Saturday, July 04, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, April 29, 2011
British Hawaii: U.K. flavor in the former 'Sandwich Isles'
By Selected News Articles @ 8:19 AM :: 7692 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics, World News, Family

British Hawaii: U.K. flavor in the former 'Sandwich Isles'

by Jeanne Cooper, SFGate April 29, 2011 (excerpt)

…Although the United States eventually captured Hawai'i through political means, the British beat the Yanks to the islands with the landing of Capt. James Cook on Kauai in 1778. And despite a few early skirmishes — including the one that cost the English explorer his life — the people who preceded the Europeans to the so-called "Sandwich Isles" by at least a thousand years generally had good relations with the British empire.

Thanks to the Anglophilia — some would say prudent politics — of the ali'i, the ties between Queen Elizabeth's and Kamehameha's united kingdoms are easily traced today….

King Kamehameha was quick to put English expertise to work in his inner circle, and it's possible the first intermarriages between British commoners and island chiefs were as much strategic as they were romantic. Nevertheless, it gave their royal descendants a fondness for both Anglo and Polynesian worlds.

The most famous product of such a relationship is Princess Victoria Ka'iulani, the daughter of Princess Miriam Likelike, sister of King David Kalakaua, and Scotsman Archibald Cleghorn, a successful merchant whose family had relocated to the islands when he was a young man. After her mother died, young Ka'iulani was sent to England to finish her education, where among other subjects she learned to paint. One of her oil paintings of a Scottish landscape hangs with distinction in the Picture Gallery of the Bishop Museum — named for Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who also married a commoner, albeit an American.

The Caledonia Society of Hawai'i pays Princess Kai'ulani a Scottish-style tribute at the Royal Mausoleum every spring. But another Hawaiian royal with U.K. commoner blood had a much greater impact on Hawaiian Anglophilia. Queen Emma, as she became after marrying King Kamehameha IV, was the granddaughter of a niece of Kamehameha I and John Young, a stranded English seaman who became the great king's military advisor, but she grew up as the hanai (adopted) child of her maternal aunt, a half-English, half-Hawaiian chiefess who had married an English physician, Thomas Rooke.

The Rookes provided young Emma Na'ea with an English governess and surname. As Queen Emma, she lobbied with her husband for the Church of England to establish a mission in Honolulu. After Anglican clergy finally arrived in 1862, she and Kamehameha IV — who had translated some of the Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian — were baptized into the faith, leading to the spread of the denomination throughout the islands. As a result, Anglophiles will particularly appreciate the traditional architecture of St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu, which the royal couple helped found, and charming "country" churches such as Christ Memorial Episcopal Church in Kilauea, Kaua'i.

Having befriended Queen Victoria through letter-writing, Queen Emma named her only child Prince Albert Edward Kamehameha, honoring the former queen's beloved consort. Sadly, the little prince — for whom Princeville on Kaua'i is named — died in 1862 at age 4, followed a year later by his father. The widowed queens were finally able to commiserate in person during Emma's visit to Windsor Castle in 1865.

According to Sarah Vowell, author of the best-selling "Unfamiliar Fishes," the first members of the Kamehameha dynasty not only had good relations with the British, they thought they were British, politically speaking. One proof: Royal Navy Capt. George Vancouver gave King Kamehameha a Union Jack in 1794 after the latter formally ceded the "Island of Owhyhee to his Britannic Majesty," King George III. Citing historian Keanu Sai, Vowell writes, Kamehamehas I and II "believed they ruled a British protectorate. This is the reason that the Hawaiian flag features a Union Jack."

King Kamehameha III didn't appear to see it quite that way in 1843, after Captain Lord George Paulet forced him to relinquish sovereignty of the islands to the United Kingdom. When British Rear Admiral Richard Thomas restored Hawaiian rule six months later, Kamehameha III happily raised the islands' Union Jack-bearing flag as a sign of their independence, not their dependence. Vowell has her own droll take on the British perspective: "There is no record that the British government ever acknowledged receipt of the gift of Hawaii. That's how stuck up the British were — whole archipelagoes were handed to them and they were too busy ruining continents to notice."

Although the last decade has seen a rise in Hawaiian activists' use of a red, green and yellow "Kanaka Maoli" flag, the banner King Kamehameha III raised on July 31 (now celebrated as Ka Hae Hawai'i, Hawaiian Flag Day) holds a special place in many Hawaiian hearts. And two of the key British figures in the affair are reflected in the names of major Honolulu landmarks, even if many are unaware of the connection. Richard Charlton, the first British Consul to the Kingdom of Hawai'i, was granted land for a consulate from King Kamehameha III, on a street now called Beretania ("Britain" in Hawaiian.) Ironically, it was Charlton's complaints involving property rights that led Paulet to seize the kingdom. Thomas Square, bordered by Beretania on one side, commemorates the admiral who gave it back — and its layout even looks like a Union Jack when viewed from above.

read more

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT