Fredrick Kúmókụn Adédeji Haastrup
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|Reign||April 1896 – September 1901|
|Born||1 January 1820|
Ilesa, Kingdom of Ijesaland
|Died||1 September 1901 (aged 81)|
Ilesa, Protectorate of Southern Nigeria
|House||Bilaro / Oro Royal Family|
|Mother||Ayaba Owa Obokun|
Fredrick Kúmókụn Adédeji Haastrup was born in the 19th century into the family of a member of the ancient Bilaro Royal house of Iléṣa. It is one of the four ruling families of Ileṣa (Biládù, Bilágbayọ, Biláro and Biláyiréré) and has been, since the reign of Owá Ọbọkun Atakumosa 900 years ago. After his reign, accession to the throne was passed, in turn, between his four sons, a system that continues to date: accession is rotated between four ruling families in Ijéṣaland. Following Kúmókụn's reign, the Bilárọ family adopted the name Ajímọkọ Haastrup.
Ajímọkọ is only used by a reigning member of the family. The provenance of the two parts of the family name are described further on.
The Family Myth
During the 1820s-30s, when he was about 14 years old, Kúmókụn was captured by the Ilọrins while on an errand and subsequently sold as a slave. He was transferred from one market to another finally reaching the coast where he was put on a slave ship chained to other slaves. The ship flew a British ensign although it was a Danish vessel. At sea, Kúmókụn fell ill. In family mythology, the ship's captain was a Dane whose surname was Haastrup. He took a liking to the young lad, had him unbound and taken care of. While at sea, Britain abolished slavery and the vessel subsequently lost its legal cover. The slave vessel was later intercepted by British Man-o'-War marines and the slaves were diverted to Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, Kúmókụn became a ward of Capt. Haastrup who sponsored  his education. The practice in Freetown at the time was for all in-coming freed slaves to be rehabilitated so that they would not be a burden on the settlement. Younger ones were either adopted or put in camps for proper education. Kúmókụn studied for, and obtained, a license in Town Planning.
The second version was obtained by Sir Adédokun's daughter in 2013 from the School of Oriental Studies academic Professor John David Yeadon Peel. Prof. Peel spent many years in Iléṣa, Ibadan and Ilé-Ifè. Whilst in Iléṣa, he interviewed several members of the Haastrup family for his book Ijeṣas and Nigerians: The Incorporation of a Yorùbá Kingdom, 1890s to 1970s. It is confirmed that Kúmókụn was indeed captured as a young man by the neighbouring Ilọrins, in the 1820s with the further detail obtained through our e-mail correspondence, that it was from a farm in the area of Iléṣa by the name of Oke Ibọde. 'The new Ọwa [King] was much more a man for the times, effectively chosen by the two major forces of Ijesha politics, the followers of Ogedengbe and those Ijesha who, as traders along the Lagoon, repatriates from slavery of possessed of some education, had links with the Ekitiparapo Society in Lagos. He was Frederick Kumokun alias Haastrup, who in his long life – he was now well over seventy – had fully shared in the tribulations of his country. Captured by the Ilorins in the 1830s he was sold into slavery and, by some means, later found himself in Sierra Leone, where he became a Christian.'
Part of the research included enquiries to The Maritime Museum of Denmark to confirm the existence of a Captain Haastrup. Benjamin Assmusen, curator of the museum at the time of enquiring wrote the following:
'The name Haastrup most likely originates from the village of Haastrup (or Håstrup in modern Danish) on the island of Fyn.
In earlier times it was quite common for people to carry the name of their birthplace as a last name, so at some point in your family history, someone most likely came from that village.
I have searched our records, but unfortunately no information of a captain of that name turned up. If your ancestor indeed was a captain of a slave ship in 1830, it would be very likely that no records exists, since transatlantic slave trade by Danes was abolished in 1803.
Regarding rev. Niels Christian Haastrup: There seems to be records available about him and his wife Johanne Helene, whose surname was Hopf before marriage, available at the Danish State archive, including letters, diaries, bills, manuscripts, travel accounts as well as various personal papers. The records can be seen at the Provincial Archives of Southern Jutland in the town of Aabenraa.
The fact that there was no such named naval officer in their records may not be significant as the Nigeria Wiki entry states that the slaver was flying a British ensign. However, through correspondence with the Norwegian academic Professor Per Oluf Hernæs he signposted a CMS missionary, by the name of Niels Christian Haastrup, who was in Sierra Leone during the same period having arrive 12 January 1841 age 29, married a Miss Johanne Helene Hopf, who came to join him there, on 8 December 1841. He died 9 years later and is buried in St Patrick's Kissy, Sierra Leone.
It is most likely that the family acquired their name through this missionary; it was common practice to take the name of the person by whom you were baptized in those times. Kúmókụn, now bearing the surname Haastrup, returned home to Ijeṣaland specifically the town of Ileṣa via Lagos. He re-established contact with Ijeṣa royalty sometime in 1860. In Lagos, he acquired large tracts of property which became known as Igbó Obį Haastrup, contracted to the present day Igbobį, at Ibeju Lekki where he cultivated Kola-nuts in Yoruba = obi, Farm = igbo) on a commercial scale. Igbóbį is a well known area of Lagos. His business interests meant he often took ship up and down the waterways trading in dry fish and other commodities. On one of these journeys, he was instrumental in steering the vessel to safety. He described himself as steering the ship in the manner of a caucasian: Ajimọkọ bi oyinbo.
Frederick Kúmókụn Haastrup became known in Ijéṣaland during the Kiriji wars (1877-1893), when he was a member of the Ekiti parapo solidarity group in Lagos. The organization supplied arms to Ijeṣa warriors who were at war with Ibadan. He was later pivotal in advising the Owá (King) during peace negotiations with the British and Ibadan that brokered the end of hostilities.
In April 1896, when he was well into his seventies, Frederick Kúmókụn Haastrup become the Owá Obokun (King) of Ijeṣaland and took the title Ajimọkọ I (derived from his nickname: 'Ajimọkọ bi Oyinbo'. The first Christian Ọba of Yoruba land, he had been a member of Ebuté Ero church in Lagos.
His appointment came about through the support of two major forces of Ijeṣa politics: the followers of Ogedengbe (a key power in the Kíríji wars) and Ijeṣa traders and repatriates from slavery who had links with the Ekitiparapos an association of which Kúmókụn was a founding member in Lagos.
He was a modern ruler: he believed that the survival and prosperity of his kingdom depended not only on the control of strategic resources and successful manipulation of political alliances, but on the Ijeṣa being inwardly remade i.e. being ready to adopt a new culture. He was a committed Christian, although his polygamy was an annoyance to the clergy. He refused to perform many of the customary rites of kingship. A school was established in the Afin (the Palace), to which his Chiefs reluctantly sent their sons under some pressure from their Ọwa (King). It was supervised by his daughter born of his Sierra Leonean wife, Princess Adénibi aka Mrs Isabella Macaulay.
Ajimọkọ I is credited with using his Town Planning skills for improving the layout of the town which is today characterized by a grid like road formation. He introduced Methodism to Ijeṣaland in 1896 with the building of the Weslyan Methodist Missionary Society Church on the site of a forest situated next to a flat rock (Otapète) where the shrine, for those Ijeṣas that practiced the Yoruba Ifa religion, was located. The family continue to be great supporters of Methodism, most recently with the financing of the building of a modern Methodist church by Adédokun Haastrup, a Knight of the Methodist Church and career diplomat, consecrated in January 2001 in Óṣógbó.
- Sir Familusi, M.M. KJW (2004) Royal Ambassador Life of Sir Adedokun Abiodun Haastrup KJW. Ibadan: J.P. Heinmann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc. p. 8 second paragraph
- Sir Familusi, M.M. KJW (2004) Royal Ambassador Life of Sir Adedokun Abiodun Haastrup KJW. Ibadan: J.P. Heinmann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc. p. 9 second paragraph
- Peel, J.D.Y. (1983) Ijeshas and Nigerians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press African Studies Series 39. p. 92 third paragraph
- Sir Familusi, M.M. KJW (2004) Royal Ambassador Life of Sir Adedokun Abiodun Haastrup KJW. Ibadan: J.P. Heinmann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc. p. 10 second paragraph
- "Ajimoko I - NigerianWiki". Nigerianwiki.com. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- Peel, J.D.Y. (1983) Ijeshas and Nigerians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press African Studies Series 39. p. 92 third paragraph.
- "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- "The Danish National Archives reading room in Aabenraa". Sa.dk. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- Sir Familusi, M.M. KJW (2004) Royal Ambassador Life of Sir Adedokun Abiodun Haastrup KJW. Ibadan: J.P. Heinmann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc. p. 11 third paragraph.
- Sir Familusi, M.M. KJW (2004) Royal Ambassador Life of Sir Adedokun Abiodun Haastrup KJW. Ibadan: J.P. Heinmann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc. p. 10 fourth paragraph contd/ on p. 11.
- "The Kiriji War (1877-1893)". Oldnaija.com. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- Peel, J.D.Y.(2000) Religious Encounter and the making of the Yoruba. Michigan: University of Michigan Press. p. 150.
- Peel, J.D.Y. (1983) Ijeshas and Nigerians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press African Studies Series 39. p. 96 second paragraph
- Peel, J.D.Y. (1983) Ijeshas and Nigerians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press African Studies Series 39. p. 93 first paragraph
- Peel, J.D.Y. (1983) Ijeshas and Nigerians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press African Studies Series 39. p. 96 second paragraph.