PEPPLE I, King of Bonny, Niger Coast. 17318



Original Signature of King William Dappa Pepple I (‘Pepple’), taken from a letter. 1 x 4 inches, laid down on part of a Victorian album leaf, in good condition. Dated in another hand 1861. The Kingdom of Bonny is a traditional state based on the town of Bonny in Rivers State, Nigeria. Founded in the 14th century AD, it became an important slave trading port, later trading palm oil products. During the 19th century the British became increasingly involved in the internal affairs of the kingdom, in 1886 assuming control under a protectorate treaty. William Dappa Pepple I ascended the throne in 1830. He became increasingly incompetent, particularly following a stroke in 1852, and stirred up opposition to his rule. In 1854 the British deported the king.King Dapu Fubara II Pepple (“Dappo”) was appointed in his place, but died on 13 Aug 1855. The acting British Consul in the Bight of Biafra, J.W.B. Lynslager, signed a document on 11 September 1855 appointing the chiefs Anne Pepple, Ada Allison, Captain Hart and Manilla Pepple as a regency, required to consult with Bannego and Oko Jumbo, “two gentlemen of the river”. Oko Jumbo, who became leader of the Manilla Pepple house and effective ruler of the kingdom, became engaged in a struggle with the Annie Pepple house, which was led by a chief named Jubo Jubogha, known as Ja-Ja to the British. In an attempt to stabilise the situation, the British restored King William Dappa Pepple I in 1861, and for the next five years until his death on 30 September 1866 the kingdom was relatively peaceful. King William Dappa was succeeded by his son George Oruigbiji Pepple (born 1849), who had been educated in England.