THE REIGN OF THE CHRISTIAN KINGS: OLU SEBASTIAN (PRINCE DOMINGO) PART 2

there were problems. Since the Prince was not going into Holy Orders, he could not live with those who were entering the Priesthood. As a Prince in his own right he equally could not be expected to live as a commoner.
The Head of the Institution had to get lodgings for the Prince where he could maintain a complete household with Servants. The Viceroy of Portugal was prepared to pay for this by increasing his allowance.

While the Portuguese Missionaries saw the Prince as a hope for Catholicism in his country, DOMINGO saw himself in a quite different light.
“He was more interested in the Cultural aspect of his Education as a means of bringing Enlightenment to his People through the acquisition of General Knowledge and a Study of the Portuguese Way of Life.
He did not concentrate on the School Subjects in the way that his benefactors hoped. Rather, he took part in Military Exercises and learnt how to fence perhaps with the hope that he would be able to expand his Kingdom when he finally became the Olu of Warri.”
His contacts were mostly with members of the Portuguese Nobility.

When he completed his Course he did not return immediately to his Country. He was ‘Courting a Portuguese Woman of Noble birth’ whom he married in 1610.
The Portuguese alliance thus further strengthened, he embarked on final negotiations with his hosts.
“He secured the Order of Christ for himself, his brother and his father as Christians in a vast area of heathenism.
As a Knight of the Order he persuaded the Portuguese Authorities to grant him a Coat of Arms which he wished to take back with him to WARRI. At the same time, on behalf of his father, he granted the Monopoly of Trade with the WARRI KINGDOM to the Portuguese and made arrangements for Priests to be sent to conduct Services and Administer the Sacraments.”
When he had completed all these negotiations, he sailed for WARRI with his Portuguese Wife, a Portuguese Chaplain and some Portuguese Servants. It was with great joy that he was welcomed back by his father and the People.

Olu SEBASTIAN at once proclaimed DOMINGO the Heir to the throne. But things did not go as the Prince had hoped. The Chaplain whom he brought from Portugal died and there was nobody to replace him. His marriage ended in tragedy. His Wife gave him an Heir but, unaccustomed to the climatic conditions of WARRI, her health failed and she died, leaving her husband to take care of the young Child.
Nor was DOMINGO able to cure the poverty of the State. The distance of the Capital from the mouth of the River and the fact that the whole of the Creek through which Ships had to pass was shallow and winding made trade with the Capital unprofitable.
Despite the training which the Prince had had in Portugal and the arrangements which he had made, Christianity continued to wane. In fact, it was only in the small Settlement of SANTO AGOSTINHO that people made any pretence of adhering to the Religion.
By 1620 the year of the death of Olu SEBASTIAN and the accession of DOMINGO, few if any Children were presented for Baptism. Most of the people had reverted to the Traditional Religion and the Church which Olu SEBASTIAN had built fell into disuse and decay.

We have few records of the reign of Olu DOMINGO himself. His European training does not seem to have affected the administration of the Kingdom.
There were good reasons why the Portuguese could do little to help him. Spain and therefore Portugal had declined as an Imperial Power, and the Ships of Spain and Portugal were vulnerable to hostile Navies.
Moreover, relations between Spain and Portugal were becoming more and more strained, and in these circumstances of internal stress, external affairs were of secondary importance.
At the same time, the religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants was having far-reaching repercussions in the Spanish Empire. “Protestants of the Netherlands who had been under Spanish rule revolted and established the Independence of their Country.”

An increasingly important Naval Power, the DUTCH visited the African Coast as Traders not Missionaries. As Protestants they naturally had no interest in helping the Catholic Church in WARRI.
As hard-headed Businessmen they saw that the WARRI KINGDOM produced nothing which could not be obtained in BENIN.
In all these circumstances the Portuguese connection had no practical advantage for the WARRI KINGDOM. And DOMINGO brought up in a completely different culture, probably had great difficulty in adjusting to local conditions.

END OF PART TWO

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