Our knowledge of Mushin dates back to the mid-nineteenth century when the British were about to bring the Lagos area into the Empire. Initially its settlements were not joined together in higher levels of political organisation. Instead the small villages that dotted the rural landscape arching around the island-bound city-state of Lagos were politically autonomous with respect to one another. Yet these settlements grew in response to opportunities accompanying urbanisation of the area and, in so doing, grew in their need for institutions which would draw them together.