With reference to the song 'Being for the benefit of Mr Kite' (video, about two and a half minutes) - there really was a Pablo Fanque, running a circus in Britain over several decades in the nineteenth century.
His birth name was William Darby, he was black, and very successful - which is all pretty interesting - but even more interesting is the story of how his circus employed an Irish contortionist (I think - the source says "posture master") disguised as a Chinese man, (to be excitingly foreign and mysterious? - which I suppose is the reason for Darby's own name change) which provoked two other genuine Chinese men to investigate, fearing - after the circus refused to let them speak with the disguised man - that a countryman of theirs was being held in forced labour conditions - and they brought, successfully, a suit of habeas corpus against the circus.
I find this wonderful and fascinating - the awareness of possible forced labour (and implicit possible human trafficking) at the time, and the brilliance of the habeas corpus law being used to fight against it.
I love the gumption of the two Chinese men going in to bat for a possibly kidnapped and enslaved countryman. I really want to hear of other such cases, where a real trafficked person was freed this way.
This entry was originally posted at http://heliopausa.dreamwidth.org/67523.h