Ward, Robert
1816-1876; e.m. 1835

PM missionary in New Zealand. Born at Sporle, Norfolk, on 11 January 1816, he was converted at 15 and became a PM local preacher. After he had been in circuit for nine years, he was chosen to be the missionary the PM Connexion had decided to send to Australia, though his destination was changed to New Zealand. He and his family sailed for New Plymouth in 1844, but most of his ministry was spent in Auckland and Wellington, mainly among the English settlers, although he acquired a knowledge of the Maori language. A man of determination and common sense, he was remembered for the intensity of his preaching. He had two works published in England: Lectures from New Zealand addressed to Young Men (1862) and Life among the Maoris of New Zealand (1872). He suffered from Bright's Disease, was taken ill during the evening service at Sydney Street church, Wellington and died twelve days later on 13 October 1876.

Of his eleven children, two sons, Charles Ebenezer Ward (1846-1935; e.m. 1870) and Josiah Ward (e.m. 1872; died 19 September 1926), served in the Australian and New Zealand ministry respectively, and a third, Robert Ward, became resident magistrate at Rangitikei, North Island.

  • PM Magazine, 1877, pp.361ff
  • J. Guy and W.S. Potter, Jubilee Memorial Volume of Fifty Years of Primitive Methodism in New Zealand (Wellington, NZ, 1893) pp.98-107
  • Edward Drake, 'Some Account of Primitive Methodism in New Zealand', in Wesley Historical Society, New Zealand Branch, 3, September 1944

See also

Entry written by: DJP
Category: Person
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