Smithies, John
1802-1872; e.m. 1828

WM missionary to Newfoundland and Australia, born in Sheffield. After serving in Newfoundland 1828-1837, he was sent to Western Australia, where it was expected that his earlier experience would help in establishing a mission amongst both settlers and Aborigines in the new Swan River Colony. With inadequate funding he laboured alone in a million square miles, trying unsuccessfully to reconcile western expectations with traditional aboriginal culture. When a colleague was appointed in 1852, he removed the aboriginal work to the easier ground of York, but after his transfer to Tasmania in 1855 the work soon lapsed and was not taken up again until 1951. He died at Barrington, Tasmania towards the end of 1872.

  • William Moister, Missionary Worthies, 1782-1885 (1885) pp.192-93
  • G.G. Findlay and W.W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1921-1924), vol. 3
  • Encyclopedia of World Methodism (Nashville, 1974)
  • Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography

Entry written by: MJF
Category: Person
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