1838: Wesleyan missionaries John Hunt and Hannah Summers in Fiji: description of records held in Mitchell Library- Sydney

1838: Wesleyan missionaries John Hunt and Hannah Summers in Fiji: description of records held in Mitchell Library- Sydney. Reference code(s): GB 0102 MMS Boxes 649-650 Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies

Title: Hunt, John Date(s): 1833-1938

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 2 boxes

Name of creator(s): Hunt | John | 1812-1848 | missionary


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1812; educated in a parish school; farm labourer from c1822; became a Methodist, c1828; studied in his spare time and became a preacher at Swinderby and Potter Hanworth, Lincolnshire; went to study at the Wesleyan Theological Institution, Hoxton, 1835; was ordained and married Hannah Summers (b 1812), 1838; Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society missionary to Fiji, 1838-1848; worked in Rewa, Somosomo, Lakemba, and Viwa (Vewa), travelling to visit various mission stations on the Fijian islands; worked on the translation of the Bible, completing the New Testament and beginning the Old Testament; knowledgeable about Fijian culture; his evangelistic work was successful and he was instrumental in the conversion of the warrior Varani, 1845; died of dysentery, 1848; buried at Viwa; survived by his wife and children, including their eldest daughter, Eliza-Ann, and their second daughter, Hannah, who married Lewis Richings.

Publications: Memoir of the Rev W Cross … missionary to the Friendly and Feejee Islands; with a short notice of the early history of the Missions (1846); Entire Sanctification (1853); the Fijian New Testament, published as Ai Vola ni Veiyalayalati Vou ni noda turaga kei na nodai vakabula ko Jisu Kraisiti (1853), was largely his work, and the whole Bible was published as Ai Vola Tabu, a ya e tu kina na Veiyalayalati Makawa, kei na Veiyalayalati Vou (1858-1864).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1833-1938, of and relating to John Hunt and his family, comprising correspondence, 1833-1868, of John and Hannah Hunt, the correspondents mainly family members but including some other missionaries; ‘scrapbook’ kept at the Wesleyan Theological Institution, Hoxton, commencing 1835, containing entries by Hunt on religious subjects; certificates, 1838, of ordination and oath of allegiance; Hunt’s journals, 1838-1848, including the journey to Fiji and life and work there, one volume including an autobiographical account of his early life and religious experiences; Hunt’s sermon notes and religious writings, largely undated [1830s-1840s], including a volume presented to R B Lyth, 1842; poems by Hunt, including some Fijian verses, undated; Hunt’s manuscript memoir of the Rev William Cross [1843-1844]; pen believed to have belonged to John Hunt; photographic copies of a portrait of Hunt; the first Tongan Bible [published in 1839], with an inscription regarding its provenance, 1842; printed letter by James Calvert on Hunt’s death, 1848; biographical account of Hunt [by R B Lyth] [after 1848]; notebook [of Hannah Hunt], some entries inscribed E A Hunt and dated 1860, including notes on Lincolnshire and other English localities, the Scriptures, poetry, Shakespeare, and history; notebook of poems from Elsie and Hannah Hunt to their mother [Hannah Hunt], 1875; photograph [of Hannah Hunt]; miscellaneous papers of Hannah Hunt Richings, 1864-1881, including photographs of her and her husband Lewis, undated; notebook of Eliza-Ann Hunt, containing diary entries, 1874-1888, and other entries including poetry and stories; papers, 1920-1938, including letters, press cuttings, and notes, relating to John Hunt, his work in Fiji, and his Lincolnshire connections.


Language/scripts of material: English, Fijian and Tongan

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Unrestricted, but only to be viewed on microfiche. Originals to be consulted only with written agreement from the Methodist Church.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.


Archival history:

The papers were deposited with the Methodist Missionary Society and form part of the special series of biographical papers of individual missionaries.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the Methodist Missionary Society from 1978.


Existence and location of copies:

Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers (SOAS ref: Fiche Box Number Special Series 36-7). Microfilm in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Australia.

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/WMMS), including a letter from J Hunt and R Lyth in Vewa, 1844 (Ref: MMS/WMMS Australasia Correspondence Fiji).

Manchester University, Methodist Archives and Research Centre, holds Hunt’s memoranda book and diary, 1836-1837. The National Library of New Zealand, Alexander Turnbull Library, holds seven volumes of Hunt’s journal and sermons, 1841-1848.


Archivist’s note: Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998); Alphabetical Arrangement of Wesleyan Methodist Ministers (1847); Wesleyan Methodist Church Minutes of Conference (1849), pp 180-1; National Register of Archives; British Library OPAC

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: