Baker, Shirley Waldemar

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Authorized form of name

Baker, Shirley Waldemar

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Other form(s) of name

  • Reverend Shirley W Baker

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Description area

Dates of existence

1836 - 1903


The Reverend Shirley Waldemar Baker was an English Wesleyan missionary who arrived in Tonga from Australia in 1860. During his stay of more than 30 years, Baker became a close adviser to King Tupou I. He began his role of adviser to the King in 1862 and was the author of the constitution which the King granted to his people in 1875. Baker was also largely responsible for negotiating the treaty of friendship signed between Tonga and Germany in 1876. The treaty attracted the attention of the British authorities and Baker was recalled from Tonga by the missionary committee in 1879. Baker returned to Tonga in 1880 and was installed by Tupou as premier. In 1885 he established the Free Church, Wesleyan in doctrine but free from Australian control. In 1890 he was deported by the high commissioner, Sir John Thurston.



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Functions, occupations and activities

missionary; federal politician

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Internal structures/genealogy

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description on 28 May 2013




Australian Dictionary of Biography,
John Spurway, Baker Papers, Journal of Pacific History, 38:2, 2003

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