The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

Captain James’ letter from the emperor

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A letter from Emperor Tewodros

Where: Unknown – last seen in Bombay

This was exhibited along with other Magdala plunder at a meeting of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in August 1868.

According to the minutes of that meeting:

Dr. Wilson exhibited the following articles :

  1. An original letter of the Emperor Theodorus addressed to the commandant of Magdala , and found by Captain James on the destruction of that fort. It is neatly written in the Ethiopic character and Amharic language, and bears the royal seal. It relates to the late Coptic Abuna of Abyssinia , and contains the cruel order to allow that ecclesiastical dignitary to die without any attempt to seek his recovery.
  2. A copy neatly written on parchment of a large Amharic work, the Gadela Georgios, or History of St. George and the Dragon, with tolerably well executed coloured drawings of various Christian Martyrs, male and female. This curious work also belongs to Captain James of the Bombay Staff Corps.
  3. A copy of the Gospel of John in Amharic, written on parchment, and presented to Dr. Wilson by Mr. Mikhail Joseph , one of the interpreters of the Abyssinian force.

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