History October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

5 enslaved Africans who became royals and noble members of Western societies

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am

October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am | History

Sarah Forbes 

Born into a royal West African dynasty, Sarah Forbes Bonetta was captured by King Gezo of Dahomey during a slave-hunt war in 1848. Her parents were killed in the war, and as a daughter of an African chief, Forbes was kept in captivity as a state prisoner.

In June 1850, when she was around eight years old, Sarah was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy whilst he was visiting Dahomey as an emissary of the British Government. Forbes asked the king for the little girl to be given to Queen Victoria as a gift and she was immediately was received by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The Queen handed Sarah over to the Church Missionary Society and paid for her education. Her academic prowess won the Queen’s admiration to the extent that she gave her welfare allowance and allowed her to pay regular visits to Windsor Castle. In 1862, she married James Pinson Labulo Davies, a 31-year-old Yoruba businessman who was living in Britain.


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