Collection MS 1021 - Correspondence re the British Solomon Islands Protectorate

Contents and introduction Letter by Hugh Monckton Four letters by E.P. Monckton Eight letters by C.M. Woodford Letter by Florrie M. Woodford
Open original Digital object

Identity area

Reference code

AU PMB MS 1021


Correspondence re the British Solomon Islands Protectorate


  • 1909 - 1928 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 reel; 35mm microfilm
Digital PDF

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Morris Woodford was born in 1852 and educated at Tonbridge School in England. He settled in Suva about 1882 and from Fiji visited Kiribati (the Gilbert Islands group), as Government agent on the ketch Patience. In 1886, as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society he made the first of three successive explorations of the Solomon Islands, especially Guadalcanal, where he was the first white man to penetrate the interior to any distance, collecting natural history specimens for the British Museum. His experiences are described in his book A Naturalist Among Headhunters (1890). In 1895 Woodford became Acting Consul and Deputy Commissioner at Samoa, and in the following year, a part of the Solomon Group having been made a British Protectorate, he was appointed the first Resident Commissioner, a post which he retained until his retirement in 1914. His later years were spent in Sussex.
Woodford contributed an account of his visit to the Gilbert Islands to The Geographical Journal in 1895, and a note on Ontong Java in 1909. In 1916 he read a paper to the Royal Geographical Society on Polynesian settlements in the Solomon Islands, published in the Journal in 1926. Woodford helped elucidate the narratives of Mandaña’s discovery of the Solomon Islands by identifying places visited by the Spaniards and taking photographs for inclusion in the Hakluyt Society publications. He also published papers in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, of which he was a Fellow.
From The Geographical Journal, 1928, pp.206-207.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Woodford, the first Resident Commissioner of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, established its postal services and designed the first postage stamp used there.

The correspondence includes a 4-page history of the philatelic services of the Protectorate and mentions the design of the first postage stamp and its production.The film also includes correspondence of ERIC MONCKTON 1909-10, describing the establishment of a copra plantation at Ko Ko Nai in the Shortland Islands. The correspondence includes a sketch of his 'native' house and describes how it was built; his efforts in copra production and trading; recruitment of native labour both local and from Malaita; the trochus shell industry; his experiment in the timber trade and his daily life in general. Also mentioned is Eric's brother, Claude (H.C. Monckton) who put money into the Ko Ko Nai venture, and who later became Advisor on Native Affairs in Fiji. It was on Eric's estate that S.G.C. Knibbs, Commissioner of Lands for the Protectorate, did his initial surveys in the Shortlands, 1913-1914 (see Knibb's book, The Savage Solomons as They Were and Are (London: Seeley, Service & Co. Ltd., 1929, pp.115-116).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Available for reference

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

(1990) Mr Joel Bromberg, Brooklyn, New York & Mr D. Franks, Carshalton, Surrey, UK

Existence and location of copies

Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau:

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion




Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places