A Black Princess and the Queen of England

Odd Nugget Social-done

When a young black princess by the name of Aina found her entire life upturned in a violent slave-raid of her village, no one would have guessed where her future might lead. Certainly not back into the favor of royalty...

In 1848, at the age of 5, Aina's parents were slain and her village enslaved by Dahomey raiders. The Dahomey had sinister intentions in store for the then enslaved child; she'd soon become a human sacrifice.


That is, she would have become a human sacrifice were it not for the intervention of a certain Captain in the Royal Navy.

Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the UK's Royal Navy attempted to convince Dahomey King Ghezo to release the girl as a gift to Queen Victoria. Surprisingly, Ghezo actually did.

Aina went free, though under a new name given to her by the Captain: Sara Forbes Bonetta - Bonetta after his own ship.

sarah forbes bonetta 2-done

Sara was brought to Queen Victoria who was so impressed by her intelligence that she elected to raise her as her own goddaughter.

In 1862, with the Queen's permission, Sara married wealthy businessman Captain James Pinson Labulo Davies of Yoruba, with whom she had 3 children. Together, the couple moved to Lagos, though Queen Victoria ensured Sara was to be evacuated by the Royal Navy should there be any sign of an uprising.

NPG Ax61384; Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Sarah Davies) by Camille Silvy

Sadly, after years of strong symptoms, Sara succumbed to tuberculosis at only 37. Her husband had an 8-foot obelisk installed at Ijon in her honor, but her grave remains unmarked in a cemetery in Funchal, Madeira.

Read our article on the Book of Kells...


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