jeudi 16 juin 2011

Great-Britain/Benin: Sally Bonetta Forbes Davis, the Benin of Queen Victoria.

Princess captive of the king of Dahomey.

Princess Egbado (Benin) was born in 1802. In 1848, she was seven years old when she is kidnapped by slave traders after the massacre of his parents and given to the King of Dahomey Ghezo. She remained captive at the court of the king of Dahomey, where she was responsible for watering the graves.
In 1849, at the request of Lieutenant Frederick Edwyn Forbes, King Ghezo accepts the gift to the Queen of England. In June 1950, she is transported to England on the ship "Sally Bonetta," flying on the British flag and commanded by Captain Frederick Edwyn Forbes (1819-1852), Anti-Slavery.
At the arrival in England, she was baptized under the name of Sarah Forbes Bonetta and installed at the court of Queen Victoria.

The Protégée of Queen Victoria.

Under the protection of the Queen of England, she learns English and music. She is sent by Queen Victoria to the mission school in Freetown, Sierra Leone. After four years of study, she returned to England where she continued her training in Kent.
At seventeen, when he offers to marry the merchant and West African missionary, James Pinson Labulo Davies, she refuses saying: "I do not feel any love him." . Queen Victoria sends her to live with Miss Hannah Welch (77 years old) and her sister Mary Welch (66 years) to 17, Clifton Hill in Brighton. Feeling isolated and unhappy, she finally agrees to marry Davies.

Married to fill the loneliness and grief!

The August 14, 1962, the marriage is celebrated in the Church of St. Nicolas in Brighton. The grand ceremony was organized by the Royal Palace and covered by the local press. After marriage, the couple travel to Sierra Leone. She gave birth to Victoria Davis, supported also by Queen Victoria. After the birth of Victoria, the couple moved to Lagos in Nigeria where two other children were born: Arthur and Stella.
At thirty-seven years, she contracted tuberculosis and died at Madeira, August 4, 1880. On the day of his death, teachers and music students were given a day off. His portrait made September 15, 1862 by Camille Silvy (1835-1910) is exposed at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The Aug. 24, 1880 his daughter Ms. Victoria Randers visited the old Queen Victoria with her daughters.

His biography has been published by Walter Dean Myers in the title: At Her Majesty Request: An African Princess in Victorian England, Scholastic Press, London, 1999.
See also: Bressey C., Of Africa's Brightest ornaments: a short biography of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, Routledge, nd.

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