sarah forbes

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Black history month day 15: British noblewoman and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria, Sara Forbes Bonetta.


Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies (photographed-Camille Silvy,1862) born into a royal West African dynasty, and orphaned in 1848 at five years old when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. In 1850, Sarah was was rescued from becoming a human sacrifice by Captain Frederick E. Forbes and taken to England as a “gift” from the African King of Dahomey to Queen Victoria. She became the Queen’s Goddaughter and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence. She spent much of her life between the British royal household until her death from tuberculosis in 1880.

At the age of five, Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, born into a Royal, West African dynasty, was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from one royal family to another. A unique and admired figure in history, she spent her life between the British royal household and her homeland in Africa.

Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, a West African Yoruba girl, was captured by the King of Dahomey in 1848 during a “slave-hunt” war in which her parents were killed. In 1850, when she was around eight years old, she was rescued by Captain Frederick E Forbes of the Royal Navy whilst he was visiting Dahomey as an emissary of the British Government. Forbes convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey to give Sarah to Queen Victoria saying: “She would be a present from the King of the Blacks to the Queen of the Whites.” The young girl was subsequently given the name Forbes as well as that of his ship, the ‘Bonetta’.

She returned to England with Forbes who presented her to Queen Victoria, who in turn gave her over to the Church Missionary Society to be educated. Sarah suffered from fragile health and in 1851 she returned to Africa to attend the Female Institution in Freetown, Sierra Leone. When she was 12 years old, Queen Victoria commanded that Sarah return to England, where she was placed under the charge of Mr and Mrs Schon at Chatham.

Queen Victoria was so impressed by the girl’s natural regal manner and her gift for academic studies, Literature, Art and Music that she gave her an allowance for her welfare and Sarah became a regular visitor to Windsor Castle. Sarah’s genius became admired throughout the royal court and she continued to outshine her tutors with her advanced abilities in all studies.

At the age of 18, Sarah received a proposal from James Pinson Labulo Davies, a 31 year old Yoruba businessman of considerable wealth who was living in Britain. She initially refused his proposal and it is reported that in order to persuade her to accept Sarah was sent to live with two elderly ladies in Brighton whose house she described as a “desolate little pig sty”.

Queen Victoria sanctioned Sarah to be married in St Nicholas Church in Brighton in August 1862. The wedding party, which arrived from West Hill Lodge, Brighton in ten carriages and pairs of grays, was made up of “White ladies with African gentlemen, and African ladies with White gentlemen” There were sixteen bridesmaids. The newlyweds moved back to West Africa and Sarah was baptised at a church in the town of Badagry, a former slave port. They settled in Lagos where her husband became a member of the Legislative Council from 1872-74 (in which year Lagos Colony was for a time amalgamated into the Gold Coast).

Shortly after her marriage, Sarah gave birth to a daughter and was granted permission by the Queen to name the child Victoria – the Queen also became her Godmother.

Sarah visited the Queen in 1867 with her daughter then returned to Lagos and had two more children. Later, upon Sarah’s death the Queen wrote in her diary: “Saw poor Victoria Davies, my black godchild, who learnt this morning of the death of her dear mother”. So proud was Queen Victoria of Sarah’s daughter, that when she passed her music examination, teachers and children had one day holiday. Throughout her life Sarah had a long lasting cough that was caused by the climate change between Africa and Britain. In 1880, suffering from tuberculosis, she went to convalesce in Madeira off of the coast of West Africa. She died, around the age of 40, in 1880 and was buried in Funchal, Madiera.

Her daughter Victoria was given an annuity by the Queen and she continued to visit the royal household throughout her life. In his journal Captain Forbes gave an account of his mission with relation to Miss Bonetta.

“I have only to add a few particulars about my extraordinary present The African child”. In a former portion of this journal I have mentioned the Okeadon war; one of the captives of this dreadful slave-hunt was this interesting girl.

It is usual to reserve the best born for the high behest of royalty and the immolation on the tombs of the diseased nobility. For one of these ends she had been detained at court for two years: proving, by her not having been sold to slave dealer, that she was of a good family.

So extraordinary a present would have been at least burden, had I not the conviction that, in consideration of the nature of the service I had performed, the government would consider her as the property of the crown.

To refuse, would have been to have signed her death warrant which, probably, would have been carried into execution forthwith. Immediately on arriving…

Of her own history she was only a confused idea. Her parents were decapitated; her brother and sisters she knows not what their fate might have been .

For her age supposed to be eight years. She is a perfect genius; she now speaks English well, and has a great talent for music. She has won the affections, with but few exceptions, of all who have known her, she is far in advance of any white child of her age, in aptness of learning, and strength of mind and affection.”

Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, photographed by Camille Silvy, 1862 Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies was a child born into a royal West African dynasty. She was orphaned in 1848, when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. She was around five years old. In 1850, Sarah was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from the King of Dahomey. She became the queen’s goddaughter and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence.

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Best scenes where of Lily and Stefan, i cant stand her troll ass but anyone acting with Paul Wesley just tugs at my heart he brings out the best in his coworkers, even Enzo hedgehog ass was bareable when acting with Stefan and I hate that relationship, and how they conveniently left out the part of Enzo fucking with Sarah, but his gossiping ass was telling everybody elses secrets except his own *rolls eyes*, back to the troll shes definitely gonna use Caroline to get back at Stefan and mommy or not Stefan gonna lay hands if she comes after his wife calling it now, there wont be any hesitation on his part he will put her down. (Steroline phone call😍)

Bonnie Bennett was the MVP, of the episode though like she had no chill and I loved every second of it, though baby girl needs to work on putting up a force field or sumthin cause vampires like to throw shit.

Why does Alaric get the good shit, like he gets a wife and twins when he doesnt deserve shit tbh. Still trying to figure out why he’s here even when I know! Eugene is going to leave with Alaric and Jo if she doesnt die, calling it now.

Tyler needs to leave and go somewhere that he can live normal and have a life he doesnt belong in MF anymore or he will end up killing someone and turning into a wolf again or end up dead

Matt poor baby is stuck, hes broke, and everyone around him is a murderer, but at least he got a big ass house, I wish his mom would come back Im sure she’d like that big ass house.

Eugene and Darla were getting on my last nerves with this cure shit, so pissed Darla wasnt considering Stefan, and here I was happy at the little defan moments but then they go and ruin it by having him claim he doesnt give a shit about what Stefan thinks/feels about him becoming human because he loves Eugene ass, why do they fuck up his character development constantly…and what the fuck is wrong with his hair that shit is so unflattering even worst than the hedgehog idk how they can be around Stefan with his flawless ass Garnier Fructis commerical hair…….

Im sorry overall I wish Stefan and Bonnie would share a damn scene, I wish we would have gotten to see that Darla and Bonnie phone call, I wanted more Bonnie where Alaric scenes where, I wanted less of the bullshit and more story about the damn vitches, I would have loved to see more of Kai being their bitch too, but we cant have nice things.

People aren’t watching Orphan Black because they want to see what crazy clone Tatiana and the writing staff will come up with next, they’re watching because the story of Sarah Manning’s struggle to keep her daughter safe in the midst of a chaotic war with a multi-billion dollar organization is fascinating. They’re watching because they want to know how Alison will deal with the knowledge that she let an innocent person die. They’re watching because they want to know if Cosima will hold to her moral beliefs regarding the human body when abandoning them will save her life.
—  Forbes, on Orphan Black’s Secrets to Sci-Fi Success (June 21 2014) (x)