Robert Young (Hawaii)

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For other people named Robert Young, see Robert Young (disambiguation).
Robert Young
Born (1796-02-14)February 14, 1796
Kawaihae, Hawaii
Died 1813 (aged 16–17)
House House of Olohana
Royal House of Oahu
Father John Young ʻOlohana
Mother Namokuelua

Robert Young (1796–c.1813) was a Hawaiian chief and the son of John Young, the British advisor of Kamehameha the Great.

Early life[edit]

He was born February 14, 1796, the eldest son of John Young and his wife Namokuelua. Robert's mother, the chiefess Namokuelua, was of Oahuan aristocracy, although not of high rank.[1] Robert's father was the well noted advisor and aikane (favorite) of Kamehameha the Great.[2][3] Even though he was his father's first son, Young was advanced in age, being over 48 while Robert's mother was 16 when he was born. Robert was the elder full brother of James Kanehoa Young, and he was elder half-brother of Fanny Kekelaokalani Young, Grace Kamaikui Young, John Kalaipaihala Young, and Jane Lahilahi Young, children of his father's second marriage to Kaoanaeha. He was one year older than James, 8 years older than Fanny, 10 years older than Grace, 14 years older than John and 17 years older than Jane.[4]


In 1802, Robert and probably James were both sent abroad to Boston, Massachusetts for a Western education. A letter in the Archives, dated in 1804, referring to Robert having been left at school in America, would indicate the event to have been an early politic step. It is dated at Canton, February 10, 1804, directed to John Young, and is as follows:

I have sent you by Mr. Davis 20 pieces of Blue Nankeens and two boxes of tea. I left your son Robert well in America about six months since; he is at school and behaves very well. I shall do everything for him that I promised you, you may depend on it. I am very fond of him, and shall take great care to make him a good man. Remember me to Stewart, Davis, and Holmes when you see them, and believe me,

Your friend, JAMES MAGEE.[5]

According to this letter, Robert could have only arrived in Boston, on October 1803. He made have started out from Hawaii in 1802, but the journey even by the standard of those days would not have taken more than 11 or 10 months.


Robert joined the American Navy at age 16 and served in the War of 1812. Although he was half-British, he was captured by the British and taken prisoner in the Battle of Lake Champlain.[6] He was sent to the island of Bermuda, where he became lost to history. Nothing definite was ever heard from him again.[1][3][7] Once source states: It is said that he died early in his school career and was buried in the States, but no particulars can be gathered.[5]

Family tree[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Puʻukohola Heiau National Historic Site - John Young U.S. National Park Service web site
  3. ^ a b John F. G. Stokes (1939). "Nationality of John Young, A Chief of Hawaii". Hawaiian Journal of History. Hawaiian Historical Society: 13–38. 
  4. ^ "John Young". Our Family History and Ancestry. Families of Old Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  5. ^ a b Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1911 (1910) Thomas G. Thrum, Compiler and Publisher. p. 101
  6. ^ Annual Report of Hawaiian Historical Society. 1910. Page 240.
  7. ^ Spirit of Aloha - Aloha Airlines' in-flight magazine with information on Hawaii vacations, Hawaiian island maps and the best places to travel in Hawaii