Boyce, William Binnington
1803-89; e.m. 1829

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WM missionary in South Africa (1830-1843) and Australia (1846-1857) and an influential Secretary of the WMMS (1858-1876). Born on 9 November 1803 at Beverley, he was a man of 'decided opinions and disconcerting frankness', but also a gifted linguist and author. In his first appointment he rapidly published a Xhosa (Kaffir) grammar and acted as advisor to Sir Benjamin D'Urban and as a mediator with the Xhosa chiefs. While General Superintendent of WM missions in Australia he prepared for the autonomy of the Australasian Conference and was its first President (1855 and 1856). After a decade back in England, he returned to Australia in 1866. In 1874 he edited a Memoir of his former colleague in South Africa,William Shaw. During his retirement in Sydney he wrote The Higher Criticism of the Bible (1881), a conservative attack on contemporary trends in biblical studies, and a widely acclaimed Introduction to the Study of History (1884). He was elected a member of the senate of Sydney University. An omnivorous reader, he gave many books to both the University Library and the Wesleyan Theological Institute. He died in Sydney on 8 March 1889.

  • James H. Rigg, Wesleyan Methodist Reminiscences Sixty Years Ago (1904) pp.32-33
  • Peter M Gunnar, Here am I, Lord, Send Me: the life of missionary leader, Rev. William Binnington Boyce, Annandale, NSW, 2003
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography