Selected Story : MERINA QUEENS AND KINGS
By Christopher Buyers
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Andrianampoinimerina was born at Ambohimanga, ca. 1745 (on the first day of the first month. Alahamady), as Ramboasalamarazaka (or Imboasalama), son of Andriamiaramanjaka, of Anjafy and Kaloy, by his wife, Ranavalona, a descendant of Andriamasinavalona [Andrianjakanavalondambo], King of Ambohimanga. Claimed to be the grandson and appointed heir of King Andriambelomasina, but his actual relationship to that King was much more distant. Instigated a rebellion during the absence of King Andrianjafy from the capital in 1787. Induced the people to acknowledge him as King and assumed the reign name of Ampoinimerian (Ampoin-i-Merina=the object of desire to Imerina). Conquered Antananarivo in 1794 and extended his authority over Imamo, Vonizongo, Vakinankaratra, and parts of Antsianaka and Ankay. married twenty-seven wives. He died at the Besakana, Antananarivo, 1810 and buried Ambohimanga,
Radama I was born at Ambatomanga, 1792, eldest surviving son of King Imboasalama Andrianampoinimerina, King of Avaradrano and Ambohitrabiby, by his second wife, Princess Rafotsirahisatra, daughter of Prince Ramatsimanjaka, Prince of Anosiarivo, educ. privately. Appointed as Heir Apparent by his father, May 1808. Succeeded on his death, 1810. Entered into a Treaty of Friendship and Peace with Great Britain in which he was recognised as King of Madagascar, agreeing to prohibit the export of slaves (anyone disobeying the order to be reduced to slavery!), 23rd October 1817. Presented with the uniform of a Field Marshal in the British Army by King George IV and a Sword of Honour. m. thirteen wives (including several of his father's widows), including (a) before 1810, H.M. Queen Ranavalona I [Ramavo] - see below. m. (first) Ramoma, daughter of Andriamary, Viceroy of Imamo, by his wife, Ramatoa Ralombo. m. (second) (div.) Ravao (m. second, General Prince (Printsy) Ramanetaka, later Sultan of Moheli), daughter of Andriantsiahofa. m. (b) 1810, Rabodomirahalahy, a widow of Radama's father who had no children by him, and sister of General Ravalontsalama. m. (c) 1810, Rasendrasoa, a widow of Radama's father who had had two daughters by him. m. (c) H.R.H. Princess Rangita (m. second, …, and had further issue, two sons and one daughter see above), youngest daughter of Andriantsalamanjaka, by his wife, Princess Ratavanandriana, younger daughter of Ramboakovelo. m. (twelfth) in Menebe, January 1823, H.M. Queen Rasalimo (d. at Antananarivo, 1866, bur. there bur. at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo), the only one of his twelve wives recognised as Queen, daughter of King Ramitraha, the Sakalava King of Anboina, by his wife, Queen Ramisononaka. m. (thirteenth) Ramboandrenibe. He died (committed suicide) at the Tranovola, Antananarivo, 27th July 1828 (bur. there at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo),
Ranavalona I (or Rabodoandrianampoinimerina or Ranavalomanjaka I) was born on 1772, as Ramavo, eldest daughter of Andriantsalamanjaka, by his wife, Princess Rabodonandriantompo, daughter of Ramboakovelo. Mounted a coup d'etat and had herself proclaimed as Queen Regnant after the death of her husband, 3rd August 1828. Crowned at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 12th August 1829. Something of a reactionary who overturned many of her husband's progressive policies. She forbade Christian practices and was hostile to European influence. She married (first) King Radama I, King of Madagascar. She married (second) at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 1828, General Andrianisa Rainijohary. She married (third) at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 1833, Field Marshal H.E. Ravoninahitriniarivo [Rainihiaro], , 13-Honours and Officer of the Palace, Prime Minister and C-in-C 1834-1852, second son of Andriantsilavonandriana, Councillor to King Andrianampoinimerina. She died at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 16th August 1861 (buried at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo). She has had several issue, including Crown Prince Rakotsehenondradama or Rakotondradama, who succeeded as King Radama II, King of Madagascar.
Radama II was born at the Imasoandro Palace, Antananarivo, 23rd September 1829, as Rakotsehenondradama or Rakotondradama, only son of Queen Rabodoandrianampoinimerina Ranavalona I, by her second husband, General H.E. Andrianisa Rainijohary. He privately was educated. Proclaimed as the son of King Radama I, although born fourteen months after his death. Raised to the rank of 12-Honours and Officer of the Palace and granted the rank of Tranovola March 1845, and promoted to 13-Honours 1852. Proclaimed as Heir Apparent with the title of Crown Prince (Printsy) with the rank of 15-Honours, at Andohalo, 8th October 1860. Succeeded on the death of his mother, 16th August 1861. Crowned at Imahamasina, 23rd September 1862. Founder of the Royal Order of Radama II in five classes, 23rd September 1862. Instituted a system of nobility, creating Dukes and Counts, 1862. Presented with the uniforms of a Field Marshal in the British Army and an Admiral in the Royal Navy, from Queen Victoria, 23/9/1862. Composer of the "Romance of Radama II", "My Cottage - My Wood", "Arahaba!" and other musical works.He married (first) Queen Ranavalona II . He married (second) at Antananarivo, 1847, his first cousin, H.M. Queen Rasoherina [Rabodozanakandriana]. He was killed (believed strangled during the course of a revolt by the aristocracy), at the Royal Palace, Andohalo, Antananarivo, 12th May 1863 (bur. Ilafy).
Rasoherina was born in 1814, as Rabodozanakandriana, daughter of Andriantsalama, of Ambohitraina, by his wife, Princess Rafaramanjaka, second daughter of Andriantsalamanjaka. Crowned with her husband as Queen Consort, 23rd September 1862. Proclaimed as Queen Regnant after the death of her husband, 12th May 1863. Crowned at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 30th August 1863. Received into the Roman Catholic Church on her deathbed. m. (first) (div. 1847), The Rt Hon Raharola (m. second, a granddaughter of King AndrianaImpoiniMerina), sometime Minister for the Interior. m. (second) at Antananarivo, 1847, her first cousin, H.M. King Radama II see above. m. (third) at Antananarivo, September 1863, Field Marshal H.E. Raharo [Rainivoninahitriniony] (b. 1824; d. at Ambohimandroso, 1869), Prime Minister and C-in-C 14th July 1864-18th February 1865, elder son of Field Marshal H.E. Ravoninahitriniarivo [Rainihiaro], 13-Honours and Officer of the Palace, sometime Prime Minister and C-in-C, by his wife, Rabodomiarana, daughter of Ramamonjy. m. (fourth) at Antananarivo, 1864, Field Marshal H.E Rainilaiarvony [Radiliferatsimanosika], Mpitaiza Andriana (b. at Ambohidralambo, 30th January 1828; m. third, at Antananarivo, 21st September 1869, H.M. Queen Ranavalona II, m. fourth, at Antananarivo, July 1883, H.M. Queen Ranavalona III, and d. in exile at Algiers, 17th July 1896, bur. Ampasandrainiharo, Isoraka), 16-Honours and Officer of the Palace, Prime Minister and C-in-C, Supreme Director of Affairs, Grand Master of the Army, Presdt. of the Grand Cncl., rcvd: GC with Collar of the Royal Order of Madagascar, GC of the Order of Ranavalona III, GO of the Order of Radama II, and Officer of the Order of the Cross of Merit, second son of Field Marshal H.E. Ravoninahitriniarivo [Rainiharo], 13-Honours and Officer of the Palace, sometime Prime Minister and C-in-C, by his wife, Rabodomiarana, daughter of Ramamonjy. She d.s.p. at Amboditsiry, 1st April 1868 (bur. at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo).
Ranavalona II (or Ranavalomanjaka II) was born in 1829, as Ramoma, daughter of H.H. Prince Razakaratrimo, Prince of Ambohitrambo, by his wife, Princess Rafarasoa Ramasindrazana, third daughter of H.H. Prince Andriantsalamanjaka [Andrianavalontsalama], educ. privately. Proclaimed as Queen Regnant on the death of Queen Rasoherina, 2nd April 1868. Crowned at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 3rd September 1868. Received into the Anglican communion in 1869. She married (first) her first cousin, King Radama II. She married (second) at Antananarivo, 21st September 1869, as his third wife, Field Marshal H.E Rainilaiarvony [Radiliferatsimanosika], Mpitaiza Andriana. She died at Andohalo, Antananarivo, 13th July 1883 and buried at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo
Ranavalona III (or Ranavalomanjaka III) was born at Amparibe, 22nd November 1861, as Princess Razafindrahety, younger daughter of Andriantsimianatra, by his wife, Princess Raketaka. She was educated at School of the Sisters of Mercy. Proclaimed on the death of Queen Ranavalona II, 30th July 1883. Crowned at Mahamasina, 22nd November 1883. Revived and modified the Royal Order of Madagascar in 1896, and founded the Order of Ranavalona III in 1897. Forced to accept French protection under a treaty concluded after the First Franco-Malagasy War, 12th December 1887. Deposed by the French 28th November 1897. Exiled to La Réunion Island and later to Algeria. She has received a GC of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France (18.1.1887).She married (first) Prince (Printsy) Ratrimoharivony. She married (second) at Ambohimanga, Antananarivo, 30th July 1883, as his fourth wife, Field Marshal H.E Rainilaiarvony [Radiliferatsimanosika], Mpitaiza Andriana. She died at Algiers, 23rd May 1917 and buried at the Royal Tombs, Andohalo, 1938.