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Jane Poyner

British colonel turned revolutionary, and African‐Caribbean wife (also described as African‐American in origin). In 1790, when Colonel Despard arrived in London after nearly twenty years of British military service in the Caribbean, he brought with him his wife, Catherine, and their young son James. Catherine's background remains unclear: by some accounts she was the daughter of a Jamaican preacher, by others an educated Spanish Creole. The couple had married some time between 1786 and 1789, while Edward was Superintendent of the newly created British enclave of Belize. The Despards' mixed‐race marriage was perhaps the only such example in Britain at the time.

In London the Despards, turning their backs on respectable society, threw themselves into radical politics, Catherine focusing her energies on abolitionism and prisoners' rights. Edward's political views fell under government suspicion and Catherine took an increasingly public role in defending him against charges of ...

Article

John Davidson

James Africanus Horton was a pioneer African nationalist. Largely forgotten for eighty years after his death, interest in him revived during West Africa’s advance to independence. His major works, West African Countries and Peoples (1868) and Letters on the Political Condition of the Gold Coast (1870), were republished in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Horton exemplified the contribution of the Krio elite of Sierra Leone to the development of West Africa in the mid-nineteenth century. He rejected the argument that Africans were inherently biologically inferior. He argued for extended provision of education, for the building of railways, and for economic development generally. He hoped that the British colonies would expand, with a provision for African self-government and a major role for Western-educated Africans.

Horton was born in Gloucester, Sierra Leone, in 1835 His parents were Igbo recaptives from Eastern Nigeria who were rescued from a ...

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David Killingray

West African medical doctor, army officer, and political writer born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the son of a liberated slave. He went to school and studied at Fourah Bay Institute with a view to entering the Christian ministry. However, along with two other men, he was selected in 1853 to study medicine in Britain with a view to returning to West Africa as an army medical officer. Horton studied first at King's College London and graduated from Edinburgh in 1859. He was very conscious that he was an African and adopted the name ‘Africanus’. Commissioned into the Army, he returned to West Africa, where he spent twenty years practising as a military doctor and occasionally serving as an administrator. He retired as a lieutenant‐colonel in 1880 Early in his career many of his white fellow doctors resented his role and they persuaded the War Office not to appoint ...