The Ionian Islands, 1815-1863

The island group consisted of a number of islands located to the west of mainland Greece - KORFU, ITHACA, LEFKAS, KEPHALONIA, ZAKYNTHOS (ital. Zante), then KYTHIRA south of the Peloponnese and the small island of SASENO off Albania.

Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Greek serving in Russia's diplomatic service, at the Vienna Congress prevented the Ionian Islans to be declared an outright British possession, but a sovereign republic under British protection instead. The first British High Commissioners, however, did treat the islands as just another British possession.
A first constitution was granted in 1817; during the earlier years of British administration, Italian remained the language of administration. In 1824 the Ionian Academy was founded, regarded the first university of Greece. A new constitution in 1848 introduced Greek as official language, instituted Freedom of the Press, reformed and reorganized education. The British administration modernized and improved the road system and the water supply. A Ionian Bank was established in 1839.
The island group was declared a Republic (continually under British protection); the first state of modern Greece. Greece itself became independent in 1830; Britain ceded the Ionian islands to Greece in 1863.

British Protectorate 1815-1864, from Corfuxenos
Foreign and Colonial Troops in British Pay, 1815, from History of Zakynthos. from greekislands.com
Ionian Bank Archives (1839-1913), from BLPES Archives Division
Cyprus, Ionian Islands, from Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
DOCUMENTS Information on the flag, from FOTW
Image : stamps issued 1859, from Postage Stamp Catalogue
2 Oboli coin, 1819, from White Lamb Publishing
Downloadable documents from Edward Hertslet: The map of Europe by treaty (Vol.1, London 1875) posted by gallica.bnf
Nov. 5th 1815 : Treaty between Great Britain, Austria, &c. (5 Powers). Ionian Islands. Paris, (pp.337ff)
April 24th 1819 : Act of Ratification by the Sultan of the Cession of the Ionian Islands to Great Britain, and of Parga to Turkey. Constantinople, (pp.579ff)
Documents from Hertslet vol.3 (see Table of Contents
March 29th 1864 : Treaty between Great Britain, France, Russia, and Greece, Union of the Ionian Islands to Greece. (London), pp.1589ff
March 29th 1864 : Convention between Great Britain and Greece. British Claims, &c. Ionian Islands. (London.), pp.1596ff
Jan.-Mar. 1864 : Protocols of Conferences between Great Britain, Austria, &c. (5 Powers). Union of Ionian Islands to Greece. Greek Succession. (London.), pp.1601ff,
May 28th 1864 : Protocol between Commissioners of Great Britain and Greece. Withdrawal of British Forces from Ionian Islands. (Corfu.) pp.1606ff,
May 28th 1864 : Proclamation of Lord High Commissioner. Cessation of British Protectorate, pp.1609ff,
April 8th 1865 : Accession of Turkey to Treaty of 29th March, 1864, for the Union of the Ionian Islands to Greece. (Constantinople), pp.1636ff,
Costituzione delle Isole Jonie, 1818 (Constitution of the Ionian Islands), from Archivio delle Costituzione, in Italian
Archives des ambassades, consultats et anciens protectorats et mandats (Nantes) : Archival Deposits of the Septinsular Republic, inventory posted by France Diplomatie, in French
Medal : Constitution given to the Ionian Islands, 1817, posted by Christopher Eimer
Ionian Islands Banknotes, from Greek Banknotes
REFERENCE Verlag Haitali, Korfu - ein umfassender Reiseführer (Corfu - a comprehensive Tourist Guide), Athens : Haitali 1998, in German [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 23rd 2005

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