150th Anniversary of the Constitution
 
            30 November 1988        20c, 40c, $1.05, $1.80                       Mint and CTO        $3.45
                                                                                                             FDC                       $3.85

Technical Details

        Release Date:                    30 November 1988
        Tablet Values:                   20c, 40c, $1.05, $1.80
        Artist:                                Jennifer Toombs
        Printer:                              Walsall Security Printers Ltd
        Process:                            Lithography
        Paper:                               CA Watermark
        Stamp Size:                       28.5 x 42.5 mm
        Perforation Gauge:            15 per 2 cm
        Pane Format:                    50 (2 x 25)
        Mint and CTO:                 $3.45
        First Day Cover:               $3.85


When Captain Russell Elliott (or Eliott) reached Pitcairn aboard HMS Fly on the morning of 29 November 1838, he found the adults among the island's ninety nine inhabitants were anxious to have someone act as chief or head of the community for internal regulations and government but more especially to meet difficulties and dangers from "lawless strangers in whale ships" who claimed that the island had "no laws, no country, no authority that they (the whalers) were to respect."

It appears American whalers, in particular, denied that the Pitcairners were under the protection of Great Britain because they had no colours and no written authority.

Captain Elliott gave them a Union Jack and drew up regulations, on his own authority, for the election of a Magistrate "by the free vote of all the inhabitants in the island - male and female - who had reached the age of eighteen".

From the time of his departure from the island on 30 November the Pitcairners considered their island constitutionally a British Territory.

Although Captain Elliott's report does not refer to a code of laws as claimed by some sources, it is likely these laws - which include the provision of compulsory education for children from five to fifteen years - were drawn up by the Pitcairners about the same time.

Was Pitcairn Island first to write universal suffrage and compulsory education into law?