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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

WILLIAMS, Rev. Henry 1782–1867

WILLIAMS, Rev. Henry 1782–1867

Born Nottingham; in Royal Navy as midshipman on active service. Retired on account of health, married Marianne Coldham 1818, was ordained 1822. In 1823 sailed for New Zealand, established the Church Mission at Paihia where he worked forty years. Did much to diminish harsh and barbarous Maori customs and was of great page 256 influence in persuading chiefs to sign Treaty of Waitangi. In 1844 appointed Archdeacon of Waimate. His influence abated many dangerous situations during Heke's war. Sir George Grey was hostile to missionaries and in a report to the Colonial Secretary accused them, and especially Williams, of starting conflicts and grabbing land. Williams's demand for an enquiry was refused and his reputation suffered. The CMS severed relations with him 1849 though he was actively supported by many of the Maoris. In 1851 his brother William Williams went to England, interceded for him and in 1854 at the request of both Bishop Selwyn and Governor Grey, who had somewhat changed his opinion, he was reinstated, the committee affirming their confidence in “his integrity and stirling character” and this led to his rehabilitation in public opinion. Made many drawings of great historical worth. A collection of them in AIML.