2.1 Reverend Watson's Letters - Annotations

  1. Watson sailed from London on the 262 tonne barque Sir William Wallace, to Sydney via the Cape under a Master “Center/Carter”, arriving 1 May 1832. Its passengers included “23 Chelsea pensioners”. It was they, presumably, and perhaps the crew, whom Watson described as “sinners of the grossest class”. Watson’s colleague, J.C.S. Handt, had travelled to NSW on a convict transport (see Handt Letter 3, 27 April 1830). [Return to page 1]
  2. Reverend J.Norman Pearson, first Principal (1825-1838) of the Islington College of the Church Missionary Society. The Islington College was established to provide training for non-graduates, such as Watson, to prepare them for their missionary Ministry. There was, initially, considerable resistance to the ordination of non-graduates to the Anglican ministry. Students from the Basle Seminary, such as J.C.S. Handt and James Günther who went to Wellington Valley, were included in the first Islington intake. See Stock, II.70-81. [Return to page 1] [Return to page 3]
  3. “For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107: 25-30. [Return to page 1]
  4. The story of Ephraim and Manasseh is told in Genesis 48. Joseph brings his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to Jacob to be blessed. Jacob says they will be equal in status to any of his own sons. He blesses them and predicts that Ephraim, the younger, would be mightier than the firstborn Manasseh. [Return to page 2]
  5. Romans 4: 7-8. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (King James Version). [Return to page 2]
  6. “cuddy”: ship’s cabin where officers and cabin passengers take their meals (abaft and under the roundhouse). [Return to page 3]
  7. John Herring (or Henry) Boughton and his wife, Charlotte M. Westbrook. Boughton had land on the southern bank of the channel at `Reid’s Mistake’ (now Swansea), where his assigned servants operated a saltworks, though his `estate’ or primary residence was at `Tillimbi’ (Paterson) in the Hunter Valley (see WellPro Directory). Lake Macquarie, Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake, was located in 1800 by Captain William Reid of the Martha. Reid sailed into the entrance channel, mistaking it for the Hunter River. Keith H. Clouten, Reid’s Mistake: The Story of Lake Macquarie from its Discovery until 1890 (Lake Macquarie Council 1967). [Return to page 3]
  8. Thelkeld’s original mission station was just north of Boughton’s land at `Bahtahbah’ (now Belmont). However, at the time the Sir William Wallace was sailing to NSW, Threlkeld was establishing himself on his grant at `Ebenezer’ on the opposite side of the Lake (around Toronto-Coal Point). [Return to page 3]
  9. The 235 ton barque, Science, sailed from London to Australia via the Cape in 1831-32, arriving in Hobart Town on 7 February 1832. On board were the Quaker Missionaries, James Backhouse and George Walker, who later visited the Wellington Valley mission from 19-29 September 1835 (see WellPro Directory). The Science sank in a storm in June 1832, shortly after leaving the Derwent. See James Backhouse, A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies, London, 1843. [Return to page 3]
  10. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was founded by the Church Of England and began work in India in 1710. It sent missionaries to North America and the West Indies in the ensuing decades. [Return to page 3]
  11. Reverend Edward John Burrow, DD, FRS (1785-1861), acting Military Chaplain at Cape Town (1832-34) and member of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Cape Town and Wynberg (1831-33) (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 3]
  12. From this point, this letter is written across the page in red ink. [Return to page 3]
  13. Reverend Dr John Phillip or Philip (1775-1851), Resident Director of the London Missionary Society and Superintendent of Missions in South Africa (1820-49) (see WellPro Directory). Phillip’s residence, where Reverend Watson stayed in 1832, was at Mission House in Church Square, next to the Mission Chapel where Phillip was Minister. P Philip, British Residents at the Cape 1795-1819 (Cape Town: D. Philip, 1981), pp.324-5. [Return to page 3]
  14. Reverend Phillip’s wife was Jane Ross, a native of Aberdeen. They were married at Aberdeen in October 1809. She died in October 1847. P Philip, British Residents at the Cape 1795-1819 (Cape Town: D. Philip, 1981), pp.324. [Return to page 3]
  15. Reverend George Hough, MA (1787-1867), Colonial Chaplain of Cape Town from 1817 (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 3]
  16. Reverend Edward John Burrow, DD, FRS (1785-1861), acting Military Chaplain at Cape Town (1832-34) and member of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Cape Town and Wynberg (1831-33) (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 3]
  17. Reverend James Constantine Adamson (1797-1875), Presbyterian Minister, missionary, theologian and mathematician, Minister of St Andrew’s, Cape Town (1827-1841) (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 3]
  18. Reverend Beck of the NGK (Dutch Reformed Church), 18th Century. ??? [Return to page 3]
  19. The Governor of the Cape Colony in 1832 was Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole (1772-1842), an Irishman and former Governor of Mauritius (1823-1828). His administration (1828-1833) saw the reappearance of the suppressed South African Commercial Advertiser and the founding of the South African College. Eric Rosenthal, Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa [Return to page 3]
  20. The American missionary, George Champion, at Cape Town three years after Reverend Watson, also “attended the anniversary of the Infant School Society of Cape Town”. Patronised by the Governor, it catered for around “70 or 80 children of every cast of complexion from jet black to perfect white”, though its funds were dwindling and “interest in the school was rather declining”. It was essentially a missionary undertaking, championed by men like Reverend Dr Phillip and Reverend Dr Adamson, with support “only among the intelligent English in town”. Its guiding principle was to “teach the children the English Language, in order that in the course of 2 or 3 generations the native language may be extirpated … [and] all the stores of literature, science & religion that there are in the English tongue may be laid at their feet”. It was hoped this “experiment” would preclude the need for learning and translating native languages, which so engaged the Wellington Valley missionaries. George Champion, The Journal of an American Missionary in the Cape Colony 1835 (South African Library). [Return to page 3]
  21. The nature and location of this institution remains undetermined. There are a number of references in the SA Archives to a School of Industry dating from 1830, given as operating from 16 Roeland Street in District 6 of Cape Town. This may be that described by Nigel Worden in Cape Town: The Making of a City (1995) as “a school of industry funded by the Ladies' Benevolent Society … opened in 1824 for girls between 5 and 12 years 'whose parents are destitute of the means of procuring them other instruction'. Education 'suited for their station in life' was provided and consisted of reading and writing as well as needle-work and sewing. This had a dual purpose since 'plain work is taken in at a very moderate price, the profits arising from it contributing to the support of the school.' By the late 1820s, daughters of free blacks and slaves were being admitted." N. Worden, Cape Town: the making of a city (Cape Town : David Philip, 1995), pp.135-6. [Return to page 3]
  22. James Ridsdale died of cholera at Madras after 11 1/2 years of service to the Society. CMS Register, no.62. [Return to page 3]
  23. Reverend David Wilson, vicar of Islington in 1824, later Bishop of Calcutta. Wilson established the Islington CMS Association in 1828 (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 3]
  24. Presumably Reverend J.N. Pearson, first Principal (1825-1838) of the Islington College of the Church Missionary Society. [Return to page 3]
  25. Joseph Matthews trained with Watson at the CMS College in 1830 and was originally intended to be Watson’s colleague for the NSW mission. While in Sydney, Matthews formed a strong friendship with J.C.S. Handt, but he left for New Zealand several weeks before Watson arrived (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 5]
  26. See Handt to Woodrooffe and Coates, 30 July 1832 (Handt Letter 7, p.1). Handt feared the Watsons had “met with a sad accident”. [Return to page 6]
  27. “Quire” : ie. sheets of writing paper, folded as a booklet [Return to page 11]
  28. Should this be David Wilson ?????? [Return to page 11]
  29. Governor Bourke’s wife died at Parramatta in May 1832 [Return to page 13]
  30. Mary Crook was the eldest daughter of the missionary, William Pascoe Crook. She had only recently returned to the colony after 14 years in Tahiti. (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 13]
  31. Watson is referring to the second instalment (October-December 1832) of his quarterly Journal. The first annual “Report” of the mission was not submitted until the end of 1833. [Return to page 17]
  32. Dennis Rogers, emancipist, Principal Overseer of Government Stock, Wellington Valley (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 17]
  33. The British medical journal, The Lancet, commenced publishing in [??]. Issues which Watson might have had with him, included coverage of ‘The Venereal'. The CMS had recommended that both Watson and Handt undertake medical training at Islington from a Mr P. Fernandez before departing for NSW, though the offer seems to have been withdrawn in Handt’s case. The training delayed Watson’s departure from England for several crucial months, but would make a decisive contribution to Watson’s missionary endeavours at Wellington Valley. [Return to page 17]
  34. If Watson was able to affect cures with the application of "Calomel" the disease he treats is probably not what he has diagnosed. [Return to page 18]
  35. This, presumably, is Henry Williams, ordained in 1822 for New Zealand, and leading missionary in the Bay of Islands, Died at Paihia, 16 July 1867 after 45 years of service. CMS Register, no.75. [Return to page 18]
  36. ... refer to records of the government establishments … [Return to page 19]
  37. Presbyterian divine, Richard Baxter (1615-1691). Though too late for Watson, a large volume drawn from the autobiographical ‘Reliquiae Baxterianae’ was published in London in 1834: The Christian and Ministerial Life of the Rev. Richard Bazter, taken principally from the account written by himself (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1834). [Return to page 20]
  38. George Horne (1730-1792), bishop of Norwich, published ‘Commentary on the Psalms’ in 1771. The BL has a copy of the twelffth edition, published in 1825 by G. B. Whittaker, which Watson may have known. [Return to page 20]
  39. Beauties of Dwight; or, Dr Dwight's System of Theology, abridged. with a sketch of his life . . . and an essay on his writings, etc., 4 vols. (London: F. Westley, 1823). [Return to page 20]
  40. This letter appears in the AJCP copy of the Watson papers, but could not be located in the original bundle in Birmingham. Nor does it appear in AJCP M215 with the correspondence of the Sydney CMS (CMS C.N./O 5a). [Return to page 23]
  41. Hill to Watson and Handt, 8 January 1834, CMS C.N./O 5a. [Return to page 23]
  42. The London Moravians had a mission in Greenland. The Basel Society was also a strong promotor of linguistic accomplishment as a prerequisit to conversion. Jesuits the pioneers of this activity. [Return to page 25]
  43. See Watson to Coates, 31 December 1832 (Watson Letter 5, p.4), where Watson solicits “more books on Divinity” to strengthen his preaching. [Return to page 26]
  44. Richard Reece (1775-1831) published a number of popular guides to family medicine. Watson may be referring to Richard Reece, The Domestic Medical Guide, or, Complete companion to the family medicine chest., New ed. (London: Longman & Rees, 1803) or Richard Reece, A Description of Family Medicine Chests . . . with their contents as adapted to different climates (London: S. Highley, 1807). [Return to page 26]
  45. Stock, i. 72 notes that the employment of “catechists” or lay missionaries was first proposed in 1799, though “Christian artisans” were not sent out until 1809, when two “lay settlers”, William Hall, a joiner, and John King, a shoemaker, were sent to New Zealand. The Wellington Valley mission, after repeated demands from the missionaries, was allocated the services of an “agriculturalist”, William Porter. [Return to page 27]
  46. Thomas Chapman was posted by the CMS to Paihia, New Zealand as Lay Agent in 1830. Later ordained by Bishop of New Zealand, he worked in the Rotorua District for 30 years He died in 1876. CMS Record, no. 155. [Return to page 27]
  47. Hole in manuscript [Return to page 27]
  48. Two other stamps illegible. [Return to page 28]
  49. William Jowett (1787-1855) was a brilliant scholar and an early CMS missionary in the Mediterranean from 1815-30. He was appointed ‘Clerical Secretary’ of the CMS in 1832. He resigned in 1840 and took up a parish. CMS Register, no.24 Stock describes him as "faithful and tender-spirited" and thoroughly over-shadowed by the Lay Secretary, Dandeson Coates. Stock, I.252; II.40 [Return to page 29]
  50. Watson’s comments here reflect the reality of pre-Victorian missions. See Hilary M. Carey, “Mission failure” etc. NAMP seminar. [Return to page 31]
  51. Watson’s Diaries 3 (April-July 1836) and 4 (July-September 1836), were both received by the Parent Committee on 29 June 1837. [Return to page 31]
  52. These letters, if they were sent, were not held back in Sydney and do not now appear among Watson’s CMS papers. [Return to page 36]
  53. Watson is referring to the Aboriginal girl “Maria”. [Return to page 36]
  54. Stokes, i. 91 notes that of the first 24 missionaries sent out by the CMS in its first 15 years, 17 were Germans. [Return to page 37]