Lots of cities and towns are named after notable people. So it shouldn’t be surprising that these include a number of World Capitals.
Slave Owner & Fifth President of the United States of America
The capital city of the West African nation of Liberia is named Monrovia after James Monroe who held the office of the US President from 1817 to 1825. Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society, whose mission was to relocate free black people and former slaves to Africa in the hope that they would lead a better life away from racial discrimination they faced. However while the movement was supported by abolitionists, its leadership also included slave owners who wanted to remove free black people from the country. James Monroe was himself a major slave owner.
A British king noted for his unfortunate bout of mental illness.
The South American nation of Guyana has a capital city that was named Georgetown in honor of Britain’s King George III, who reigned from 1760 to 1820. Guyana was originally colonized by the Dutch but came under British control in the late 18th century. While George III was still a Britain’s monarch when Georgetown was named after him, he was completely incapacitated by mental illness and his son, the future King George IV was acting as Regent.
Descendent of Dutch settlers and leader of the Vootrekkers.
South Africa has 3 capital cities: Cape Town- Legislative Capital, Bloemfontein- Judicial Capital and Pretoria-Executive Capital. However, it is Pretoria that takes its name from Andreas Pretorius, a prominent Boer leader. Pretorius was a leader of the Vootrekkers, a group of Boer settlers who undertook the ‘great trek’ away from the British controlled Cape Colony in the 1830s. He represented and led the Boers through various campaigns against the British and Zulu thereby securing independence for the Transvaal Boers.
A chief of the Tlokwa people of Southern Africa.
Botswana capital Gaborone is named after Kgosi Gaborone of the Tlokwa. The Tlokwa people form part of the wider Tswana group that makes up majority of Botswana population. Kgosi Gaborone founded a Tlokwa village on the Notwane River which was later named as ‘Gaborone’s village’ by the European settlers. That name stuck and the area remained known as Gaborone as it developed into a major city and eventually became the nation’s capital in 1965.
A founding father’ and an important military leader.
The capital city of the USA is named Washington DC after a man who is often described ‘ Founding Father’-George Washington. He was the Commander in Chief of the Continental army and the architect of the military campaign to gain independence, Washington also served as the nation’s first President. The city of Washington DC is located in the district of Columbia, a federal district under the direct control of the Congress and not part of any individual US state. It is sandwiched between Virginia and Maryland on the Eastern coast and shouldn’t be confused with Washington state which is located on the Pacific coast.
A sultan who abdicated the throne in favour of his eldest son.
Brunei occupies a small section along the South China Sea coast of the island of Borneo which it shares with both Indonesia and Malaysia. The country gained independence from Britain in 1984, but the position of Sultan dates back to 14th Century. The 28th sultan- Omar Ali Saifuddien III, abdicated in 1967 and took the title ‘ His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan’. The country’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan is named in his honour a few years later in 1970. Its former name was simply Bandar Brunei- ‘Bandar’ being a Malay term meaning ‘town’ or ‘city’.
British Naval Officer whose son followed in his footsteps.
The site of Papua New Guinea’s capital city, Port Moresby, was first discovered when English Naval Captain John Moresby sailed into its natural harbour in 1873 on board HMS Basilisk. He claimed the territory as a British Colony and named the area Port Moresby in honour of his father, an admiral of the fleet Sir Fairfax Moresby. His father had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy and had risen to occupy its highest rank.
Famous Military Leader and British Prime Minister
The capital of New Zealand is the city of Wellington, which is located in the southern tip of country’s North Island. The city was named in honour of one of England’s national heroes- the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. He had been the commander of the British and Allied forces in the Napoleonic wars and was the master mind in Napoleon’s final defeat in the batter of Waterloo. He later held the post of British Prime Minister on 2 separate occasions. Wellington became the capital of New Zealand in 1865 after a decision was made to move the country’s seat of government to a more central position. The previous capital Auckland is located in the North East of the North Island.
French nobleman who became a Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller.
Valletta the capital city of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, is named after Jean Parisot de la Valette. The Knights Hospitaller was a catholic military order that dated back to the time of the First Crusade. Jean Parisot came from a family with a strong history of Chivalry and he joined the Knights Hospitaller in the early 16th century, before rising to become one of the leading commanders. He led the forces to defeat the Ottoman Empire at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. After the siege he ordered the construction of a new capital city and laid its foundation stone.
A ‘beloved’ king of France who took the throne at the age of 5.
Mauritius became a French colony in 1715 under the name ‘ Isle de France’, having previously been a Dutch colony since 1638. A harbour town was named Noordt Wester Haven. Later the French took control and renamed, Port Louis- in honour of King Louis XV. Mauritius fell under the British control during the Napoleonic wars and then played an important role as base for British Naval ships in the Indian Ocean.