|Description||Eight boys from Madagascar attended Borough Road School between 1821 - 1823. They were from the families of Merina nobles, the ruling class. They had been selected by King Radama to receive an English education, after which they were to return home and share the knowledge they had acquired. The King intended that the boys would bring back knowledge which would enable him to rule Madagascar independently of both France and Britain. Hence the curriculum chosen was to include grooming as courtiers and diplomats, the manufacture of gunpowder, gun-making, weaving and dying (for military uniforms like the British wore). The King also requested the LMS to set up schools in Madagascar. The British Government agreed to pay for the boys' education and board in England. The LMS was put in charge of the boys and was instructed by the Government to find them a suitable school. The BFSS offered to take the boys at Borough Road School. The boys progressed well. Five of them left BR School in 1822 to become apprentices. |
Britain's influence in Madagascar diminished after King Radama's death in 1828. He was succeeded by his widow Queen Ranavalona, who expelled the missionaries who had set up schools there at her husband's request, and outlawed Christianity. Her son Radama II (r.1861 - 63) negotiated with the French. Relations with Britain improved under Queen Ranavalona II (r. 1868 - 1883), who had been educated by the LMS and who made Christianity the state religion, encouraging the building of schools and churches. The French invaded in 1883 and Britain agreed to recognise the French protectorate over Madagascar in 1890. The royal family was exiled to Algeria.