Marie-Louise Christophe
marie louise chrisophe
Queen Marie Louise Christophe

 In September 1821, Marie-Louise Christophe, Haiti’s first and only queen, set sail for Britain, where she would remain in exile for three years.

She had managed to escape the country with her two daughters after her husband, Henry Christophe, also known as King Henry I, committed suicide following a revolt by rebels against his rule in the northern part of the country. His two sons, one a prince Royal and the other an army colonel, were also subsequently assassinated. When Haiti overthrew and defeated French imperialism to establish the world’s first Black republic in 1804, it became a symbol of hope for many oppressed and enslaved people.

However, when the French decided to reinvade the country, Britain proved to be Haiti’s greatest ally, help, albeit indirectly, coming from the Royal Navy. Therefore, it was no real surprise when, upon her arrival in Britain, Queen Marie-Louise was taken in by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.

She lived in Blackheath and Hastings for short periods before eventually residing at 49 Weymouth Street in Marylebone. She would remain there for three years until 1824, when she departed with her daughters for Italy.

To commemorate her time at 49 Weymouth Street, Historic England granted Nubian Jak Community Trust special dispensation to erect a permanent blue plaque on the Grade II listed property.

Location: 49 Weymouth Street, London, W1G 5NG