Guide to the Records of the Melanesian Mission (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Records of Melanesian Mission (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1847 - 1953
Collection Number
152 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of the correspondence 1887-1896 and diaries 1889-1908 of Rev. Henry Welchman and the correspondence 1952-1953 of C.E. Fox, together with the draft of his book Lord of the Southern Isles.

Other correspondents include J.W. Blencowe 1862-1874, Commodore James G. Goodenough (relating to the annexation of Fiji), Bishop J.C. Patteson and Bishop Edmund Hobhouse 1868-1870 and Miss M. Rice, Oxford 1941-1952. There are also journals of Cole C. Fowler 1889-91, a Mota phrasebook by Florence E. Coombe, sketches and articles by Eric Ramsden, drafts of writings by Rev. George Sarawia, John Still and Roger Ernest Tempest on the history of the Mission, including the work of Bishops G.A. and John R. Selwyn. Finally, there are lists of members of the Mission compiled in 1895, 1924 and 1964, and a number of photographs of Melanesia.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London..

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the School of Oriental and African Studies. and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Welchman to Charlotte Welchman, 5 December 1887, School of Oriental and African Studies (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Melanesian Mission, England as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1971 (AJCP Reels:M802- M806). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Transferred to SOAS in December 1990, and held on indefinite loan from the Melanesian Mission UK.

Existence and Location of Originals

The originals were previously held at the Melanesian Mission, England. They were transferred to SOAS in December 1990, and held on indefinite loan from the Melanesian Mission UK.

Collection Ref: GB 102 MM. For more information see School of Oriental & African studies (SOAS) Archives (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Anglican Church: Melanesia; Blencowe, John W., Rev.; Church of Melanesia; Coombe, Florence E.; Fiji: annexation; Fowler, Cole C.; Fox, Charles E., Rev.; Goodenough, James G., Commodore; Hobhouse, Edmund, Bishop; Melanesia; Melanesian Mission; Missions and missionaries: Pacific Islands; Mota language; New Hebrides: missions; Norfolk Island; Patteson, John C., Bishop; Photographs: Melanesia; Ramsden, Eric; Rice, M.; Sarawia, George, Rev.; Selwyn, George A., Bishop; Selwyn, John R., Bishop; Solomon Islands: missions; Still, John; Tempest, Roger E.; Welchman, Henry, Rev.


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 317, p118.

Biographical / Historical

The Melanesian Mission was founded by George Augustus Selwyn, who was appointed the first Anglican bishop of New Zealand in 1841. He supported the ideal of the 'missionary bishop' and was convinced that missions should be church organisations under episcopal leadership, rather than semi-private societies such as the Church Missionary Society. An error in his letters patent extended his diocese as far as latitude 34degrees N, justifying the journeys that he made from 1847 onwards to the islands north of New Zealand. In 1849 he visited the Loyalty Islands and persuaded five adolescent boys to accompany him back to Auckland, where they attended St John's College. His aim was to give the boys both a general and a religious education so that after a few years they could return to their islands and establish their own schools. By 1860, 152 Melanesians from the Loyalty Islands, Solomon Islands and New Hebrides had attended the mission school in Auckland.

In 1854-55 Selwyn visited England where he raised £10,000 for the endowment of a bishopric and bought a mission vessel, the Southern Cross. On his return to New Zealand he was accompanied by a mission chaplain, John C. Patteson. Selwyn and Patteson made several cruises to the islands on the Southern Cross, but after 1859 Patteson took over responsibility for the mission. In 1861, with the permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was consecrated by Selwyn as the first Bishop of Melanesia. The mission was based in Auckland until 1867, when it moved to Norfolk Island. An English Committee was set up in 1872 to represent the interests of the mission in England and to coordinate fund-raising and an office was opened in London in 1899. Until well into the twentieth century, the English Committee contributed over half of the Mission's income.

The missionaries achieved early success at Mota in the Banks Islands and Mota soon became the lingua franca throughout the diocese. Generally, however, the rate of conversions to Christianity was very slow. Patteson was murdered on the island of Nukapu, near Santa Cruz, in 1871, and six years passed before he was succeeded as bishop by John Selwyn, the son of George Selwyn. By the early 1880s the mission had achieved a stronghold on the Ngella Islands in the Solomon Islands, but it took about thirty years to establish missions at Savo, Ysabel, Guadalcanal, Santa Cruz and Malaita. In the New Hebrides an agreement was reached with the Presbyterian Mission in 1881 whereby the Anglicans would concentrate on the northern islands of Omba (Aoba), Maewo and Pentecost. In the early twentieth century New Britain and some of the islands of New Guinea were brought within the Melanesian Mission.

In 1900 the staff of the Mission consisted of 14 European priests, four Melanesian priests and eight Melanesian deacons. Like Selwyn and Patteson, the Europeans were mostly university educated and held High Church convictions. They lived for much of the year on Norfolk Island, spending a few weeks or months on tours of their allotted districts, meeting the Melanesian teachers who had been trained at St Barnabas's College. Henry Welchman was the first missionary to live permanently at his station at Bugotu and after 1900 most of the European missionaries had permanent residences at their mission stations. By 1894, 122 schools had been set up, with 381 teachers, over half of them in the Solomon Islands. At Siota on Ngella Island a junior boarding school for boys was opened in 1894 and a girls' school in 1922. A mission hospital was built at Guadalcanal in 1912 and another was opened at Malaita in 1929.

By the 1920s Melanesian priests outnumbered European priests, although some Europeans, such as Charles Fox, continued working in the diocese well into the second half of the century. In 1920 the diocesan headquarters was transferred from Norfolk Island and St Luke's Cathedral was consecrated in 1928. It was destroyed during the Second World War and the headquarters was subsequently transferred to Honiara on Guadalcanal, although the theological college remained at Siota. The first Melanesian bishops were consecrated in 1963. In 1973 a diocesan conference decided that the diocese should become an independent province, with the right to order its own affairs, appoint bishops, and form new dioceses. The Church of Melanesia was formed in 1975 with four dioceses: Central Melanesia, New Hebrides, Malaita and Ysabel.

Reference: David Hilliard. God's gentlemen: a history of the Melanesian Mission 1849-1942, Brisbane, University of Queensland Press, 1978.

Item Descriptions

Series. John Blencowe, 15 July 1862 - 22 July 1874

18 items

Filmed Selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M802.

Biographical / Historical

John Walcot Blencowe (1886-1964) joined the Melanesian Mission as a teacher in 1909. He was mainly based at Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands. In 1911 he suffered a serious accident when a boat was wrecked on a coral reef. Following his return to England in 1912, he was ordained as a priest and served as a chaplain during World War I. He was the headmaster of a boys' preparatory school in Kent (later Sussex) from 1919 to 1947.

Subseries. Miscellaneous correspondence, 15 July 1862 - 22 July 1874

18 items
John Keble (Hursley) to James Patteson (London), 15 July 1862 (File)

£400 paid into Mission's ship account; projected new ship Southern Cross.

John Palmer (Norfolk Island) to William Floyd, 12 February 1871 (File)

Schooner Nukalau at Santa Cruz involved in the labour trade. (copy)

William Floyd (Levuka) to [Bishop J.C. Patteson], 27 April 1871 (File)

Labour problem in Fiji; need for teachers for the Fijians and a native missionary or teacher to instruct men of New Hebrides; looks forward to Patteson's visit. (copy)

Bishop J.C. Patteson (Mota) to W. Floyd, 26 May 1871 (File)

Does not expect to visit Fiji before next March; European traders and Fijian labourers; need for Christian teaching of the labourers.

John B. Thurston (Levuka) to [unknown], 5 August 1871 (File)

Account of a meeting with Bishop Patteson to discuss foreign labour in Fiji and the need for a native minister or teacher.

G.W. Underhill (Hobart) to T.C. Tilly (Auckland), 23 December 1871 (File)

A ship to the islands; hopes for the capture of Henry Hayes.

Lord Belmore (Throsby Park, NSW) to T.C. Tilly, 25 December 1871 (File)

A theory on the cause of Bishop Patteson's death told to him by Lord Normanby.

W. Floyd (Ovalau) to R.H. Codrington, 31 January 1872 (File)

Death of Bishop Patteson at a time when they were expecting him hourly; effect on the labour traffic; India and China possible sources of labour.

Capt. Albert Markham (Auckland) to T.C. Tilly, 24 February 1872 (File)

Defends himself against charges of inhumanity; HMS Rosario acted in self-defence; the labour trade; murder of the crew of the Fanny and release of women from slavery.

W. Floyd (Ovalau) to R.H. Codrington (Norfolk Island), n.d. (File)

Has examined the log book of the Nukalau in his enquiry into the death of Bishop Patteson; owners intend to discontinue with labour traffic.

W. Floyd (Levuka) ro R.H. Codrington (Norfolk Island), 12 November 1872 (File)

Cannot leave Fiji as he has no assistant; Langham of Wesleyan Mission considers the Margaret Chessel was the vessel accessory to Bishop Patteson's murder; return of stolen natives; move to create a bishop of Fiji; Church and politics; difficulties with the Welseyans; the labour trade would end if Fijians were not so indolent.

W. Floyd to R.H. Codrington, 22 November 1872 (File)

Hopes of tracing five men stolen when Patteson was murdered; statement by the police that the Emma Bell was the guilty ship; agent of the Margaret Chessel repudiates the charge of complicity; hopes all stolen islanders will be returned to Fiji.

Capt. Harding to [unknown], n.d. (File)

The ship Emma Bell was on a voyage collecting labourers. (copy)

J.M. Fullarton (Levuka) to W. Floyd, 22 November 1872 (File)

Believes that the Margaret Chessel was not the vessel accessory to Bishop Patteson's death; Emma Bell was collecting labourers.

Bishop C.J. Abraham (Lichfield) to R.H. Codrington, 4 February 1873 (File)

Moneys received for the Mission; a disaster off Dunganess; departure of John Selwyn and his party; Brook's article has pained Bishop Selwyn and the Patteson family.

Bishop C.J. Abraham (Lichfield) to R.H. Codrington (Norfolk Island), 4 February 1873 (File)

Money for the Mission; projected new boat Southern Cross; a new chapel; Bishop Edmund Hobhouse; Mary Richards.

Bishop H.J.C. Harper (Christchurch) to R.H. Codrington (Norfolk Island), 22 July 1874 (File)

Appointment of a Bishop of Melanesia; labour traffic in the islands.

Series. Florence E. Combe, June 1903

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M802.

Biographical / Historical

Florence E. Coombe (1870-1933) joined the Melanesian Mission in 1905 as the secretary of the Bishop of Melanesia. She was based at Mota in 1911-15 and Norfolk Island in 1915-19. She was the author of School-days in Norfolk Island (1909) and Islands of enchantment: many-sided Melanesia (1911).

Notebook kept by Coombe containing translations of Mota phrases (115pp), there are also a few loose pages and two paragraphs, June 1903 (File)

Series. Cole C. Fowler, 1 January 1888 - 3 September 1891

2 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M802.

Log book and journal kept by Fowler on HMS Lizard and Rapid and RMS Ballarat, while serving on the Australian Station, 1 January 1888 - 3 September 1891 (File)

Item is mainly a record of courses, latitude and longitude, currents and winds, with very brief notes in the remarks column.

Service journal kept by Fowler on HMS Lizard on the voyage to Australia, November 1887 - May 1888, and on HMS Rapid, May 1888 - September 1891 (File)

There are detailed accounts of visits to New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Norfolk Island, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, as well as various ports in Australia. At the end of the volume are notes on Australasian defences, distances run, a survey of Apia harbour and a plan of a model prison at Port Arthur.

Series. Charles Elliot Fox, 1849 - 1955

25 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M802-M803.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Elliot Fox (1878-1977) grew up in New Zealand and joined the Melanesian Mission in 1902. He was ordained in 1903 and was a missionary at Makira in the Solomon Islands. He opened the first boarding school in the Solomon Islands in 1911 at Pauma and was principal of All Hallows School, Pawa, from 1924 to 1932. He was a member of the Melanesan Brotherhood at Guadalcanal (1933-44) and Fiu, Malaita (1944-50). He was made Canon of Melanesia in 1956. He was the author of a history of the Melanesian Mission, Lord of the Southern Isles (1958).

Subseries. Correspondence, 13 October 1952 - 12 September 1953

4 items
Fox (Malaita) to H. Bullen, 9 July [1952] (File)

Revisions by Rawncliffe and Fox to his work Lord of the Southern Isles.

Bishop S.G. Caulton to Fox, 13 October 1952 (File)

Comments on his manuscript.

Fox (Tambalia) to H. Bullen, 3 September 1953 (File)

Two notes to be added to the manuscript.

[Fox] (Tambalia) to H. Bullen, 12 September 1953 (File)

Glad of corrections on grammar or facts but not those that will destroy the balance of the book.

Subseries. Typescript drafts of Lord of the Southern Isles

21 items
George Augustus Selwyn (33pp) (File)
John Coleridge Patteson (41pp) (File)
John Richardson Selwyn (50pp) (File)
Cecil Wilson (52pp) (File)
Cecil John Wood (35pp) (File)
John Mainwaring Steward (46pp) (File)
Frederick Merivale Molyneux (37pp) (File)

File includes several pages from other drafts with manuscript corrections.

Bishop Dickinson (2pp) (File)
Walter Hubert Baddeley (53pp) (File)
Growth of Christianity in Melanesia: the first six years (14pp) (File)
The Northern New Hebrides (61pp) (File)
The Banks Islands (58pp) (File)
Torres Islands (11pp) (File)
The South East Solomons (60pp) (File)
The Central Solomons (64pp) (File)
Outlying islands (25pp) (File)
The earlier schools (26pp) (File)
The later schools in the islands (47pp) (File)
Healing the sick (22pp) (File)
Ships of the Mission (22pp) (File)
Printing (6pp) (File)

Series. Commodore James Goodenough, 1851 - 1876

5 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

James Graham Goodenough (1830-1875) entered the Royal Navy in 1844 and served on the China and Mediterranean Stations. In 1873 he was appointed captain of HMS Pearl and commodore of the Australian Station. He was instructed to inquire into the question of annexing Fiji. Together with the British consul Edgar Layard, he recommended annexation, which took place in October 1874. He died in 1875 when he was wounded by a poisoned arrow in the Santa Cruz Islands.

Commission of James Goodenough, appointed as lieutenant on HMS Calcutta, signed by Sir Michael Seymour, Hong Kong, 23 June 1851 (File)

Journal of Lieut. Goodenough kept while serving on the China Station, March 1861 - January 1862 (File)

It includes a brief account of his visits to Singapore and Penang in December 1861 on the voyage back to England.

Goodenough to the Secretary of the Admiralty, n.d. (File)

Comments on Parliamentary Paper C1114 on the annexation of Fiji. (draft)

W.R. Malcolm (Colonial Office) to the Secretary of the Admiralty, 26 October 1875 (File)

Report of 13 April 1874 on the annexation of Fiji by Goodenough and Edgar Layard. (copy)

Admiral Robert Hall (London) to Victoria Goodenough, 29 October 1876 (File)

Sends copy of the letter of 26 October on the views of the late Commodore Goodenough on the printed correspondence laid before Parliament on the annexation of Fiji.

Series. Bishop Edmund Hobhouse, 24 February 1868 - 7 June 1870

8 items

As well as the original letters there are typescript copies.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Related Materials

Further papers of Edmund Hobhouse were microfilmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project on reel M715.

Biographical / Historical

Edmund Hobhouse (1817-1904) was educated at Oxford University and was ordained a priest in 1842. He was ordained as the first Bishop of Nelson in 1858 and he arrived in New Zealand in 1859. He reigned in 1865 and returned to England, where he held a living at Beech Hill, near Reading. In 1869 he became Assistant Bishop of Lichfield.

Hobhouse (Reading) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 24 February 1868 (File)

Departure of Bishop G.A. Selwyn from New Zealand; difficulty of filling his place; character of Hobhouse's successor, A.B. Suter.

Hobhouse (Reading) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 31 March 1868 (File)

Proposed establishment of chaplains on Fiji and Pitcairn Islands; cheerful letters from Nelson; Bishop Selwyn; his plans to visit Auckland.

Hobhouse (Reading) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 24 February 1869 (File)

Decay of missionary zeal; letter from Robert Codrington; mutual friends; progress of his successor, Andrew Suter; Bishops of Wellington, Lichfield and Lincoln.

Hobhouse (Ashbourne, Derbyshire) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 28 September 1869 (File)

Qualities of Robert Codrington; health of Bishop Selwyn; Hobhouse's move to Lichfield; growth of liberalism.

Hobhouse (Ashbourne) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 24 February 1870 (File)

Remembrance of Patteson's consecration in 1861; Rev. Robert Codrington; news from his old diocese; Lichfield Theological College.

Hobhouse (Ashbourne) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 10 May 1870 (File)

Pascoe; marriages of theological students; his boys.

Hobhouse (Ashbourne) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 7 June 1870 (File)

Thankful for Patteson's restoration from a severe illness.

The last page of this file is an annotated transcription of the letter 'Hobhouse (Ashbourne) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 10 May 1870'.

Edmund Hobhouse (Clevedon) to Bishop J.C. Patteson, 18 May 1870 (File)

His life at Walton Lodge school. With a covering note from his father, Bishop Hobhouse.

Series. Melanesian Mission

3 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

List of those who joined the Melanesian Mission from its commencement up to 1895. Arranged chronologically. (3pp) (File)

List of those who joined the Melanesian Mission in the last 30 years (i.e. 1895-1924), arranged chronologically. (8pp) (File)

List of workers of the Melanesian Mission, arranged alphabetically, 193 men and 130 women are listed, of whom 24 were killed or died on active service (33pp) (File)

Series. Eric Ramsden

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

George Eric Oakes Ramsden (1898-1962) was a New Zealand journalist and writer. Among his books were Marsden and the missions (1936), Busby of Waitangi (1942), Strange stories from the South Seas (1944) and Rangiatea; the story of the Otaki church, its first pastor and its people (1951).

'Pen pictures' from Melanesia: 15 short articles by Eric Ramsden, E. Williams, N.W. Malaita and others (File)

Typescripts, with a printed cover. Most of the articles are unsigned, or only the initials of the writer are given.

Series. M. Rice, 10 April 1941 - 29 March 1952

31 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Subseries. Letterbook containing typed copies of letters received by Miss Rice (Oxford), 10 April 1941 - 1950

21 items

Although described individually, these letters are contained in a bound letterbook. The first or last pages of some letters may be attached to the prior or subsequent descriptive item.

Nell Fagan (Lamalana, Pentecost) to Rice, 15 January 1946 (File)
Sister Margaret of the Cross (Bunana, Solomon Islands) to Rice, 15 April 1941 (File)
Sister Gwen of the Cross (Solomon Islands) to Rice, 16 September 1942 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lolowai, New Hebrides) to Rice, 10 April 1941 (File)
Mother Margaret (Lolowai) to her sister (extract), 21 July 1942 (File)
Emily Sprott (Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands) to Rice, 19 January 1942 (File)
Estelle Field to Miss West, 18 September 1942 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lolowai) to Rice, 28 October 1942 (File)
Emily Sprott (Auckland) to Rice, 2 October 1944 (File)
Estelle Field (Kerepei, Ugi Island) to Rice (extract), 28 October 1945 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lolowai) to Rice, 12 December 1943 (File)
Gwendoline Mason (Christchurch) to Rice, 21 January 1944 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lamalana) to Rice, 16 July 1944 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lamalana) to Rice, 5 January 1945 (File)
Bishop Walter Baddeley (Taroaniara, Solomon Islands) to Rice, 17 December 1945 (File)
Emily Sprott (Santa Isabel) to Rice, 15 April 1947 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lamalana) to Rice, 8 December 1947 (File)
Bishop Sidney Caulton to members of the Melanesian Circle, [1948] (File)
Nell Fagan (Lamalana) to Rice, 19 February 1948 (File)
Emily Sprott (Santa Isabel) to Rice, 9 May 1948 (File)
Lillian Hewell (Kerepei) to Rice, 10 May 1948 (File)
Nell Fagan (Santo) to Rice, 12 May 1948 (File)
Nell Fagan (Lamalana) to Rice, 12 September 1948 (File)
Bishop Sidney Caulton (Taroaniara) to Rice, 13 February 1949 (File)
Elizabeth Pyatt (Lolowai) to Rice, [1949] (File)
Nell Fagan (Auckland) to Rice, 13 September 1949 (File)
Nell Fagan (Torgil, Aoba Island) to Rice, 25 October 1950 - 11 June 1951 (File)

Subseries. Original Letters to Rice, 16 December 1949 - 29 March 1952

4 items
Betty Cunnold (East Tamaki) to Rice, 16 December 1949 (File)
Julia (Prescot, Lancashire) to Rice, 15 January 1952 (File)
Fay Stock (Torgil) to Rice, 29 March 1952 (File)
Betty Pyatt (Aoba Island) to Rice, 13 February 1952 (File)

Series. St Mary's Girls School, Pamua, British Solomon Islands

4 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Subseries. Exercise books, undated, containing written work of girls in classes 1-4 at St Mary's School

4 items
Cecilia: exercise book (File)
Ethel, Patricia: exercise books (File)
Dorothy: exercise book (File)
Kate, Harriet: exercise books (File)

Series. George Sarawia

3 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

George Sarawia (1845-1901) was born in Vanua Lava in the Banks Islands. He was ordained a deacon in 1868 and at the request of Bishop John Patteson he formed a Christian settlement at Mota in 1869. He was ordained as the first indigenous priest in Melanesia in 1873.

Sections from the text of the writings of Rev. George Sarawia on his life. (typescript) (File)

Galley proofs of parts 10-12 of 'Early days in Melanesia' (File)

G. Jasper (Melanesian Mission, Auckland) to Rev. W. Seaton (Northallerton): Sends further instalments of the writings of George Sarawia (File)

Series. Bishop John Selwyn, 9 July 1874

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

John Richardson Selwyn (1844-1898), the son of Bishop George A. Selwyn, was educated at Cambridge University and ordained as a priest in 1870. In 1873 he joined the Melanesian Mission and in 1877 he became the Bishop of Melanesia. He returned to England in 1891 and was appointed the Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, in 1893.

Rev. John Selwyn (San Christoval) to his father Bishop G.A. Selwyn, 9 July 1874 (File)

Voyage among the islands on the Southern Cross with R.H. Codrington, John Still, Brooke and Melanesians.

Series. John Still, 22 July 1874 - 29 June 1876

4 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

John Still (1845-1914) attended Winchester College and Cambridge University. He was ordained a priest in 1870 and in 1873 he accompanied John Selwyn to Melanesia. In 1874-76 he was the missionary at San Cristobal, Malaita. Owing to his wife's illness, he returned to England in 1878. He was a priest in New Zealand in 1885-91 and for the last twenty years of his life he was a parish priest in the Diocese of Norwich.

Still (Auckland) to H.E. Wench (Wolverhampton), 22 July 1874 (File)

Voyage of the Southern Cross among the islands with R.H. Codrington, John Selwyn and the Melanesians (24pp). A footnote written at Norfolk Island is dated 17 Sept. 1874.

Typescript extracts from a Wolverhampton newspaper article about Still in Melanesia, 14 September 1875 (File)

Further typescript extracts from a Wolverhampton newspaper, 29 June 1876 (File)

Newspaper cutting of an article entitled 'Letter from a Wolverhampton missionary in New Zealand', the letter being from John Still, Wango, San Christoval, 29 June 1876 (File)

Series. Roger Tempest, 1942 - 15 January 1965

9 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M804.

Biographical / Historical

Roger Ernest Tempest (1891-1966) graduated from Cambridge University and was ordained as a priest in 1915. He joined the Melanesian Mission in 1917. From 1918 to 1924 he was in charge of the mission at South Banks Island and from 1925 to 1934 he was warden of the theological college at Siota. He returned to England in 1934 and in later years was the rector of churches in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

Paper entitled 'Comparisons and contrasts, Melanesia and Suffolk', read to the Guild of St Mary 1939 and Saxmundham R.D. Chapter, (9pp), 1942 (File)

Tempest (Bury St Edmunds) to R. de Voil: encloses a paper entitled 'Melanesia 1877-1919'. (13pp), July 2, 1949 [?] (File)

Paper entitled 'Melanesia', (15pp), c. 1949 (File)

'George Augustus Selwyn and the foundation of the Church of the Province of New Zealand', a paper for the Bury Clerical Society (13pp), 3 February 1953 (File)

'John Coleridge Patteson', paper read at the Guild of St Mary, Ipswich (22pp), 19 February 1957 (File)

'Bishop John Selwyn', paper read at the Guild of St Mary at Charsfield (21pp), 17 October 1960 (File)

'From Dr Fox's book', a paper on Bishop Patteson (pp 1-5, 16-20), n.d. (File)

File also includes the paper 'What makes a good country parson?'.

'Memories' (typescript, 17pp), n.d. (File)

Tempest (Ipswich) to R.P. Garity, Bishop Patteson's chalice, cross and candlesticks, 15 January 1965 (File)

Series. Henry Welchman, 5 December 1887 - 10 November 1908

23 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M805-M806.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Palmer Welchman (1850-1908), who was trained as a surgeon, joined the Melanesian Mission as a doctor-missionary in 1888. He was first stationed at Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands and moved to Santa Isabel Island (Ysabel) in 1890. He was ordained a priest in 1893. He devoted much of his time to translating the Bible, Book of Common Prayer and hymns into Bugotu. He later spent most of his time at Siota on Nggela Island, where he set up a school and developed medical services. Due to poor health, he left Melanesia in 1901, but returned in 1903. He died on Santa Isabel Island.

Subseries. Correspondence, 5 December 1887 - 15 November 1896

11 items

All the letters are copies.

Welchman to his mother Charlotte Welchman: voyage of SS Orizaba (part 2 only), [28 Nov. 1887?] (File)
Welchman to Charlotte Welchman, 5 December 1887 (File)

Visit to Naples; description of Port Said, with HMS Serapis bringing home troops.

Welchman (Suez) to Charlotte Welchman, passage through Suez Canal, 8 December 1887 (File)

Details the passage through the canal. Includes an added note from the 9th of December. (Part only)

Welchman (en route to Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Wlechman., [n.d.] (File)

Details a chapel he visited and a stop at Norfolk Island to study the Melanesians there. (Part only)

Welchman (Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Welchman, 4 May 1888 (File)

Daily routine; departure of missionaries on Southern Cross; his life on Norfolk Island; visit of Lord and Lady Carrington; visiting ships.

Welchman (Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Welchman, 24 May 1888 - 16 June 1888 (File)

Departure of Dr Metcalfe for England; illnesses and deaths of Melanesians; teaching in Mota; events at the mission; tropical fruit. (part only)

Welchman (Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Welchman, n.d. (File)

Island boys; adoption of Mota; 'Norfolkers', descendants of Pitcairn Islanders. (part only)

Welchman (Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Welchman, 15 July 1888 (File)

Arrival of mail; bathing places; local happenings.

Fragment of a letter with reference to Welchman's daily life including a new place to swim, n.d. (File)
Welchman (Norfolk Island) to Charlotte Welchman, 29 July [1889?] (File)

Discusses: his first attempt at a Sunday School; he has been at Norfolk Island for over a year.

Helen Welchman (Siota) to Julia Farr, 15 November 1896 (File)

Welchman's school at Siota; behaviour of brides at their weddings; missionary work.

A.E.C. Forrest (Te Motu) to Welchman, n.d. (File)

Dangers encountered on being forced to land on enemy ground.

Fragment of a journal (1p), n.d. (File)
Poem beginning 'A sailor's life seemed nice' (2pp) (File)

Subseries. Diaries of Henry Welchman (12 vols.), 1 January 1889 - 10 November 1908

12 items

The diaries of Henry Welchman provide an extremely detailed record of his life in the Pacific Islands, as well as his later life in England. The 1892-96 diaries are held elsewhere, but apart from that gap there are entries for virtually every day, ranging from a few lines to two pages or more. The first diaries were written when he was based in Norfolk Island, but from 1890 onwards he was mainly at Santa Cruz, Santa Isabel and Nggela in the Solomon Islands. The diaries deal inter alia with his work as a doctor, teacher, printer, translator and priest, cruises among the islands including visits to the New Hebrides, journeys in the bush, classes, relations with his pupils, household chores, bread baking, cooking, gardening, conversations with Islanders, conflict and disputes between Islander groups, illnesses and deaths, arrivals and departures of ships and travellers, the school at Siota, church services, examinations of catechisms, baptisms, marriages, funerals and the ordination of deacons, fishing, bathing and cricket. There are also accounts of the long illness and departure of Bishop John Selwyn in 1890-91, Welchman's marriage to Helen Rossiter (30 July 1896), the illness and death of Helen (12 January 1897), news of the death of Bishop Selwyn (1898) and the establishment of St Luke's Central School at Siota. The later entries describe Welchman's journey to New Zealand, Australia and back to England (1901), his meetings with members of the Selwyn Family in England and his return to Santa Isabel in 1903. The last entry is dated 10 November 1908, two days before his death.

Among the many people referred to in the diaries are Arthur Brittain, Elizabeth Colenso, Richard Comins, Thomas Cullwick, William Edgell, Actaeon Forrest, John Palmer, John Plant, Bishop John Selwyn, Bishop Cecil Wilson and Charles Woodford.

Related Materials

The 1892-1895 diaries of Henry Welchman, which were held in private ownership, were microfilmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project on M728.

Diary, 1 January 1889 - 25 May 1889 (File)
Diary, 26 May 1889 - 3 March 1890 (File)
Diary, 4 March 1890 - 14 March 1891 (File)
Diary, 15 March 1891 - 23 July 1892 (File)
Diary, 16 June 1896 - 7 February 1898 (File)
Diary, 8 February 1898 - 23 September 1899 (File)
Diary, 24 September 1899 - 19 February 1901 (File)
Diary, 20 February 1901 - 17 May 1903 (File)
Diary, 18 May 1903 - 31 December 1904 (File)
Diary, 1 January 1905 - 8 February 1906 (File)
Diary, 10 September 1907 - 22 July 1908 (File)
Diary, 22 July 1908 - 10 November 1908 (File)

Series. Anonymous Papers

5 items

Manuscript draft of a projected but unpublished history of the Mission.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M806.

George Augustus Selwyn, pioneer and statesman. (pp 1-44) (File Chapter 6)

John Coleridge Patteson, linguist and martyr. (pp 45-84) (File Chapter 7)

John Richardson Selwyn, friend of Melanesians. (pp 85-121) (File Chapter 8)

Cecil Wilson, athlete and evangelist. (pp 122-63) (File Chapter 9)

The mission needs. (pp 164-67) (File Chapter 10)

Series. Miscellaneous Papers, 1847 - 1863

6 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M806.

John C. Patteson to his sister Joan Patteson, his accommodation at college, April 1847 (File)

Sister Kate (Christchurch) to Alice Comins, death of Carrie. (part only), 27 June 1897 (File)

S.J. Selwyn (Witney) to Warren, : sends a pencil sketch of his grandfather, Bishop G.A. Selwyn, 30 September 1898 (File)

Anonymous article entitled 'Norfolk Island' (typescript copy), 3 November 1863 (File)

St Patrick's School, Lolowai, New Hebrides. Vureas News (File)

Siota Newsletter, no. 1 (typescript stencil) (File)

Series. Photographs

1 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M806.

Album of Melanesian photographs (File)

15 items
Photographs of The Southern Cross and The Selwyn (Item)
A Gela bride and a crippled foot (2 photographs) (Item)
Mothercraft nurses and trainees (3 photographs) (Item)

Photograph of Mothercraft nurses and two photographs showing Mothercraft nurse trainees with infants.

Photographs of the chapel at the Mothercraft School on Malaita, a native house, and a kitchen (Item)
Native safe for food and a woman peeling yams (2 photographs) (Item)
Grating coconut (2 photographs) (Item)
Mothers' Union festival, Buala Bugolu (3 photographs) (Item)
Mrs Sprott, the founder of the Mothers' Union 'on this island' with two surviving Foundation members (2 photographs) (Item)
Photograph of mission staff and girls on Lepi and photograph of girls performing a 'clap' dance (Item)
Girls of Torgil School, New Hebrides and Mothers' Union group at Raga, New Hebrides (2 photographs) (Item)
Guadalcanal: village and native woman (2 photographs) (Item)
Photograph of infant Judah Butu (Item)
Bishop Patteson (3 photographs - 1 with George Sarawia of Mota, the first native priest) (Item)
Ino Kopuria and brothers of Melanesian Brotherhood (2 photographs) (Item)
Photograph of Bishop Patteson, photograph of Joseph Wate and 1 unidentified photograph (Item)