2 March 1844; Missionary John Watsford left Sydney with his wife in the Triton

The son of a convict, and borne in Australian in 1822, Missionary John Watsford rose to president of the General Conference of the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1878. He had  the unusual position as of an Australian-born Wesleyan; most others were English-born. His father was pardoned convict. Appointed to the Wesleyan Mission in Fiji, age 24, Watsford left Sydney with his wife in the Triton on 2 March 1844. Taking two years to learn the language, he was stationed at Viwa, Lakemba and Nadi, where he established and taught in schools, held revival meetings, and dispensed medical aid.
Born on 5 December 1820 in Australia: John Watsford, Wesleyan minister, was born on 5 December 1820 at Parramatta, New South Wales, son of James Watsford and his wife Jane, née Johns. James had arrived in the colony in the Guildford in 1812, transported for life for horse-stealing.
Conversion: converted to Wesleyanism by Rev. S. Leigh, he was pardoned in 1826 and became coachman to H. H. Macarthur, but set up on his own as one of the first royal mail coachmen in New South Wales. John was educated at The King’s School, Parramatta, and later taught there. He was converted in 1838 at a prayer meeting conducted by Rev. D. Draper, and in 1841 was accepted by the British Wesleyan Conference as a probationer for the ministry. Because of lack of facilities he received no formal theological education, but at his ordination he was the first Australian-born minister of the conference.
14 children: On 8 February 1844 he married Elizabeth Jones at Windsor; they had seven sons and seven daughters, of whom James and Frederick became Wesleyan ministers and Emma married Rev. Benjamin Danks, pioneer missionary in New Britain.
Leaves on Triton on 2 March 1844: Appointed to the Wesleyan Mission in Fiji, Watsford left Sydney with his wife in the Triton on 2 March 1844. Taking two years to learn the language, he was stationed at Viwa, Lakemba and Nadi, where he established and taught in schools, held revival meetings, and dispensed medical aid. ” Because of illness among his family he returned to Australia to circuit work in the Moreton Bay District in 1850, but at the request of the Missionary Committee went back to Fiji in 1851 and with Rev. J. Calvert spent three years translating the New Testament into Fijian.
Returning to Sydney in December 1853, Watsford was appointed to circuits. An able administrator, in 1875 he was appointed general secretary of the newly formed Wesleyan Home Mission, of which he had been a chief founder, and he traversed Victoria raising funds to set up churches in the remote south-east and north-west. His election as president of the General Conference of the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1878 reflected the wide respect he commanded.
http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A060387b.htm

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April 1844: Wesleyan religious conversion fails in Somosomo and Thomas Williams turns to anthropological research: starts work which will lead to “Fiji and the Fijians”

English Wesleyan missionary, Thomas Williams, in his Journal under date 10 April 1844 he writes: “Commenced the first of a series of chapters on the customs, etc., of Feejee. I labour in concert with Bro. Lyth.”
Missionary turns anthropologist: “This is an important entry. It marks the beginning of a course of careful investigations that ended in the publication of Fiji and the Fijians fourteen years later. Up to the date of this entry Williams had displayed a lively interest in native customs and beliefs, and many valuable observations had been made in his letters to his father, and recorded in his Notes on the Fijians; but it was from April 1844 that he became the man whom Dr Lyth described as “my observant colleague who is always all-eye and all-ear.”
” a born anthropologist”: “The born anthropologist soon realized that he had found congenial work, and every year after this up to the time he left Somosomo found him more and more absorbed in it. That was a piece of rare good fortune for Thomas Williams coming, as it did, so soon after his arrival at Somosomo. There was little chance of doing effective religious work in that Circuit. The natives almost to a man declined to abandon their heathen worship; and had Williams found no other outlet for his energy, his spiritual acquiescence in the will of God, sustaining as it was, would not of itself have saved him from chafing, disappointment and discontent.

A man who needed a work:” To be at peace in his mind Thomas Williams needed not only a spiritual conviction, but also a definite lasting work on which he could exercise the gifts that Nature had bestowed upon him. There was nothing of the dilettante in his nature} the urge to do and to do well was strong within him. Work, continuous work, was necessary even for his bodily health. His medical practice, translation of parts of the Bible, philanthropic work and the voyages he made in canoes helped to fill in time; but intermittent work was not enough. What he needed was some absorbing occupation that had in it the quality of permanence and the prospect of success. Such an occupation he found in anthropological research”.
The Journal Of Thomas Williams, Missionary In Fiji, 1840-1853 By G. C. Henderson, M.a. (Oxon.) Emeritus Professor Of History, Adelaide University Author Of Sir George Grey : Founder Of Empire In Southern Lands, Fiji And The Fijians 1845-1856 In Two Volumes Vol. I Australia Angus & Robertson Ltd,1931. The manuscript is in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in two folios, containing 874 pages and about 250,000 words.