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.

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.

August 1, 1842 four English sandalwood ships from New Hebrides at Somosomo to seek Tongan woodcutters; report death of Waterhouse

The Journal of John Williams reported on August 1st, 1842;

Williams by canoe, in starlight, to buy yams: ‘ – Left home a little after midnight for Nasagalou in our canoe intending to purchase yams to set, and return by the next tide. Before I had got my trading finished a messenger came into the village where I was and informed me as well as she could from shortness of breath that I was to return without delay as four English vessels had arrived, one of which was believed to be the Triton. I was not much startled by this information as, from my knowledge of the native habit of exaggeration, I did not credit the report to its full extent’.
Runs barefoot 7 miles: ‘For a moment I hesitated, my shoes being about a mile and a half another way; but having ascertained the nearest route home I started off in the direction pointed out, and after having run over hill and dale for the distance of 7 miles I beheld, with feelings of a mixed and indescribable nature, four vessels near the S.S.W. entrance. I could easily distinguish our own; but was at a loss what to make of the rest. I found on inquiry that they were on their way to the New Hebrides in search of sandalwood, and had called here in hopes of increasing the number of Tonguese natives whom they had on board to serve as woodcutters.
Death of Waterhouse reported: ‘Bro. C. had just returned from the Triton as I finished putting on a change of clothing, and brought us the..painful intelligence that our father, the much respected General Superintendent of these Missions, had gone the way of all flesh. We wept together, and felt that the loss was a great one. Who can supply his place? Who will be so much our father?
Williams sales on Triton: ‘The Triton being in haste we endeavoured to complete our business on shore as speedily as possible and succeeded in getting on board and on our way two or three hours before sunset. Conversed with Capt Buck about New Zealand and Colonial affairs and learnt that Mr Cargill is expected soon’.

21 June 1840, American whaler Shylock, wrecked on Vatoa Reef, missionary, James Calvert does deal to buy 2100 hogsheads of oil

The American whaler Shylock, was was wrecked on Vatoa Reef on the night of 21 June 1840. The master, first mate, and 16 hands got away in two boats.

Eight men were left on the wreck; but seven managed to get on shore on a jibboom. Lieutenant-Commander Ringgold, of the United States Exploring Expedition, who went down to Vatoa in August 1840, to investigate, says that the derelicts were treated in a kindly manner by the natives of Vatoa who were then under the influence of native Christian teachers. Captain Taber, afraid to land in Fiji, had gone to the Friendly Islands, and returned to Lakemba in the Triton with Thomas Williams and (Wesleyan Missionary) Superintendent Waterhouse. The Shylock at the time of the disaster had a cargo of 2100 hogsheads of oil, of which Calvert bought a quantity at a cheap rate, and shared it with his brethren at Rewa, Vewa and Somosomo.

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 original manuscript of The Journal Of Thomas Williams is in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in two folios, containing 874 pages and about 250,000 words.