Remember Queen Victoria, the British monarch who once ruled the biggest empire in the world? The time of her reign was the Victorian Era, people donned Victorian fashion, and buildings were constructed with distinctive Victorian architecture. But there’s one thing not many people know about the Queen: she once adopted an African girl, thus saving her life!
In 1850, a British emissary arrived in Dahomey. Buying and selling captives were still common in this West African kingdom. In fact, its ruler, King Ghezo, was known to capture people from rival tribes. That’s why Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy was sent there to carry out this noble mission. During his stay, the African king introduced him to one of his most valuable prisoners. And it was… a 7-year-old girl named Aina.
Enslaved princess 0:59
A “gift” for Queen Victoria 1:28
The new life of the girl 3:27
Her marriage 6:11
Why she had to return to Africa 7:59
#Queen #Africa #brightside
– Fast-forward to 1850, and a British emissary arrives in Dahomey, which would be part of present-day Benin. Buying and selling captives was still common in this West African kingdom.
– During his stay, the African king introduced him to one of his most valuable prisoners. And it was… a 7-year-old girl named Aina.
– The poor child lost her entire family, while she herself was enslaved.
– There were talks that Aina was going to be used in a sacrifice. When the British officer came to know of the girl’s fate, he decided to rescue her at any cost.
– Soon the two of them left for Britain. His ship that they sailed on was called HMS Bonetta, and the child was given a new name in both the captain and the ship’s honor: young Aina was now Sara Forbes Bonetta.
– For a child that hadn’t received any proper schooling, she really was a bright kid!
– Sara’s bright mind and charm didn’t go unnoticed by the Queen herself either. They first met in 1850 at Windsor Castle.
– The Queen paid for her education and made sure that she grew up into a real English lady. She cared for her so much that she became her godmother.
– When she was 8 years old, was sent to Sierra Leone, which was a British colony at the time. She attended a missionary school there for the next 4 years.
– By that time, Captain Forbes had, unfortunately, passed away, so Sara was sent to live with a missionary named Reverend Schoen and his wife.
– When she turned 19, the Queen decided it was time for Sally to get married. A suitable match was found in no time, and that was Captain James Pinson Labulo Davies, a British naval officer and businessman.
– Since Davies lived and worked in Lagos, which was yet another British colony in Africa, Sara followed him there and started working as a teacher.
– Sara Forbes Bonetta lived an extraordinary life. Wherever she went, whatever challenges she faced, she remained a true lady and an aristocrat in her own right.
Music by Epidemic Sound
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