The Jarnac Convention was a bilateral agreement between the Kingdom of France and the United Kingdom in 1847 at the end of the Franco-Tahitian War. Its purpose was to end Franco-British diplomatic tension by guaranteeing the independence of the Leeward Islands in Polynesia. It was abrogated with the agreement of both parties in 1887.


In 1839, a British Protestant missionary, George Pritchard, was sent to Polynesia to convert its people. He became the British consul in Tahiti and persuaded the queen, Pomare IV, to expel Catholic missionaries from the islands. This prompted France to take control of the islands and to establish a protectorate over them in 1843 leading to the Franco-Tahitian War. Pritchard was expelled, leading to diplomatic tension between France and Britain.


To bring this tension to an end, King Louis-Philippe agreed to the Jarmac Convention, under which both countries recognised the independence of the Leeward Islands and agreed not to place them under a protectorate.[1] It was signed in London on 19 June 1847 by Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary and the comte de Jarnac, French Minister Plenipotentiary in London.[2]


See also: Annexation of the Leeward Islands

The convention was to have effect for forty years. However, in 1880 France placed the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa under a provisional protectorate at their own request, to prevent their being annexed by the German Empire.[3][4] In October 1887 Britain and France agreed to formally abrogate the convention.[5] This led to a rebellion on the islands that lasted for a decade[6] and their eventual annexation by military force. Together with all the remaining Leeward Islands, Raiatea and Tahaa became part of French Polynesia on 19 March 1898.[5]


  1. ^ de la Roncière, Bertrand (2003). La reine Pomaré: Tahiti et l’Occident 1812-1877. Éditions L’Harmattan. p. 232.
  2. ^ Toullelan, Pierre-Yves. Encyclopédie de la Polynésie. Vol. 6, La Polynésie s'ouvre au monde 1769-1842. p. 65.
  3. ^ Deschanel, Paul (1884). La politique française en Océanie. À propos du Canal de Panama. p. 527. Archived from the original on 2016-11-23. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  4. ^ "Le fait colonial en Polynésie orientale 1880-1939". Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2006.
  5. ^ a b Cheung, Francis (1998). Tahiti et ses îles (1919-1945) : étude d'une société coloniale aux antipodes de sa métropole. L'harmattan. p. 44.
  6. ^ "Hapaitahaa a Etau, dit Teraupoo, le rebelle". 24 January 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013.

See also