Royal School (Hawaii)

Royal School (Hawaii)
The diagram of the Chiefs' Childrens School which appeared on the front page of the Hawaiian newspaper Ka Nonanona on July 20, 1841

The Royal School was a historic school founded in 1839 in Honolulu. Its original name was Chiefs' Children's School.



vistorian-era mature man
First principal Amos Starr Cooke

The Chiefs' Children's School was founded by King Kamehameha III of the Kingdom of Hawaii as a boarding school to educate the children of the Hawaiian royalty (aliʻi). The school was first located where the ʻIolani Barracks stand now. The need for the school was agreed upon during the general meeting of the mission in June 1839. The buildings were ready by 1840, and two more students were added in 1842.[1] Princess Kekaʻaniau claimed that the King chose 14 of the children personally, excluding the last two alumni William Pitt Kīnaʻu and Mary Polly Paʻaʻāina. No school in Hawaii has ever produced so many Hawaiian leaders in one generation.

The main goal of this school was to raise the next generation of Hawaiian royalty to become Christian rulers. Seven families that were eligible under succession laws stated in the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii and that had converted to Christianity, who were Kamehameha's closest relatives, made up the whole of the school. They were:

  • From the sister of Kamehameha III: Princess Kīnaʻu's children, Prince Lot, Princess Victoria Kamāmalu, Prince Moses Kekuaiwa and Prince Alexander Liholiho;
  • From his half-brother Prince Kalaimamahu: his great grandson, Prince William Charles Lunalilo;
  • From his father's eldest brother, Prince Kalokuokamaile: his great granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui;
  • From his grandfather's cousin, a direct line from one of the royal twins, Kameʻeiamoku's great great grandchildren: David Kalākaua, Lydia Kamakaeha and James Kaliokalani;
  • Also from his grandfather's cousin, Kahekili, daughters of Liliha III with Kalaniulumoku: Jane Loeau Jasper; and with Namaile: Abigail Maheha.[2]
vistorian-era mature woman
Juliette Montague Cooke (1812-1896)

It was run by Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.[3] It was a long, two story frame building with a large dining room and separate sleeping quarters for the children and for the Cooke family. There was also the New England parlor, furnished with handmade and treasured furniture sent from home, and with much brought from China. It resembled nothing Hawaiian in its appearance nor its atmosphere. The royal children were taught how to act like Americans and to speak like Americans. The Hawaiian kahu (traditional caretaker of children) John Papa ʻĪʻī was selected as assistant teacher.[4]

In 1846 the Kingdom government took over funding of the school under the Minister of Public Instruction Richard Armstrong (1805–1860). By 1848 the school declined as the children graduated or married. For example, Moses left school in 1847 to live with his father and died in the 1848 measles epidemic. Jane married Mr. Jasper. Missionary children were also allowed to attend in 1849. It was moved to its present location in 1850 and became a day school instead of a boarding school. The next principal was Edward Griffin Beckwith (1826–1909) until he became president of Oahu College (now Punahou School) in 1854. In 1853 it had 121 students, of which only 8 were pure Hawaiian and 18 part Hawaiian.[5]

The school after 1848.

It is now a public elementary school, Royal Elementary School, the oldest school on the island of Oʻahu. It serves grades K-5 and is located at 1519 Queen Emma Street, coordinates 21°18′42″N 157°51′13″W / 21.31167°N 157.85361°W / 21.31167; -157.85361Coordinates: 21°18′42″N 157°51′13″W / 21.31167°N 157.85361°W / 21.31167; -157.85361.[6] A sculpture by Kim Duffett "Mai ka Hina Kua a ka Hina Alo" was added in 2005. It was partially funded by a foundation named for the Cooke Family.[7]

It is not to be confused with Punahou School, which was also founded by Protestant missionaries, but for their own children in 1841.

Royal alumni


  1. ^ Sheldon Dibble (1909). History of the Sandwich Islands. Honolulu: Thomas George Thrum. p. 289. 
  2. ^ "The Royal School". Hawaii's Royal Family web site. Keali'i Pubs. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  3. ^ Orramel Hinckley Gulick (1918). The pilgrims of Hawaii: their own story of their pilgrimage from New England. Fleming H. Revell company. pp. 56–57. 
  4. ^ Sheldon Dibble (1909). History of the Sandwich Islands. Honolulu: Thomas George Thrum. p. 291. 
  5. ^ Ralph Simpson Kuykendall (1965) [1938]. Hawaiian Kingdom 1778-1854, foundation and transformation. 1. University of Hawaii Press. p. 362. ISBN 0-87022-431-X. 
  6. ^ "Royal School". official web site. Hawaii Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  7. ^ "Royal School sculpture honors passing of knowledge". Honolulu Advertiser. May 17, 2005. 

Further reading

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Royal School — may refer to: * schools founded by James I in Ulster in the early 16th century: ** The Royal School, Armagh, County Armagh, Northern Ireland ** Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland ** Royal School Dungannon,… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal blue — describes both a bright shade and a dark range of blue. It is said to have been invented by millers in Rode, Somerset, a consortium of which won a competition to make a dress for Queen Charlotte. Traditionally, dictionaries define royal blue as a …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii — This article is about the U.S. state of Hawaii. For its Big Island , see Hawaii (island). For other uses, see Hawaii (disambiguation). For geographic details, see Geography and environment or Hawaiian Islands. Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii — /heuh wuy ee, wah , wah yeuh, hah vah ee/, n. 1. a state of the United States comprising the N Pacific islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu: a U.S. territory 1900 59; admitted to the Union 1959. 965,000;… …   Universalium

  • Royal Agricultural College — The Royal Agricultural College is a university college based at Cirencester in the Cotswolds in the county of Gloucestershire, in England. Its motto is Avorum Cultus Pecorumque , a quote from Virgil’s Georgics meaning Caring for the fields and… …   Wikipedia

  • School corporal punishment — Legality of corporal punishment in the United States Legality of corporal punishment in Europe …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii (island) — Infobox Hawaiian island name = Hawaiokinai nickname = The Big Island image caption = Landsat mosaic, 1999 2001 locator locator caption = Location in the state of Hawaii location = coord|19|34|N|155|30|W|type:isle area = 4,028.0 sq mi (10,432.5… …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii Belt Road — The Hawaiʻi Belt Road is a modern name for the Māmalahoa Highway and consists of Hawaiʻi state Routes 11, 19, and 190 that encircle the Island of Hawaiʻi. The southern section, between Hilo and Kailua Kona is numbered as Route 11. The section… …   Wikipedia

  • Queen Emma of Hawaii — Infobox Hawaiian Royalty name =Emma title =Queen Consort of the Hawaiian Islands imgw =280 reign =11 Jan 1855 30 Nov 1863 predecessor = successor = spouse =Alexander Liholiho King Kamehameha IV issue =Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa a… …   Wikipedia

  • President William McKinley High School — Motto Ike Makaukau Aloha Established 1865 Type Public High School …   Wikipedia