"The Reception of the Rev J. [John] Williams, at Tanna, in the South Seas, the day before he was massacred"

Scope and Content

Oil colour print, 33cm x 22.5cm (without border), "printed in oil colours and published by the Patentee G. [George] Baxter, 3 Charterhouse Square, London, 1841".

Administrative / Biographical History

John Williams (1796-1839) served as a missionary with the London Missionary Society in the South Seas, 1816-1839.

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

Variation in colour and finish between different copies, foxing present in many cases, with some tearing and other damage. Most images missing borders and captions.

Archivist's Note


Custodial History

Images held as part of the LMS Museum (inventory items 145, 146 and 152) before being transferred to SOAS Library in January 2008.

Related Material

See South Seas Pictures/13 for the second image in the pair, "The Massacre of the Lamented Missionary the Rev. J. [John] Williams and Mr Harris", and South Seas Pictures/14 for a photocopy of a description published by George Baxter of the prints, with an account of the events depicted.