Monday 29 April 2024


Samuel Crowther (c. 1809 – 31 December 1891), was a Yoruba linguist, clergyman, and the first African Anglican bishop of West Africa. Born in Osogun (in what is now Ado-Awaye, Oyo State, Nigeria), he and his family were captured by Fulani slave raiders when he was about twelve years old.This took place during the Yoruba civil wars, notably the Owu wars of 1821–1829, where his village Osogun was ransacked. Ajayi was later on resold to Portuguese slave dealers,where he was put on board to be transported to the New World through the Atlantic.

Crowther was freed from slavery at a coastal port by the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron, which was enforcing the British ban against the Atlantic slave trade. The liberated peoples were resettled in Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, Ajayi adopted an English name of Samuel Crowther, and began his education in English.He adopted Christianity and also identified with Sierra Leone's then ascendant Krio ethnic group. He studied languages and was ordained as a minister in England, where he later received a doctoral degree from Oxford University. He prepared a Yoruba grammar and translation of the "ANGLICAN BOOK OF COMMON PRAYERS" into Yoruba, also worked on Yoruba version of the Bible.

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