Title: Prince Leeboo of the Pelew Islands
Producer: Belch, William
Accession number: 59.100
Place of collection: 1 Staverton Row, Newington Butts, London [Southwark]
Measurements: whole: 160 x 100 mm
This illustrated children's book tells the story of Prince Lee Boo who voyaged to London from the Palau Islands in 1784. He sailed with Henry Wilson, captain of 'The Antelope', an East India Company ship which was wrecked near the Islands. The islanders helped the crew to rebuild their ship. King Abba Thule asked them to take his son Lee Boo to be educated in England. Londoners were keen to meet someone from such an exotic background. Sadly, six months after his arrival, Lee Boo died of smallpox aged only 20. These two images show how Lee Boo was made to fit the myth of the 'noble savage', someone both more primitive and more innocent than 'civilised' Europeans.