Mensa Bonsu became Asantehene (king of the Ashanti) after his elder brother Kofi Kakari was deposed in September 1874. Mensa Bonsu tried to restore the fortunes of Kumasi after its destruction in the 1873-4 Anglo-Ashanti war. However, he did not make himself popular with contemporaries: "Chronically short of revenue, and personally avaricious (for women as well as gold), King Asantehene Mensa Bonsu carried punitive exactions to new and insupportable levels." Attempts were made to depose the Asantehene in 1877 and 1880. In 1881 Bonsu sent a golden axe to Queen Victoria as a gesture of good will. He was destooled and banished from Kumasi in 1883. The following five years saw Asante civil war. Asantehene Mensa Bonsu died in British captivity in 1896 and was succeeded to the throne by heir apparent Kwaku Dua II of the Kingdom of Ashanti. In 1911 Mensa Bonsu's corpse was disinterred for ceremonial burial at the Ashanti capital city Kumasi.