures for the Influential Black Londoners exhibition at Sutton House, Hackney for the National Trust last year, Blanke was the only one who didn't have an entry. Now that omission has been rectified. I was delighted to be able to write about this fascinating individual for a reference work that I find so useful in my research. I'm writing about him at greater length in my book, Black Tudors (forthcoming 2016), and he will feature in the Sutton House exhibition again this year, which launches with a Free Family Day this Sunday, and in the talk I'm giving with Michael Ohajuru on the Image and Reality of Black Africans in Renaissance England at Battersea Library at 6.30pm on Tuesday 14th October.
To read the entry, click here: Blanke, John (fl.1507-1512), royal trumpeter.