William Williams

William Williams

The missionary and linguist, Bishop William Williams (1800–1878), photographed late in his life.

William Williams arrived in the Bay of Islands as a missionary in 1826 and moved to the east coast of the North Island in 1839. Twenty years later he was installed as bishop of the predominantly Māori diocese of Waiapu.

While he criticised the Waitara purchase which sparked the first Taranaki War, Williams conceded the wisdom of the government subjugating ‘rebel’ Māori. However by the time of the fighting with Te Kooti in his own diocese and Tītokowaru on the west coast his views had changed. ‘All this war down to the present time [1868] has sprung out of Waitara…. As a community and as a government we have been puffed up, first with an idea that we were in the right, & secondly that we were able to put down the natives by our own strength…. We are now brought very low.’ Williams had also come to believe that confiscating land from Māori was unjust.

See also: biography of William Williams (DNZB)

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about William Williams

What do you know?

Vicky McCall

Posted: 19 Oct 2012

This was my entry in Parnell Heritage Contest in 2012...

My Name Is Victoria Jane McCall.

Samuel Charles Lanfear McCall Was My Great Great Grandfather. He Was Born In Parnell In 1863.
His Mother Was Called Clara Matilda Walker. Clara’s Mother Died When Clara Was Very Young.
She Was Brought Up By The Lanfear Family. Her Best Friend Was Emma Lanfear.
In 1853 Emma Lanfear And Clara Walker Came Out To New Zealand On The CASHMERE As Missionaries With Archdeacon [Later Bishop] William Williams. The Archdeacon Was Returning To New Zealand With Bibles Printed In Maori.
He Taught The Girls To Write And Speak Maori During The Voyage. “He also conducted a class in Maori for those who wished to learn it.”
The Trip Out Was Awful, They Left Port 3 Times:
Archdeacon Williams and his party embarked at Gravesend on the Cashmere, they left on October 24th, 1852, but met stormy weather which delayed them considerably. In April, 1853, Archdeacon Williams wrote: “The continuance of contrary winds led us to seek refuge for a time at Falmouth. There being a change for the better, we left that on 21st November, but within a few hours were met again by a south-west gale just as we had cleared the Lands End. Then we were struck by a heavy sea which carried away our bulwarks and one of our boats, and the damage was so great that we had to put back again into Plymouth and the repairs occupied a month. Again we sailed on December 23rd again to meet with adverse winds, and on 26th December we reached our Harbour again in the midst of one of the most terrific gales which had been experienced since the year 1838. The number of wrecks on every part of the Coast was fearful, and one large Brig went on shore the same evening close to the heads of the harbour, and all hands perished. Our long delay was wearing, but there seemed to be a special providence over us. At last on January 17th, 1853, we were able to get clear off.”
In consequence of these experiences several passengers left the ship and stayed in England.
The Newspaper Southern Cross Reported The Voyage As:
The Southern Cross May 10th 1853
The fine ship 'Cashmere', Captain Pearson, arrived in harbour, from Plymouth yesterday, with eighty five passengers. A rather unusual interest is attached to the 'Cashmere', in consequence of the extreme length between the departure from Gravesend and her final arrival here. We have much pleasure in placing before our readers the facts connected with this procrastinated passage. The 'Cashmere' sailed from Gravesend 22nd of October. She on the 24th November encountered a severe gale, which occasioned the loss of bulwarks, stanchions, boats. Under such circumstances she was compelled to return, reaching Plymouth on the 26th. After having undergone a refit, she sailed from Plymouth on the 17th of January,
We are happy to welcome back to our shores Archdeacon W. Williams. During the passage, two deaths and one birth occurred; one of the deaths was an adult named Wright, who leaves a widow and three young children to lament their loss; the other death was an infant.
Once In New Zealand The Girls Went To Work At The Thames Mission Station Working For The Reverend Thomas Lanfear [Emma Lanfear’s Brother].

Emma Lanfear Married another Missionary The Reverend Carl Volkner.

Clara Walker Married Charles Hartley McCall Who Worked At the Mission {He Had Come To New Zealand With The 58th Regiment And Fought At Ruapekapeka In 1845]. But She Was Always Known To The Maori People As Missy Walker. She Helped The Maori People With Native Land Court Problems.

My Great Great Grandfather Was Born In Parnell Because It Had Become To Dangerous For Them To Stay At The Mission Because Of The Hau Hau. The Local Maori Had Told Them They Were Not Safe.

The Reverend Carl Volkner Was Samuel Charles Lanfear McCall’s Godfather.

In Early 1865 Reverend Volkner Had Taken His Wife To Auckland For Safety But Ignoring Warnings, He Left Auckland For Opotiki Again On 29 February 1865 On The Trading Schooner ‘Eclipse’.

He Arrived In Öpötiki District From Auckland On 1 March 1865, Accompanied By Fellow Missionary Thomas Grace, To Help Care For Victims Of A Recent Typhoid Epidemic Which Had Claimed The Lives Of Many Mäori In The District.

The Reverend Volkner Got His Head Chopped Off And His Eyes Scraped Out And Eaten.
Kereopa It Was Who Put The Reverend C. S. Volker To Death At Opotiki In 1865 And Swallowed His Eyes.
Kai-Whatu Became His Second Name, The Eater Of Eyes.

'Savage Dance, Pai Marire – Volkner's Death Mar. 21st 1865'
Illustrated London News in July 1865. Note Incorrect date for the murder. (Should be 2 March.)
Völkner's frequent visits to Auckland had raised suspicions that he was acting as a government spy. After his most recent trip to Auckland he had been warned to not go to the mission at Opotiki. He ignored this and returned with fellow missionary Thomas Grace on 1 March 1865. Both were taken prisoner.
Grace witnessed the murder. Völkner was hanged from a tree near his church by members of his own congregation, Te Whakatohea. His head was then cut off and many of those present either tasted his blood or smeared it on their faces. Kereopa Te Rau swallowed Völkner's eyes, describing one eye as 'Parliament' and the other as the 'Queen and English law'
The Maori assembled that evening in the Church, where the head of Rev.Volkner was placed on the pulpit, and they performed a savage dance before it, yelling and screaming with the utmost fury.
Amongst those executed for the murder, a local Whakatohea chief, Mokomoko, was maybe wrongly executed and tribal land was confiscated by the British as punishment. He was hanged and buried at the old Auckland jail. He was later reburied at Mt Eden Prison.
The Lanfear Family Died Out. Mrs Emma Volkner {Whose health was not good] Returned To England Heartbroken. The Reverend Thomas Lanfear was by 1865 a worn out sick man, he left New Zealand with a sad heart. His children all died young.

Samuel Charles Lanfear McCall Had 2 Daughters and 4 Sons. He Became A Justice Of The Peace And Died In Auckland Hospital In 1944.