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Sources and Bibliography 


Original letters and journals, books, academic papers, ephemera, and unpublished manuscripts were used in the preparation of this site. Of particular importance have been the collections of letters and journals of Henry and William Williams, their wives and family members. Substantial holdings of these are found in the Auckland Museum Library. The Alexander Turnbull and Hocken Libraries also have relevant original and microfilmed material in their collections. Specific references have been provided in the footnotes in the text of this web site.


Of particular value has been the work of Nevil Harvey Williams, who has researched the English branches of the Williams family, and those they married into, providing much useful context to the New Zealand story.


Items in the collection have been donated by Williams family members, or purchased from various sources.



The following annotated bibliography of works on the Williams family was prepared by Professor Peter Lineham, Professor of History, Massey University:


Anonymous "Some Stories of Henry Williams' Family". Auckland & Waikato Historical    Journal (25): (1974), 9-12.


Baker, Fred and Tatiana Blagova, "Harold Whitmore Williams: The Forgotten Genius". Journal 2006. Terry Wall. Auckland: Wesley Historical Society. 2006 2006, 31-38.

The son of William James Williams, born 1876, who served as a Methodist minister 1896-1900, but then became a correspondent to the Times newspaper in Russia until the Revolution and died 1928.


Benfell, Neil, "The Shape of the New Society: Selwyn, C M S and the New Zealand Company in Fierce Debate; Martyr to the Cause? Henry Williams and His Tribulations". Mission and Moko: Aspects of the Work of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand 1814-1882. Robert Glen. Christchurch: Latimer Fellowship of New Zealand 1992, 73-89 & 90-109.

How Selwyn's policies were in opposition and yet entangled with both the C.M.S. and the N.Z. Company; the way Williams was treated by Selwyn.


Carleton, Hugh, The Life of Henry Williams, Archdeacon of Waimate. Auckland: Upton & Co, 1874.

            The standard biography. Carleton was Williams' son in law.


Carpenter, Samuel  D. A Question of Mana: The Relationship between Henry Williams and Hone Heke. History Programme. Albany, Masey University. B.A. Hours (2004): 58.

Careful study of how Williams cultivated Hone Heke, how Heke came to think independently of the mission, yet the continuing relationship.


Craig, Fiona, Protecting Paradise in Paihia: The Story of the Williams House and Gardens. Whangaroa: Weaving the Strands Publishing, 2010.

An account of the house built by Percy Williams, son of Henry Williams, in Paihia, and its conservation and the story of its owners. Along with an account of the Paihia library. The whole book was commissioned by the Frieds of Williams House and the Paihia Library.


Davis, George, The Shield of Faith: The Life and Times of Henry and Marianne Williams. Queensland: George Davis, 1998.


Falloon, Malcolm, To Plough or to Preach: Mission Strategies in New Zealand During the 1820s London: Latimer Trust, 2010.

A brief study of the ways in which Henry Williams amended the strategies of Samuel Marsden from a civilizing mission to an evangelistic mission.


Fisher, Robin A. Henry Williams' Leadership of the C.M.S. Mission to N.Z. 1823-1840, University of Auckland M.A. Thesis in History (1969).

            A highly regarded thesis.


Fisher, Robin "Henry Williams' Leadership of the Cms Mission to New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of History 9 (2): (1975), 142-153.

            A perceptive article, based on 1969 thesis. See Carleton, Rogers etc.


Fitzgerald, Tanya G. In a Different Voice: A Case Study of Marianne and Jane Williams, Missionary Educators in Northern New Zealand, 1823-1835. Faculty of Education. Auckland, University of Auckland. Ph.D. (1995).

This thesis is a case study that examines the educative activities of two Church Missionary Society (CMS) women, Marianne Coldham Williams and her sister-in-law Jane Nelson Williams, during the period 1823-1835. This study examines the role and status of these two missionary women in the early CMS mission station at Paihia in northern New Zealand. Marianne and Jane Williams were missionary educators whose primary task was to establish schools for local Maori pupils and resident missionary pupils. These first mission schools were established according to a perceived hierarchy of "need." Consequently, the first schools, established in 1823 were for Nga Puhi women and girls followed by a school for the missionary daughters in 1826. A school for Nga Puhi men and boys was not established until 1827 and a school for the missionary sons was delayed until 1828. Through the re-formation of Maori women as Christian women, Maori society was to replicate the "pleasantries" of (Pakeha) "Christian society." The schoolroom, not the pulpit became the central site to instigate changes in Maori society and the CMS initially charged Marianne and Jane Williams with the responsibility for this task. One of the strategies developed by Marianne and Jane Williams to survive in a frontier society was to form a network based on their sister-hood. Through the exchanging of letters between the two women in New Zealand and their "sisters" in England, a reciprocal friendship was created that provided Marianne and Jane with the support they sought. These letters and diaries provide valuable autobiographical accounts of the daily lives and missionary activities of Marianne and Jane. This study, therefore, presents a challenge to prevailing historical narratives that position men at the centre of missionary activities. Missionary policy documents and manuscript material written by early nineteenth century missionary women and men reveal that in New Zealand women played a critical role in the "Christianising" and "civilising" policies and practices. In placing women at the centre of historical inquiry and as historical agents, this study re-presents the historical narrative in a different voice.


Fitzgerald, Caroline, Letters from the Bay of Islands: The Story of Marianne Williams. Auckland: Penguin Books, 2004.

            An informal selection of letters by Marianne Williams with narrative link.


Fitzgerald, Tanya "Archives of Memory and Memories of Archive: Cms Women's Letters and Diaries 1823-1835 ". History of Education 34 (6): (2005), 657-674.

The focus is the letters and diaries penned by Marianne Coldham Williams (1793-1879) and Jane Nelson Williams (1801-1896) who were resident at the Paihia mission station in the 1823-1835 period. Initially appointed to ‘improve the condition of women in New Zealand’ whose situation was described as ‘far more degraded than that of males’, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) recognised that the labour of women was essential to the success of the mission.


Fitzgerald, Caroline, Ed. Te Wiremu Henry Williams: Early Years in the North. Wellington: Huia Publishers, 2011.

Extracts from Henry Williams' journals, some of them from family sources, make this a very useful source for the early years of the New Zealand mission, although the extracts are not fully sourced in the references. Publishers say: This is the story of the Reverend Henry Williams, beginning the day he arrived in New Zealand in 1823, a 30-year-old retired Navy lieutenant now a Church Missionary Society missionary. Through his private journals and letters he wrote to family and his superiors in England, Henry Williams tells his own story from his arrival in the Bay of Islands until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. This eye-witness account covers almost twenty years of Henry Williams's daily life - his trials and successes, travels with Maori, peacemaking actions, the relationships he built with Maori and his involvement in the Treaty of Waitangi.


Garlick, Phyllis L., Peacemaker of the Tribes: Henry Williams of New Zealand. London: Highway Press, 1939.

            Simple account.


Gillies, Iain and John Gillies, East Coast Pioneers: A Williams Family Portrait: A Legacy of Land, Love and Partnership. Gisborne: Gisborne Herald, 1998.


Goldsbury, Sheryl Jacqueline Behind the Picket Fence: The Lives of Missionary Wives in Pre-Colonial New Zealand, Auckland University M.A. Thesis in History (1986).

            Focusses on Jane Williams, Marianne Williams and Eliza White. See also Twyman (1991).


Griffiths, Tom "Boundaries of the Sacred: The Williams Family in New Zealand 1823-30". Journal of Religious History 13 (1): (1984), 35-45.

            A sensitive account of emphases in William and Henry Williams' early work.


Hamilton, Lila "Henry Williams - Missionary Leader". New Zealand's Heritage 1 (10): ([1970]), 263-265, 268-269.

            A thoughtful biographical account sensitively dealing with issues.


Jennings, Hugh M., Christianity on the Coast. Gisborne: Gisborne Herald, 1990.

Quite a nice although unreferenced account of the missionary work at Turanga, Wairoa, and the East Coast CMS stations (Uawa, Kawakawa, Rangitukia, Mahia) which stemmed back to William Williams' mission. The story ends about 1865 with brief accounts of the later period.


Laurie, John "Translating the Treaty of Waitangi". Journal of the Polynesian Society 111 (3): (2002), 255-258.


Moon, Paul and Sabine Fenton "Bound into a Fateful Union: Henry Williams’ Translation of the Treaty of Waitangi into Maori in February 1840". Journal of the Polynesian Society 111 (1): (2002), 51-63.

A strongly worded attack on Williams' competency as translator of the Treaty, his work is described as 'inept', and 'wilful rewriting' of the document, in he went 'badly wrong'. So he 'decided to mistranslate the Treaty'. His motives are loyalty to the British crown and his reluctance to see Christianity merging with Maori culture. Yet he was familiar with the Maoir language, so he cannot plead ignorance. He mis-translated in order to persuade Maori to sign. "In his position as tranlator of the Treaty of Waitangi, Henry Williams' role was anything but innocent." (p. 61).


Porter, Frances, The Turanga Journals 1840-1850: Letters and Journals of William and Jane Williams, Missionaries to Poverty Bay. Wellington: Price Milburn for Victoria University Press, 1974.

A very finely edited edition of the Williams journal and associated letters, with a preface which is a notable essay about the C.M.S. mission.


Rogers, L. M., The Early Journals of Henry Williams, 1826-1840, Senior Missionary in New Zealand of the Church Missionary Society. Christchurch: Pegasus Press, 1961.


Rogers, Lawrence M. "Henry Williams in Eastern Bay of Plenty". Historical Review Whakatane Historical Society 15 (1): (1967), 28-30.


Rogers, Lawrence M., Te Wiremu: A Biography of Henry Williams. Christchurch: Pegasus Press, 1973.

            Major account, by a Presbyterian minister with an academic bent.


Ross, Cathy, Women with a Mission: Rediscovering Missionary Wives in Early New Zealand. Auckland: Penguin, 2006.

A study of Charlotte Brown, Anne Wilson, Elizabeth Colenso and Catherine Hadfield and their contributions to the CMS mission to New Zealand.


Rountree, Kathryn "Re-Making the Maori Female Body: Marianne Williams's Mission in the Bay of Islands". Journal of Pacific History 35 (1): (2000), 49-66.

In New Zealand, as elsewhere in the Pacific, the processes of conversion, civilisation and colonisation were intimately connected, and missionary wives, although portrayed as subordinate and shadowy figures in mission life, played a significant role in their achievement. This paper examines the case of Marianne Williams, an energetic and effective agent of the CMS mission, and a prolific, articulate writer who was the first woman to write at length about Maori. It considers Marianne’s relationship with Maori women (her assigned domain of responsibility in the mission), and examines in particular the ways in which this English woman constructed, and wished to reconstruct, Maori women’s bodies. In her efforts to clean, clothe and control them, Marianne was preoccupied with covering and controlling Maori women’s sexuality, and domesticating them according to middle-class English notions of womanhood. While striving to re-make ‘her’ Maori ‘girls’ in English women’s image and to draw them into the spiritual fold of Christianity, she paradoxically worked hard to maintain the social boundaries between missionaries and Maori, which Maori women learnt to cross with increasing adeptness as they moved between the European and Maori worlds.


Sanderson, Kay M. 'Those Neglected Tribes'. A Study of the East Coast Maoris and Their Missionary, William Williams, 1834-1870, University of Auckland M.A. Thesis in History (1980).

            A notable thesis on East Coast Anglican Maori work


Shadbolt, M. P. The Next Generation: A Study of the Attitudes of George Clarke Junior and William Leonard Williams, University of Auckland M.A. Thesis in History (1984).

            A study of children of missionaries who were themselves significant.


Sheild, E. O. The New Zealand Episcopate of George Augustus Selwyn (1842-1867) with Special Reference to Bishop Selwyn's Part in the Dispute with Archdeacon Henry Williams in Respect of the Latter's Land Claims, University of Oxford B. Phil. Thesis (1981).


Thornton, John, In Memoriam: Samuel Williams, 1822-1907. Gisborne: Te Rau Press, 1907.

            The life of a Bishop of Waiapu.


Williams, Frederic W., Through Ninety Years 1826-1916. Life and Work among the Maoris of New Zealand. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs, [1940].

A solid selection of documents and some analysis of the work of William Williams and his son William Leonard Williams, both were bishops of Waiapu Anglican Diocese.


Woods, Sybil M., Samuel Williams of Te Aute: A Biography. Christchurch: Pegasus Press, 1981.

A solidly researched account by a descendant of this son of Henry who married a daughter of William who in 1854 withdrew from the CMS and opened Te Aute College and later became Archdeacon of the Hawke's Bay.


Woods, Sybil, Marianne Williams: A Study of Life in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand 1823-1879. Christchurch: PPP Printers, 1994.

A delightful biography by Marianne's great great grand-daughter. The text is informal but it is based on primary research.



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