A King's Tribunal, Fandah, Central Nigeria, 1832-33

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This record was last updated on 10 Feb 2017

Image Reference

William Allen, Picturesque views on the river Niger, sketched during Lander's last visit in 1832-33, by Commander William Allen (London, 1840), facing p. 15 (top).

Caption, "The King gives judgement at the gate of his palace". Shows the king declaring the guilt of accused robbers in front of the village community. One morning Allen "saw the king seated at the gate of his palace, surrounded by his great men, administering justice. At a little distance, on the grass, were two men and two women, who were charged with robbery. The evidence had already been gone through, before my arrival. The king was the principal speaker, and when he paused, the whole court murmured approbation. The younger woman made a long defence, and quite astonished me by her volubility, variety of intonation, and graceful action. The appeal, however, seemed to be in vain; for when she had finished, the king, who had listened with great patience passed sentence in a speech of considerable length, delivered with great fluency and emphasis" (Allen, p. 15).