Clarence, son of a 19c king of the former Mosquito Coast, now part of Nicaragua
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01 Dec 2002 13:18 PST
Expires: 31 Dec 2002 13:18 PST
Question ID: 117333
In 1849 Prince Clarence, son of the king of the Mosquito Coast (now Zelaya department, Nicaragua)was being educated in England when he died aged 14 and was buried in the churchyard at Moreton, Dorset. Why and where was he at school and what was his connection with Moreton?
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Re: Clarence, son of a 19c king of the former Mosquito Coast, now part of Nicaragua
From: digsalot-ga on 01 Dec 2002 15:42 PST
Since this is largely speculative, I am posting as a comment rather than an answer and leaving the question open to other researchers who may have better luck or research skills. I could not find all the information you wanted. But when you become a little familiar with the history of the time ( I have given a brief summary below), it could be that the prince was in England for two very good reasons, one of which would be personal safety. The other could very well be that since England was restoring its own influence in the Miskito region, they wanted a prince and future ruler who was already trained to be "English friendly" in customs and philosophy. # 2) Prince William Clarence*. b. 1833 (s/o Queen Juliana), educ. in Belize and in England. He d. in England, 1848. - Birth and Death dates from "Mosquitos, a brief history" ( http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Nicaragua/mosquito2.htm ) - With the above dates (being only a year in difference from the date and age mentioned in your question) it would be highly doubtful we are speaking of two different princes. During the 17th century, thousands of English settled along the eastern coast of Central America. The area extended from Campeche in Mexico to Panama. The colonists allied themselves with a few of the local tribes including the Miskito. These tribes formed a barrier between themselves and over a million spanish colonists. In 1687, the first King of Mosquitia was crowned under English urging. In fact, that English urging was so strong that Oldman, King of the Miskito and son of an unknown Miskito King was taken to England where King Charles I presented him with a crown and other items which eventually formed part of the Miskito royal regalia. In 1740, the British declared a protectorate. This sparked an additional set of clashes during the near endless British-Spanish warfare of the eighteenth century. During the American Revolution, the British were expelled. Terms included in the Treaty of Paris in 1783 called for the Mosquito Coast settlers to withdraw to Belize. Soon after, the Miskitos were brought under subjection by the Spanish army. After the collapse of the Spanish Empire and Central America was divided into mutually distrustful states, Britain regained a lot of its influence. In the aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the British became worried that its protectorate might fall to the Americans. British troops were sent to occupy the Mosquito Coast, and expelled the last Nicaraguans in February, 1848, the same year Prince William Clarence died. Britain continued to occupy the Coast through the 1850s, with a brief interruption by Henry Kinney (an American) at Greytown. It was only in 1860 that Great Britain signed a treaty with Nicaragua giving up all claims to the Mosquito Coast. I also searched the schools in the Dorset County which have websites and were in existence in the mid 19th century. In a search of famous students at those schools, I did not find a Prince William Clarence, nor did a search of Dorset area cemeteries come up with a grave. Another possibility has to do with some historical confusion: " * 1) H.M. George* Augustus Frederic II, King of the Mosquito Nation (s/o Queen Juliana) - see below. * 2) Prince William Clarence*. b. 1833 (s/o Queen Juliana), educ. in Belize and in England. He d. in England, 1848." - This quote is from the same website kinked above and in fact the first part of the quote is also used above. However, notice the names of the princes are followed by asterisks. That asterisk leads to the following: "*these two princes have been confused as a single individual as a consequence of an error in the writings of E.G. Squier, who omitted a comma when listing the King's sons in his testimony. " the Princes George, William Clarence and Alexander " being entered as " the Princes George William Clarence and Alexander ". He then continued the error in all his subsequent writings, along with a number of other mistakes on dates and people, confusion (confusing) many others who followed." - From the same website, brackets mine. I hope another researcher can pick up on this and bring the answer to some kind of conclusion. But as for me, I have run out of leads. For now, anyway. Cheers digsalot
Re: Clarence, son of a 19c king of the former Mosquito Coast, now part of Nicaragua
From: tehuti-ga on 02 Dec 2002 04:11 PST
The only further lead I can find, apart from the information given by Digsalot, is from an article by Michael Olien from the University of Georgia published on the Mosquito rulers. Again, it does not provide a full answer to your question, so I am placing it as a comment rather than as a paid answer. From it, two possible reasons emerge for the prince to receive an education in England. The first is that this gave him greater credibility among the Miskitos. The second is that Colonel Alexander MacDonald, then superintendent of Belize wanted the prince to become king in preference to his elder brother, because this would extend the period during which he (MacDonald) could influence Miskito politics. It is not unreasonable to assume that MacDonald thought a spell in England would make William Clarence feel more favourable to the British. Olies article cites a source that says MacDonald sent the boy to England in 1842 with his wife, to be educated in Fulham, London. Since the boy was 8 years old at the time, the likelihood is that he was sent to a small preparatory school, which would not necessarily be well known. I could not find information on where he continued his education. I also cannot find a Dorset connection. One possibility is that the MacDonalds had a house or relatives in Moreton and that the boy died there while on a visit during the holidays. At least as early as 1687, the Miskito believed that in order for an individual to legitimatize his claim as king, he must be recognized as the group's leader by the English. Several of the kings actually went to England, others received commission from the governr of Jamaica and later from the English representative in Belize. In addition, some of the princes were taken to England, Jamaica, or Belize to be educated. Olien recounts how Colonel Alexander Macdonald, the British superintendent of Belize took a personal interest in the affairs of the Mosquito coast. He wanted to ensure that Robert Charles Frederic's youngest son Clarence would become the next king, because that would extend the period over which he could influence Miskito politics. WS Murphy, a US special agent wrote to Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State on January 20, 1842 about a visit to Macdonald in Belize: His Excellency shewed me, at the same time, a little native Musqueto Boy, about 8 or 10 years of age, whom [sic] he said was the Son of the "Present King" of the Musqueto Kingdom, and Heir to the Throne. That although the King, his father, was not old, yet he was very and could not live long, and that at his death, this Boy, would ascent the Throne of that Kingdom. He said, he had the Boy under his care, and was to send him to England to be Educated [Olien then refers to the error of Squier in mixing together the names of the two princes, as described above] Macdonald wanted the English government to pay for the education of William Clarence in England, but this was turned down and Macdonald was told to arrange for schooling in Belize or Jamaica, using funds allocated by the English for presents to the Miskito Indians (Burdon 1935:63). Macdonald then decided to send his wife and Clarence to England at his expense, so that the boy could be educated at Fulham (Burdon 1935:64, 75). [Olies reference is to Burdon, J.A., ed., 1935, Archives of British Honduras, vol. 3, From 1841 to 1884. London: Sifton Praed and Co]. However, although Macdonald had succeeded in getting the King to recognise Clarence as his heir, after the Kings death George Augustus Frederic, the eldest son, was chosen heir and crowned at Belize in 1845, while William Clarence was in England. The reference to the death of William Clarence in England in 1848 comes from: Anonymous, 1849, Mosquito, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. London: Effingham Wilson From: The Kings And The Lines Of Succession by Michael D. Olien, Department of Anthropology University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 Published in Journal of Anthropological Research 39:198-241  http://anthro.dac.uga.edu/research/miskito/KINGS.htm
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