Missionary David Cargill: biographical timeline

Wesleyan missionary David Cargill died in Tonga, age 34.  His first wife , Margaret, died age 30, in Fiji, after  the birth of her 6th child, over  7 years of marriage.

20 June 1809: David Cargill was born in Brechin, Forfarshire, Scotland on 20 June 1809, the second son of James Cargill, a banker, and Grace Mary Cameron Cargill.

1830: graduated MA. He graduated MA from King’s College, Aberdeen in 1830. Whilst studying in Aberdeen he joined the Aberdeen Methodist Circuit

1831:  admitted to the church as a preacher.

1832:   first missionary appointment for the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, to Tonga, in the South Pacific.

1832: He married Margaret Smith (1809-1840), of Aberdeen on 6 September 1832 in Old Machar parish, Aberdeen, and left the country with his wife in October that year. They worked together on Vava’u, Tonga with another missionary for three years, during an important period of Christian development and revival.

( date?) The Cargills then moved with their young family and other missionaries to the Fiji Islands, where Christian influence was minimal. Margaret died there on 2 June 1840, and David Cargill, griefstricken, returned to Britain for a short while with their four daughters.

27 November 1841: He remarried on 27 November 1841, to Augusta Bicknell, and shortly afterwards was re-appointed to a training mission on Tonga.

30 April 1842: Cargill, his new wife, four daughters and their governess sailed for Hobart, Tasmania, aboard the Haidee. His children became seriously ill with measles during the voyage, but survived;

11 August 1842:  his son David was born aboard ship on 11 August 1842. During the voyage Cargill preached to his fellow passengers; the ship arrived at Hobart in late August of 1842. Cargill preached at many settlements in Tasmania, including Port Arthur.

15th December 1842: Cargills again set sail, this time on board the Triton, bound for their final destination of Tonga.

21 January 1843 Triton arrived at Vava’u in Tonga : Cargill took over the superintendancy of the Vava’u Wesleyan mission from Peter Turner, and spent the next three months preaching at various mission stations, but was struck by dengue fever, leading to severe exhaustion. This illness, combined with continuing grief for the loss of his first wife, deepened the depression to which he was prone;

25 April 1843: died of an overdose of laudanum on.
http://www.mundus.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search?coll_id=1038&inst_id=52&keyword=Tonga

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25 April 1843: did Wesleyan missionary David Cargill, die in Tonga, of a self-administered overdose of opium?

laudanum-bottle at http://19thcenturyartofmourning.com/19th_century_laudanum_bottle.htm
Two versions exist of the death of David Cargill; in one, he dies of smallpox, and , the other, an over dose of laudanum (liquid opium). Cargill’s diaries – and other reports of him – show he wore a high sense of self-importance. He was perhaps, at first, tempered by the mild manner and community-popularity of his first wife, Margaret. David Cargill married again; but remained obsessed with his first wife; a woman who appeared to require, and retain, a saintly patience. The possibility of suicide appears implied in reportage.
The smallpox death-theory: ‘Cargill set foot once again in Vavou on 21st February 1843. On 29th March he preached twice in Tonguese and once in English. Within a month he was dead, succumbing to smallpox on 25th April’. wrote J. Malcolm Bulloch, in June, 1921.

The Dengue fever theory : http://www.mundus.ac.uk reported  ‘Cargill took over the superintendancy of the Vava’u Wesleyan mission from Peter Turner, and spent the next three months preaching at various mission stations, but was struck by dengue fever, leading to severe exhaustion. This illness, combined with continuing grief for the loss of his first wife, deepened the depression to which he was prone; he died of an overdose of laudanum on 25 April 1843’.
http://www.mundus.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search?coll_id=1038&inst_id=52&keyword=Tonga
“Laudanum”: The common name for Tincture of Opium, and the form in which that drug is most frequently administered. . . It is narcotic, sedative, and being made with spirit, is also, to a certain extent, stimulant and anti-spasmodic. For relieving pain, wherever situated, to diminish irritation, and to procure sleep, it is the best of the medicines we possess.” (From: The Family Doctor, a Dictionary of Domestic Medicine and Surgery, by a Dispensary Surgeon. London, c.1860) More, Small pox reference: (J. Malcolm Bulloch, June, 1921.)An Aberdeen graduate as pioneer in Fiji by J Malcolm Bulloch from the Aberdeen University Review, June 1921 http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/Cargill/Aberdeen.html