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Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau, Tui Viti[1]

Male Abt 1815 - 1883  (~ 68 years)


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  • Name Seru Epenisa Cakobau 
    Prefix Ratu 
    Suffix Tui Viti 
    Born Abt 1815  Lakeba, Lau Island Group, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Acceded 1852 
    Vunivalu of Bau 
    • Vunivalu of Bau (1852-1883)
    Conversion 1854  Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    To Christianity 
    • Ratu Cakabau converted to Christianity in 1854 (Lotu)

      converted to Christianity in 1854, taking the name of Epenisa (Ebenezer)
    Acceded 1865  Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    President 
    • President of the General Assembly, Confederacy of Independent Kingdoms of Viti 1865/1867

      a Confederacy of Independent Kingdoms of Viti was established in 1865, with him as Chairman of the General Assembly, in 1869 the confederacy split into the Kingdom of Bau and the Confederation of Lau, with Cakobau assuming kingship of the former
    Acceded 1867  Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Tui Bau 
    • 1st and last Tui Bau 1867/1869
    Crowned 1871 
    King of Fiji 
    • When the first modern nation state of Fiji was founded in 1871, Seru Epenisa Cakobau was crowned King at Levuka.

      Tui Viti 1871/1874

      he succeeded in creating a united Fijian kingdom in 1871, and established Levuka as his capital,
    Ceded Fiji to Great Britain 10 Oct 1874  Levuka, Ovalau Island, Lomaiviti Province, Eastern Division, Fiji Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • At the southern end of the town lies the village of Nasova , where the King Seru Epenisa Cakobau signed the Deed of Cession , ceding the islands to Great Britain on 10 October 1874.

      he ceded the Fijian islands to Britain in October 1874 to counter a perceived American threat of annexation
    Location in Fiji
    Location in Fiji
    Coordinates: 17°41'02?S 178°50'24?E? / ?17.684014°S 178.840127°E
    Beach Street, Levuka
    Beach Street, Levuka
    Name Ratu Cakobau 
    _FSFTID LVWG-CTX 
    _FSLINK https://familysearch.org/tree/#view=ancestor&person=LVWG-CTX 
    Died 1 Feb 1883  Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Ratu Seru Cakobau was born in Nairai island (Kabuna) and raised up in Gau island.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seru_Epenisa_Cakobau


      The «b»Kingdom of Fiji«/b», also known as the «b»Kingdom of Viti«/b», was a short-lived monarchy in «u»Fiji «/u». It existed from 1871 to 1874, with «u»Seru Epenisa Cakobau «/u» as king.
      The Kingdom of Fiji was the first unified Fijian state, and it covered all of modern Fiji, except the island of «u»Rotuma «/u». Cakobau was the «u»Vunivalu «/u» («i»Warlord«/i» or «i»Paramount Chief«/i») of the island of «u»Bau «/u». His father, «u»Tanoa Visawaqa «/u», had conquered the «u»Burebasaga Confederacy «/u» and subdued much of western Fiji. Cakobau consolidated control of the Fijian Islands and declared himself King of «u»Fiji «/u» («u»Fijian «/u»: «i»Tui Viti«/i»). This met with opposition from other chiefs, who regarded him as at best «u»first among equals «/u». However, in June 1871, «u»John Bates Thurston «/u», the British honorary consul, persuaded the Fijian chiefs to accept a «u»constitutional monarchy «/u» with Cakobau as king, but with real power in the hands of a «u»cabinet «/u» and «u»legislature «/u» dominated by Australian settlers. The Legislative Assembly met for the first time in «u»Levuka «/u» in November 1871.
      Within months, government overspending had led to the accumulation of unmanageable debt. In 1872, following continuing economic and social unrest, Thurston approached the British government, at Cakobau's request, with an offer to cede the islands. Two British commissioners were sent to Fiji to investigate the possibility of an annexation. The question was complicated by manoeuvrings for power between Cakobau and his old rival, «u»Ma'afu «/u», with both men vacillating for many months. On 21 March 1874, Cakobau made a final offer, which the British accepted. On 23 September, «u»Sir Hercules Robinson «/u», soon to be appointed the «u»British «/u» «u»Governor «/u», arrived on «u»HMS Dido «/u» and received Cakobau with a royal 21-gun salute. After some vacillation, Cakobau agreed to renounce his «i»Tui Viti«/i» title. On 10 October 1874, Cakobau, Ma'afu, and a group of some senior Chiefs of Fiji signed two copies of a Deed of Cession establishing the «u»Colony of Fiji «/u», which lasted for almost a century.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Fiji

      Cakobau died on February 1st., 1803. Brewster writes (pp.282-3): "It was usual, when the High Chiefs of Fiji died, for one of the ships of the Australian Squadron to come down to the Islands to bury them with ceremonial honours. As, however, King Thakombau eied during the hurricane months no ship could be despatched until the stormy season was over, and so he was placed in a coffin filled with lime. The months of February and March passed away, but about the middle of the latter month a great meteor exploded over Viti Levu. I both saw and heard it, and its noise was truly terrific. The natives said it was the spirit of the old King expressing his indignation at the long time he had been left unburied. In April 1993, H.M.S. Espiegle arrived, with Captain Acland in command. … Under his guidance, King Thakombau was buried with great pomp and ceremony. The gus of the Espiegle fired the last salute, and large sheets of black cloth were swayed up to the yard-arms. Then, at a given signal, they were cut loose and fell into the sea, where hundreds of men were waiting, according to Fijian custom, to swim ashore with them and carry them up to the grave, over which the Last Post was sounded."
    • (Research):Fiji during the time of Cakobau From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      The first three quarters of the 19th century were marked by tribal warfare, incursions from neighbouring «u»Tonga «/u», and the increasing encroachment of foreign powers. This period also saw the rise of a warlord by the name of «u»Seru Epenisa Cakobau «/u», who forged the first nation-state covering all of modern Fiji (except the island of «u»Rotuma «/u») in 1871, before ceding it to the «u»United Kingdom «/u» in 1874.

      Tribal warfare and Tongan intrusions

      In the early 1820s, «u»Levuka «/u» was established as the first modern town in Fiji, on the island of «u»Ovalau «/u». The intervention of European traders and missionaries, of whom the first arrived from «u»Tahiti «/u» in 1830, led to increasingly serious wars among the native Fijian «u»confederacies «/u». Supplied with weapons by «u»Swedish «/u» «u»mercenary «/u» «u»Charlie Savage «/u», «u»Ratu «/u» «u»Tanoa Visawaqa «/u», the «u»Vunivalu «/u» (a chiefly title meaning «i»Warlord,«/i» often translated also as «i»Paramount Chief«/i») of «u»Bau Island «/u», defeated the much larger «u»Burebasaga Confederacy «/u» and succeeded in subduing much of western Fiji. His successor, «u»Seru Epenisa Cakobau «/u», fought to consolidate Bauan domination throughout the 1850s and 1860s, and started calling himself the «u»«i»Tui Viti «/u»,«/i» or King of Fiji. He faced opposition, however, from local chiefs who saw him at best as «u»first among equals «/u», and also from the «u»Tongan «/u» «u»Prince «/u» «u»Enele Ma'afu «/u», who had established himself on the Island of «u»Lakeba «/u» in the «u»Lau «/u» archipelago in 1848. A Christian, Ma'afu brought Wesleyan missionaries from Tonga, and the «u»Methodist Church «/u» gained its first foothold in Fiji. Most chiefs in the west regarded the Wesleyan missionaries, aligned as they were seen to be with Ma'afu, as a threat to their power, refused conversion, and resisted missionary attempts to set up outposts in their villages.
      «b»Trouble with the United States[«u»edit «/u»]
      «/b»Cakobau's claimed position was also undermined by international developments. The «u»United States «/u» threatened intervention following a number of incidents involving their «u»consul «/u», «u»John Brown Williams «/u». His trading store had been looted by Fijian natives following an accidental fire, caused by stray cannon fire during a Fourth of July celebration in 1849. When his «u»Nukulau Island «/u» house was subjected to an arson attack in 1855, the commander of the «u»United States naval frigate «/u» «u»«i»USS John Adams «/u»«/i» demanded compensation amounting to US$5000 for Williams from Cakobau, as the «i»Tui Viti.«/i» This initial claim was supplemented by further claims totalling US$38,531. Cakobau was faced with a dilemma. To disclaim responsibility for the debt, he would have to deny his self-proclaimed and still far-from-universally accepted sovereignty. To admit responsibility, he would have to undertake to pay the debt, or else face punishment from the United States Navy. He chose the latter course, hoping that the United States was only bluffing.
      Reality began to catch up with Cakobau in 1858, when the «u»USS Vandalia «/u» sailed into Levuka. Unable to pay his debt, and faced with increasing encroachments onto Viti Levu's south coast from Ma'afu, Cakobau approached the British consul with an offer to cede the islands to the United Kingdom, if only they would assume responsibility for his debt in return for 5,000 square kilometres of land. His insistence, however, on being allowed to retain his questionable title of «i»Tui Viti«/i» proved unacceptable to the British government, which turned his offer down after four years of consideration in 1862. This followed a report from «u»Colonel «/u» «u»W.J. Smythe «/u», who had come to the conclusion, after interviewing every Paramount Chief in Fiji, that Cakobau's title was self-assumed and by no means universally accepted by his fellow chiefs, and that he did not have the authority to cede the islands.
      «b»The Kingdom of Fiji[«u»edit «/u»]
      «/b»Main article: «u»Kingdom of Fiji «/u»
      Cakobau next turned to the «u»Australian «/u»-based (the «u»Commonwealth of Australia «/u» didn't exist until 1 Jan 1901) «u»Polynesia Company «/u». The rising price of «u»cotton «/u» in the wake of the «u»American Civil War «/u» (1861-1865) had interested the Polynesia Company in acquiring land in Fiji for planting. In return for 5,000 km², the company agreed to pay Cakobau's debt. Australian settlers landed on 575 km«sup»2«/sup» (222 sq mi) of land in Viti Levu, near what was then a Fijian village called «u»Suva «/u», in 1868.
      The Polynesia Company settlers were joined by a further several thousand planters throughout the 1860s and 1870s. Often fraudulently, they obtained Fijian land, often in exchange for weapons or alcohol. Competing land claims followed, with no unified government to settle the disputes. Frustrations peaked following the collapse of cotton prices and the destruction of the crop by hurricanes in 1870. In June 1871, «u»John Bates Thurston «/u», the British honorary consul, forged a "marriage of convenience" between Cakobau and the settlers, and persuaded the Fijian chiefs to accept a «u»constitutional monarchy «/u» with Cakobau as king, but with real power in the hands of a «u»cabinet «/u» and «u»Legislature «/u» dominated by settlers. The Legislative Assembly met for the first time in Levuka in November 1871.

      «b»Cession to the United Kingdom

      «/b»The new arrangements proved no more workable than the old. Within months, government overspending had led to the accumulation of another unmanageable debt. In 1872, following continuing economic and social unrest, Thurston approached the British government, at Cakobau's request, with another offer to cede the islands. The British were much more sympathetic to annexing Fiji this time than they had been almost two decades earlier. The murder of Bishop «u»John Coleridge Patteson «/u» of the «u»Melanesian Mission «/u» at «u»Nukapu «/u» in the «u»Reef Islands «/u» had provoked public outrage, which was compounded by the massacre by crew members of more than 150 Fijians on board the brig «i»Carl.«/i» Two British commissioners were sent to Fiji to investigate the possibility of an annexation. The question was complicated by manoeuvrings for power between Cakobau and his old rival, «u»Ma'afu «/u», with both men vacillating for many months. On 21 March 1874, Cakobau made a final offer, which the British accepted. On 23 September, «u»Sir Hercules Robinson «/u», soon to be appointed the «u»British «/u» «u»Governor «/u», arrived on «u»HMS Dido «/u» and received Cakobau with a royal 21-gun salute. After some vacillation, Cakobau agreed to renounce his «i»Tui Viti«/i» title. The formal cession took place on 10 October 1874, when Cakobau, Ma'afu, and a group of some senior Chiefs of Fiji signed two copies of the «u»Deed of Cession «/u». Ninety-six years of British rule followed.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_during_the_time_of_Cakobau

      Ratu «b»Epenisa Seru Cakobau«/b» [King Cakobau], 1st and last Tui Viti (King of Fiji) 1871/1874, 6th Vunivalu of Bau 1852/1883, President of the General Assembly, Confederacy of Independent Kingdoms of Viti 1865/1867, 1st and last Tui Bau 1867/1869, born 1815 in Lakeba, converted to Christianity in 1854, taking the name of Epenisa (Ebenezer); a Confederacy of Independent Kingdoms of Viti was established in 1865, with him as Chairman of the General Assembly, in 1869 the confederacy split into the Kingdom of Bau and the Confederation of Lau, with Cakobau assuming kingship of the former, he succeeded in creating a united Fijian kingdom in 1871, and established Levuka as his capital, he ceded the Fijian islands to Britain in October 1874 to counter a perceived American threat of annexation; married 1stly, Adi Litia Samanunu, daughter of the Roko Tui Bau, married 2ndly, Adi Salote Qalirea Kaunilotuna, sister of the first wife, and had issue. He died February 1883.
      http://members.iinet.net.au/~royalty/states/fiji/vunivalu.html
    Person ID I287  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 17 May 2015 

    Father Ratu Tanoa Visawaqa, Vunivalu of Bau,   b. Abt 1791, Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Dec 1852, Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 61 years) 
    Mother Adi Savusavu,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F105  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Adi Litia Samanunu,   b. Abt 1815, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1914, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 98 years) 
    Married 1833  Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Adi Arieta Kuila,   b. 1840, Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1887  (Age 47 years)
     2. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Turaga na Vunivalu ni Bau,   b. 1842, Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1901, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years)
     3. Adi Asenaca Kakua Vuikaba,   b. 1844, Tabou, Lakeba, Bau, Tailevu, Fiji, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Fiji, Polynesia, Pacific Islands Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua, Roko Tui Dreketi,   b. 1847, Lakeba, Lau Island Group, Fiji Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1888  (Age 41 years)
     5. Ratu Josefa Celua,   b. Abt 1855,   d. 1886  (Age ~ 31 years)
    Last Modified 11 Jan 2015 
    Family ID F104  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Adi Salote Qalirea Kaunilotuna,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Abt 1852 
    Children 
     1. Ratu Sukuna Vana,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Ratu Viliame Bulikiveida,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Adi Lusiana Qolikoro,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 11 Jan 2015 
    Family ID F551619289  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau
    Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau
    Ratu Cakobau
    Ratu Cakobau
    Lithograph of the Vunivalu of Bau, c. 1858
    Levuka, Fiji
    Levuka, Fiji
    Viti Bure Interior
    Viti Bure Interior
    na kuila nei Ratu Cakobau 1867 t0 1871
    na kuila nei Ratu Cakobau 1867 t0 1871
    Flag of Fiji 1883 - 1908
    Flag of Fiji 1883 - 1908
    Flag of the United Kingdom of Fiji 1871 to 1874
    Flag of the United Kingdom of Fiji 1871 to 1874
    Flag of Fiji 1908 to 1924
    Flag of Fiji 1908 to 1924
    Flag of Fiji 1824 - 1870
    Flag of Fiji 1824 - 1870
    Flag of Fiji 1970 to present
    Flag of Fiji 1970 to present

  • Sources 
    1. [S284] Verbal records: Supplied by Adi Divono, Roko Tui Waimaro, (Adi Fulori's Ancestry: From Oral History recited to me by Roko Tui Waimaro, Adi Pataresia Vonokula (Adi Divono) and taken down by hand by me at her home in Nabukaluka, Waimoro, Fiji 1983).