Quick reference

General issues: British colony 1874-1887, British colony & protectorate 1887-1906

Country name on general issues: Lagos

Currency: 1 Pound = 20 Shilling, 1 Shilling = 12 Pence 1874-1906

Population: 1 500 000 in 1901

Political history Lagos

Postal history Lagos

Please click on the image to enlarge

Lagos is located in western Africa. The future Lagos colony & protectorate are populated by the Yoruba – a Niger-Congo people organized in a number of smaller kingdoms. The Portuguese are the first Europeans to explore the coast of Lagos in the 15th century. Trading posts were set up from the 16th century by several European nations and companies – the trade mainly being the slave trade. The settlement of Lagos develops as one of the main trading centers. In the 19th century it is the British that have laid their eyes on Lagos. In 1851, a punitive action is undertaken against the king of Lagos – motivated by the anti-slave trade policy of the British, but equally so to open up the trade in palm oil which had replaced the slave trade. In 1862, Lagos and its direct vicinity is annexed by the British as the colony of Lagos. The Lagos colony will be administered first as a dependency from Sierra Leone and then, from 1874, as a dependency from Gold Coast. In 1886, Lagos is elevated to being a colony of its own.

The trade settlement of Lagos has grown into a metropolis of a reported 21 million people - the largest in Africa

The trade settlement of Lagos has grown into a metropolis of a reported 21 million people – the largest in Africa

In the late 19th century the ‘Scramble for Africa’ is at its height. Great Britain, at the 1885 Berlin conference where the colonial powers divide their respective spheres of interest in Africa, claims and is awarded the lower part of the Niger basin, the current Nigeria then called the Niger Districts. As it is a prerequisite for continued recognition of territorial claims to establish effective colonial rule, the British set to work. In 1887, the Lagos protectorate is proclaimed, encompassing the hinterland of the Lagos colony, roughly equaling the land of the Yoruba. Treaties are signed with the different kings – some are persuaded by the threat of force. By 1893, the protectorate of Lagos is brought under effective British rule. The British establish indirect rule in the protectorate through the existing royalty. The colony and protectorate of Lagos are administered as one entity in the British colonial empire.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the administrative division of the British possessions in the future Nigeria will be changed a number of times. Lagos is, in 1906, joined with the Southern Nigeria protectorate established in 1900, to form the Southern Nigeria colony and protectorate.  In 1914, Southern Nigeria is joined with the Northern Nigeria protectorate to form the Nigeria colony and protectorate. Currently, the former colony of Lagos forms the Lagos state of Nigeria. The city of Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria. The Lagos protectorate is split up to form three states in modern day Nigeria.

Postal history Lagos

Postal history Lagos

1884 – Queen Victoria

A postal service existed in Lagos from 1852. The first stamps are issued in 1874 – a set of definitives with the portrait of Queen Victoria. More sets of definitives, of the same design, appear in subsequent years, to be followed, from 1904, by definitives with the portrait of King Edward VII. From 1906, stamps of Southern Nigeria are used. Until used up, the available stock of Lagos stamps was used concurrent with these definitives.




Album pages

Page 1 of 1

Page 1 of 1







← Previous page: La AgüeraNext page: Lesotho → 


Please leave a response

If you have any questions or suggestions to improve this page, please leave a response. Your response will become visible after approval. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

Please enter the correct number *