Rhio Rhio.King of the Sandwich Islands.
Lithograph. Sheet Size: 145 x 110mm (5¾ x 4¼"). Trimmed.
Kamehameha II (c. 1797 - 1824) was the second king of the Kingdom of Hawaii, whose birth name was Liholiho. He is best remembered for the 'Ai Noa', the breaking of the ancient kapu (taboo) system of religious laws six months into his reign, when he sat down with his mother Keopuolani and ate a meal together. He was a frequent traveller and known to be impulsive, and one of his voyages would prove fatal. On April 16, 1822 English missionary William Ellis arrived with a schooner Prince Regent of six guns to add to his growing collection of ships. It was a gift from the King of Great Britain, and Kamehameha II wrote to thank him, requesting closer diplomatic ties. In November 1823 he travelled to England, stopping along the way in Brazil, eventualy arriving in Portsmouth in May 1824. His arrival was met by the local press with a mixture of curiosity and derision and they were not sure what to call the king, spelling his 'Liholiho' name various ways such as 'Rheo Rhio'. He and his Queen Kamamalu attended opera and ballet at Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on May 31, and the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on June 4 in the Royal Box. They were an unusual sight to the British people who had seen few Native Hawaiians, moreover, Kamamalu was over six-feet tall. George IV finally scheduled a meeting for June 21, but it had to be delayed as Kamamalu became ill. The Hawaiian court had caught measles, to which they had no immunity. Kamamalu died on July 8, 1824 and the grief-stricken Kamehameha died six days later.
[Ref: 34386] £95.00