Cannibal sufferer missionary John Williams’s artefacts bought

Death of John WilliamsPicture copyright
Dukes Auctions

Picture caption

John Williams and fellow missionary James Harris had been killed and eaten in Vanuatu in 1839

Gadgets introduced again from the South Pacific by a Victorian missionary who was battered to dying and eaten by cannibals on a later journey have been bought at public sale.

An ula throwing membership and a Maori canoe bailer held by descendants of missionary John Williams had been bought for £1,200 and £7,600.

Mr Williams and fellow missionary James Harris had been killed in Vanuatu in 1839.

The canoe bailer went for greater than 4 occasions its estimated worth.

They had been purchased by personal collectors at public sale in Dorchester, Dorset.

Mr Williams and his spouse Mary travelled on their first missionary expedition to the South Pacific in 1817.

They visited Tahiti and different island chains together with the Prepare dinner Islands to unfold Christianity, and had been the primary missionary household to go to Samoa.

Picture copyright
Dukes Auctions

Picture caption

The Maori canoe bailer was bought for £7,600

On their return to Britain in 1834, Mr Williams supervised the printing of his translation of the New Testomony into the Rarotongan language of the Prepare dinner Islands.

He returned to the South Pacific a number of years later and determined to go to Erromango, Vanuatu, then often known as the New Hebrides.

‘Very evocative’

Nevertheless, the indigenous inhabitants, who had beforehand been mistreated by the crew of a buying and selling ship, chased them earlier than beating them to dying and consuming them.

In 2009 the descendants of Mr Williams went to the islands the place locals apologised on behalf of their ancestors.

The membership and canoe bailer had been introduced again by Mr Williams on his earlier journey to the south Pacific had remained with the household.

John Holmes from the Dukes Auctions saleroom stated the objects had been “very evocative and have this nice provenance”.

“Objects from these islands are sometimes troublesome up to now and authenticate, however with these we all know the place they have been since they had been introduced again by Williams.

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