Artefacts owned by John Williams sold at auction

News banner The Massacre of the Lamented Missionary the Revd J Williams and Mr Harris 1841 credit George Baxter 1804 1867 WikiCommonsAn ula throwing club and a Maori canoe bailer, brought back from the South Pacific by the Revd John Williams, a missionary with the London Missionary Society (LMS), have been sold at auction for thousands of pounds.

The items, which sold for £1,200 and £9,500 respectively, had remained in Mr Williams’ family since his death in 1839 at the hands of the indigenous population of the island of Erromango, Vanuatu. During an attempt to spread news of the Gospel, Mr Williams, along with fellow missionary James Harris, was beaten, killed, and eaten, by islanders who had been previously mistreated by the crew of a trading ship.

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