Former Emperor of Ethiopia. Born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael. He led a revolution in 1916 and became regent and heir to the throne, to which he succeeded in 1930. 1935 - 6, following Italy's invasion, he was forced into exile in Britain, where he stayed in Wimbledon and Bath. Sylvia Pankhurst was one of the group who supported him during this time.
He was restored after the country was liberated in 1941. He played a crucial part in the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but following many internal problems, he was deposed in 1974.
He spent his last months imprisoned in the Grand Palace where he died. His cause of death was officially given as respiratory failure, but his followers believed he was assassinated. The Rastafari religion was founded in Jamaica following his coronation in 1930, and its adherents worship him as a messiah.
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk