Papers of William George Lawes and Fanny Lawes

Scope and Content

Letters, papers and photographs of William George and Fanny Lawes.

Administrative / Biographical History

William George Lawes, born 1 Jul 1839 at Aldermaston, Berks; studied at Bedford; appointed to Samoa; ordained 8 Nov 1860; married Fanny Wickham, born 31 Aug 1839; sailed in the 'John Williams', 23 Nov 1860; arrived at Samoa, 23 Jul 1861; appointed as the first resident missionary on Niue [Savage Island]; sailed for Niue, 12 Aug and arrived 20 Aug; sole charge of Niue Mission, formed a class for the training of teachers and translated the New Testament; 15 Mar 1868, he was joined by his brother, Francis Edwin Lawes, who co-operated with him in the Mission; Jul 1869, completed and revised a version of the Psalms; 10 May 1870, visited Samoa, during this visit revised his version of Genesis with Mr Pratt; having been appointed to the New Guinea Mission, arrived at Somerset, 20 Oct 1874; arrived at Port Moresby, 21 Nov, and settled there; Nov and Dec 1875, made several journeys of exploration into the interior; Apr 1876, visited the China Straits in the ship 'Ellengowan'; left Port Moresby, 31 Oct 1876, for Somerset; in the schooner 'Mayri', he visited Hood Point and Bay, Dec 1876, where he commenced a new group of stations and located teachers; returned to Somerset, Feb 1877; in 1891, he completed the translation of The New Testament into Motu; in 1891, he undertook deputation work in various parts of Australia; Dec 1894, left Port Moresby and settled at Vatorata, near Kapakapa, the new site for the College; retired from active service with the London Missionary Society in 1906; Dr Lawes died at Sydney, 27 Jan 1913.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the London Missionary Society by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later Council for World Mission) in 1973.

Archivist's Note


Custodial History

The papers were deposited with the London Missionary Society and form part of the special series of personal papers of individual LMS missionaries and officers.