Prince Lee Boo


Florence Goodhand-Tait has been running a series of session on the subject of Prince Lee Boo at Cavendish school. The sessions have been working with 2 groups of 6 students from Cavendish school exploring the story of Prince Lee Boo, one of the first people from the Pacific Islands to visit Great Britain.

Wilson was in command packet ship Antelope, when it shipwrecked off Ulong Island, in Palau in 1783. The painter Arthur William Devis was also a passenger. With the assistance of Islanders, Wilson and his crew used boards from the wrecked ship and new materials, to built the Oroolong, in which they returned to England, Wilson brought back to England 16-year-old  Prince Lee Boo, whose tomb is in St Mary’s Churchyard, Rotherhithe. 

We have been exploring this story through four sessions with the school in which we have done activities to try to empathise with the young prince and understand how me must have felt including creating timelines of the story; visiting Prince Lee Boo’s tomb and St Mary’s Church and talking to Father Micheal about the story and the church; creating ink drawings in the style of artist, John Pule; and creating designs for offerings that young people would like to leave at the church similar to the small Palauan style house which was left their by the wife of the ambassador of Palau.

The young people’s teacher, Patricia said, “Not one of those kids had visited a historical church before. Now that they have been there they will have learned to respect it and would be less likely to deface or graffiti on a place like that. They probably wouldn’t have visited it if not for this project. I would love to work with Art in the Park again and finish the project as I feel like we have only just started.”