Mary Prince was born in Brackish Pond, Bermuda in 1788, her mother was enslaved in the household of Mr. Charles Myners and father was a sawyer. She was bought along with her mother by old captain Darrel and given to his grandchild, little Betsey. After the death of her master she was sold several masters who mistreated her to the point that she had enough and decided to leave her slave owner Mr. Wood to seek help to gain her freedom in London with the Anti-Slavery society.
Prince had earlier sought the help of the Anti-Slavery Society, who had obtained a lawyer's opinion that, while she was free in Britain, this would not affect her legal status as a slave if she were to return to Antigua. While she wished to be reunited with her husband, she was naturally reluctant to risk a return to slavery, particularly as she had ample reason to fear the vindictiveness and ill will of the Woods. Repeated efforts were made by Pringle and the Anti‐Slavery Society to persuade John Wood to agree to sell Prince her freedom, but he persisted in his refusals. In 1829 Pringle also organized the submission of a petition from Prince to the British Parliament in an attempt to have her declared free.