Sara Forbes Bonetta was in 1843 at Oke Odan, Ogun State. Her small village was raided by a Dahomeyan army in 1884 by King Ghezo,the most notorious slave trading monarch in West Africa in the early 19th century. This attack led the death of her parent and she ended up as a slave at the age of five. although Intended by her captors to become a human sacrifice,the girl was not killed and remained at Gezo’s Court until 1849 when British Commander Frederick Forbes’s landed the HMS Bonetta in Dahomey to persuade Gezo to give up slave raiding and trading.

She was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy, who convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey to give her to Queen Victoria and also renamed her Sara Forbes Bonetta, Bonetta after his ship HMS Bonetta. Due to her special skills and talents at that tender age;Commander Forbes wrote that “She is a perfect genius; she now speaks English well, and [has] great talent for music… She is far in advance of any white child of her age in aptness of learning, and strength of mind and affection…”. She eventally got the attraction of queen victoria,and by november 1850,sarah was taken to Great Britian where the Queen entrusted her care to the Schoen family in Palm Cottage, Gillingham.Also The Queen declared Sarah her goddaughter and paid her tutorial expenses. This eventally made Young Sarah became a regular visitor to Windsor Castle.

As this couldn’t last so long,becasue less than a year after she arrived, however, young Bonetta developed a cough believed to be caused by the climate of Great Britain. Queen Victoria arranged for her to be sent to what she believed was a better climate for Bonetta in Sierra Leone. There she was educated at the Female Institution, a Church Missionary Society school in Freetown. Bonetta excelled in music and academic studies but was unhappy prompting the Queen to bring her back to England in 1855.

In August 1862,Sarah got married to marry Captain James Pinson Labulo Davies, a 31-year-old wealthy Yoruba businessman from Sierra Leone;after the permmission was granted by the queen.The couple married in an elaborate wedding at St. Nicholas Church in Brighton, England. Sarah arrived at the ceremony in an entourage that included ten carriages. The couple lived in Bristol, England briefly before returning to Sierra Leone.


Being a successful businessman,Captain Davies after their wedding,moved back to their native Africa.They gave birth to their first baby in 1863 who under Queen’s permission named her Victoria[after the queen’s name],thereby making her Queen’s goddaughter as well.Other Children are :-Arthur Davies (1871), and Stella Davies (1873).Sarah enjoyed a very close relationship with the queen a close relationship with Queen Victoria to the point such that she[sarah] and Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther were the only Lagos indigènes the Royal Navy had standing orders to evacuate in the event of an uprising in Lagos.


Sara Forbes Bonetta died of tuberculosis on 15 August 1880 at the age of 37 years in the city of Funchal, the capital of Madeira Island, a Portuguese island located in the Atlantic ocean.But her descendant still lives in lagos till today.

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