Many important families lived on Croom's Hill. The Falkingham family was resident here throughout the 18th century. Edward Falkingham was appointed Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Newfoundland in 1732 and in 1755 Comptroller of the Royal Navy. Shortly before his death in 1757, Falkingham allowed the family’s 20 year-old black servant – John Bristol – to be baptised. The fashion for having Black servants was widespread among Greenwich families with seafaring or military connections.
The Falkinghams knew the Guerins, a family of army agents who lived across Greenwich Park at Maze Hill. During his first extended visit to London, the young Equiano was sent to stay with the Guerin's elderly daughters. Edward Falkingham’s son John (himself a captain in the navy) was a good friend of another local family, the Warners, who, as prime movers in the islands of Barbados and Antigua, also had Black domestic servants.