Lyth, Richard Burdsall, FRCS
1810-1887; e.m. 1836

WM missionary to Tonga (1838-39) and Fiji(1839-55), born in York. He was the first medically qualified ministerial missionary. After 18 months in the Friendly Islands he joined John Hunt in extending the Fiji Mission to the stony field of Somosomo. The two men shared the same quiet, deep, spiritual faith which sustained them (and their wives) through years of barren struggle. Though an effective physician to both colleagues and flock, he was primarily a pastor and teacher, developing a system for the local training of catechists and teachers and making a major contribution to the extensive Bible-translation programme. Following Hunt's death in 1848 he became Chairman until his own health broke down and he left for New Zealand in 1855. He was chaplain to the Forces in Gibraltar 1869-73. He died in York on 27 February 1887.

  • G.G. Findlay and W.W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1921-1924), vol. 3
  • A.H. Wood, Overseas Missions of the Australian Methodist Church, vol. 2 (1978)