Voyage on the Missionary Ship “John Williams”

R. Wardlaw Thompson [1842-1916], My Trip on the "John Williams"There were seven missionary ships operated in the Pacific Ocean by the London Missionary Society called John Williams, named after the British missionary (1796 – 20 November 1839). The first John Williams sank in 1864, so the voyage described in this book is, presumably, on one of the later ships. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this book to scan. This title is in the Public Domain.

Wikipedia has a short article on the ships that needs expanding – if you wish to add this book to its bibliography, please link to this page rather than directly to the PDF below.

R. Wardlaw Thompson [1842-1916], My Trip on the “John Williams”. London: Missionary Society, 1900. Hbk. pp.208. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  1. Our Start – Brisbane to Kwato
  2. At Kwato
  3. Milne Bay to Isulailai
  4. In the Kerepunu District
  5. At Kalo and Hula
  6. Vatorata
  7. Delena and Jokea
  8. The Fly River and the Islands
  9. Port Moresby, and Farewell
  10. In the Loyalty Islands and Erromanga
  11. Fiji and Niué
  12. In the Cook Islands
  13. In the Cook Islands (Continued)
  14. In the Samoan Group


It has been a great pleasure to write for those who collected the money for building the John Williams, and who meet the cost of working it, the following brief record of a delightful tour. Our Mission steamer cost a great deal to build, and she costs twice as much as the old barque to maintain. But my voyage made three things very clear:- (1) Such a vessel is necessary if the work of the Mission is to be properly done; (2) the work is worth all the expenditure; (3) the vessel is admirably suited for the purpose for which she has been built. [Continue reading]

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