“The Colonies”: a caricature of Joseph Chamberlain by Leslie Matthew Ward (‘Spy’), from Vanity Fair, 7 March 1901.

Jacques Lebaudy (1868-1919) was a French boulevardier (man-about-town), who had inherited a fortune of several million pounds from his father Jules, a successful sugar refiner. Lebaudy sailed his yacht Frasquita to Cape Juby, on the coast of what is now southern Morocco, in an area that was only loosely under the control of the Sultan of Morocco. There he landed and declared himself “Emperor of the Sahara”. In early June, after leaving five men to form an outpost at the site of his proposed ‘capital’, he sailed south along the coast to find a location for his new empire’s commercial port. When he returned, it was to find that his men had been taken away by local tribesmen, who demanded a ransom. Lebaudy refused to pay and abandoned the men, who were rescued some six weeks later by a French warship, the Galilée.

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