Matthews, Joseph ( - 1892)

Born: England (Oxfordshire)

CMS catechist/missionary; graduate of the CMS Islington college; in Sydney 1832, thereafter a missionary in New Zealand.


Career Highlights

Joseph Matthews, a weaver from Deddington, Oxfordshire, trained with Watson at the CMS College in 1830 and was originally intended to be Watson’s colleague for the NSW mission. Matthews arrived in Sydney in September 1831, living and working for some months with Reverend J.C.S. Handt. Matthews was directed to roorganise the Infant and Sunday schools "in order to put them on an equal footing with the Schools in England", and Handt notes the important work done by Matthews in this regard (Handt Letter 6). Matthews departed for New Zealand on the Porcupine, May 1832, arriving in Waimate on 18 March 1832(?). He went on to serve as a missionary for 52 years and died, at Kaitaia, on 18 August 1892, aged 80 (CMS Register, no. 168).

Matthews only wrote one letter to the CMS while in Sydney, dated 30 September 1831, two weeks after he arrived, with only two paragraphs describing his time in Sydney. He also recounts a five week stay in Hobart, where he met Governor Arthur who "spoke in the most feeling manner about the poor Natives of V.D.Land". (Matthews to Coates, 30 September 1831, CN/O61a). In an earlier letter from Rio de Janerio he described his uncomfotable and eventful passage on the convict transport Argyle (Matthews to Coates, 28 May 1831, CN/O61a).


Matthews' voluminous fifty year correspondence from New Zealand is in the CMS papers at CN/O61a-b.