Photograph of the King of Niue Niue

Photograph of the King of Niue
Photograph of the King of Niue

Custodian: University of Glasgow Library Research Annexe

Reference: Library Research Annexe T14-g.13

This portrait photograph shows the King of Niue, here named King Tongia, known in Niue as Togia-Pulu-toaki. He reigned from approximately 1896 to 1903 which included a period as a British protectorate in 1900–1 followed by annexation by New Zealand in 1901. Togia-Pulu-toaki was the eighth and apparently last king (patu-iki) of Niue. There the kingship system was non-hereditary; leaders were elected by the the heads of influential families.

The photograph appeared in Basil Thomson, Savage Island: an account of a sojourn in Niue and Tonga, London: John Murray, 1902, opp. p. 38.

Thomson (1861–1939) was a colonial administrator, UK prison governor and intelligence officer. Between 1884 and around 1900 he was involved in the British-run administrations in Fiji, British New Guinea and particularly Tonga where he was instrumental in establishing the British protectorate over the islands.