Story: Missions and missionaries

A Methodist missionary writes

Samuel Leigh arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1822 to head the country's first Methodist mission at Kaeo, Northland. In this letter, dated 5 April 1822, he describes witnessing the funeral of a child in a tribe of 'heathen' (non-Christian) Māori:

'The parents of the deceased appeared to be very sorrowfull. The Mother had cut herself all over the face, hands and legs to such a degree that she was covered with blood: she sat opposite the intered body with her head bowed down supported with her hands and covered with a matt, and a piece of cloth over her head. Her father said to me that he was very sorry in his heart for the life of his child.'

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Samuel Leigh Collection
Reference: MS-Papers-0335

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter J. Lineham, 'Missions and missionaries - Methodist, Catholic and other missions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 July 2024)

Story by Peter J. Lineham, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Aug 2018