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February 14, 2014

Historical Notes

King Ja Ja (Reprinted by the Sentinel from the Glasgow Herald)

Information for this article was provided by a gentleman “who had recently seen a good deal of Ja Ja in St Vincent.”

” Ja Ja is idolised by the coloured population, who treat him with all the honours due to royalty, and he is regarded as an acceptable member of St Vincent society, being a frequent guest at Government House and at private dinner parties…His son ‘Sunday Ja Ja’ has returned to England to complete his education and the King himself like poor Cetewayo finds that none of his regular wives has yet proved herself possessed of the degree of constancy requisite to induce her to join him in his captivity.{{more}} He made an offer of marriage to a well-known coloured beauty of the island, but his intentions were misunderstood and it took all the tact of the local authorities to smooth down the ruffled dignity of the family.

Ja Ja is in turn frequently molested by the attention of ladies of less secure position, and he has a good deal of jewellery always lying about, the police have received strict orders to prevent these ladies from walking into his house uninvited as they were accustomed to do. A formal dinner party at Government House was lately electrified by the telephone which happened to be placed in the dining room suddenly announcing in stentorian tones, “Black girl caught in Ja Ja’s house, now in lock up, what are His Excellency’s orders”? The Governor jumped up as if shot and rushing to the instrument ordered the police in all haste to release the young lady fearing no doubt to be held up, to odium in the House of Commons as the perpetrator of a second ‘cuss case’. The serious interests of King Ja Ja are understood to be in the hands of Messrs Millie Brothers of Glasgow,”

Memo from the Chief of Police

“It may be well to add that Ja Ja was away from his house until very late last night with his friend Leacock at Frenches (he lived then at what is now the Cobblestone hotel). The patrolling constable did not see when he returned but he was observed at his house early this morning. This is the first time he has remained away from his place for long after dark.”