The Rev. Robert Burrows,
late secretary of the Church Missionary Society, was born at Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, in 1812, his father being Mr. T. Burrows, builder. He gained his primary education in his native county, and afterwards received tuition under the Rev. Dr. Williams, rector of Woodchester, Gloucestershire. In 1836 Mr. Burrows went to the Church Missionary Society's College, Islington, for ministerial training as a missionary. He was ordained deacon in 1838, and priest at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1839, by the late Bishop Blom-field, of London. Leaving England for the Bay of Islands in September, 1839, he was the first missionary to arrive in the Colony after the signing of the “Treaty of Waitangi,” and laboured for some years chielly in the Bay of Islands district. Revisiting England in 1853, he returned to New Zealand two years later as secretary of the Church Missionary Society for the Colony, supervising the affairs of the society until 1894, when he resigned in consequence of advanced age and failing health. The reverend gentleman, during his long and exciting career, was instrumental in bringing about a meeting between Hone Heke, the famous rebellious chief (who was responsible for the war of 1845), and Governor Grey. Mr. Burrows published an interesting diary, relating his
experiences and interviews with Hone Heke and referring to one of the greatest crises in the early history of the colonisation of this country. It was printed at the suggestion
of the late Sir William Martin, who suggested that its contents would form an interesting leaf for a future “History of New Zealand.” The Rev. Mr. Burrows passed away in Auckland on the 23rd of July, 1897, at the ripe old age of eighty-four.