The Rev. William Knib [Baptist missionary], with a Landscape of the Mission Chapel and Grounds, Jamaica

Scope and Content

Oil-colour print by George Baxter [published 1847], on frame, 28cm x 36cm. Designed, engraved and printed by George Baxter, Patentee of Oil Colour Printing. Additional unframed copy. A written declaration relating to the Abolition of Slavery (August 1st 1838) appears in the background to the portrait, in addition to a group of freed [former] slaves and discarded manacles.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Knibb (1803-1845), English Baptist minister and missionary to Jamaica, 1825-1845, is chiefly known for his work to free slaves. Knibb began work as the schoolmaster of the Baptist mission school in Kingston and worked closely with fellow missionaries Thomas Burchell and James Phillippo. In 1828 he moved to Savanna-la-Mar. In 1830 he became the minister responsible for the Baptist church at Falmouth, and remained there until his death in 1845.

George Baxter (1804-1867) was an engraver and printer who invented a process of colour printing that made reproductions of paintings available on a mass scale. He supplied colour illustrations to the publisher George Mudie and produced prints for the London Missionary Society. Baxter's process incorporated the aquatint method and involved superimposing the colours using wooden blocks. Baxter used carefully etched plates, a hand press, and the finest colours, oils and paper. He mixed the colours himself but left no record of their composition. The process quickly gained popularity and was widely useful in producing replications of paintings. [Source: National Portrait Gallery]

Access Information


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Heavy discolouration of framed copy.

Archivist's Note


Custodial History

Prints held as part of the LMS Museum (inventory items 159 and 160) before being transferred to SOAS Library in January 2008.

Related Material

Books about William Knibb can be found in the Council for World Mission Library, SOAS, including, 'Memoir of William Knibb, missionary in Jamaica', by John Howard Hinton (London: 1847), ref: CWML R334, and 'William Knibb, missionary in jamaica: a memoir', by Mrs John James Smith (London: 1896), ref: CWML R362.