1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rotumah
ROTUMAH (Rotuma, Rotuam or Grenville), an island of the South Pacific Ocean, in 12° 30' S., 177° E., about 300 m. N. by W. of Fiji, of which British colony it is a dependency. Its area is 14 sq. m., and its extreme elevation 800 ft. It is surrounded by coral reefs, and is richly wooded. Several islets lie round it. The population is about 2200, the natives being Polynesian, though their language has been classified as Melanesian. They are Wesleyans or Roman Catholics. The chief product is copra. A European commissioner resides. Local laws, subject to approval by the legislative council of Fiji, are promulgated by a regulation board, composed of the commissioner, native chiefs of the seven districts into which the island is divided, and two native magistrates. Rotumah was discovered by Captain Edwards of the “ Pandora ” in 1791, and was annexed by Great Britain in 1881.