Ladies Club

Ladies Club in the Governor at Home party, 1886
Governor at Home party of the Ladies Club, 1886. Photo: National Archives, U.I.

Ladies Club was the elite social group of Victoria era Lagos consisting of high-breed ladies, mostly Sierra Leoneanian returnees of Yoruba origin. A major face of this group was Victoria Davies, goddaughter of the Queen of England, and daughter of the famous Sarah Forbes Bonnetta, also the British crown’s protégé. Other members of this group in the late 19th Century were Mrs. Lawson, daughter of E.B. Macaulay, the Beckely sisters who returned from England in 1863, Mrs. Abigail Oluwole and other progenitors of the New Africa ideology most of who were educated abroad. By 1885, public debates had been included in the group’s agenda.