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Ironside, Samuel
1814-1897; e.m. 1837

WM missionary to New Zealand, born in Sheffield and trained at the Hoxton Theological Institution. Arriving in New Zealand with John H. Bumby in 1839, he was appointed first to Hokianga Station, where he quickly became fluent in Maori. In 1840 he travelled overland to select sites for new missions on the west coast of North Island; then moved to South Island, where he pioneered work in Nelson and Marlborough from the Port Underwood Mission station. The mission had to be abandoned after the Wairau Affray in 1843 and he spent the next six years in Wellington, where he was a trusted negotiator between Maori and settler, particularly in 1845 when relations were strained. At Nelson 1849-1855 he was involved in moves to organize freehold settlement by working men and in New Plymouth 1855-1858 fostered education among both Maori and settler. He needed all his accumulated knowledge and understanding of Maori thought in those years when the country was being opened up to colonial influences; as did his wife Sarah who was often left alone and in charge of the mission during his travels. He left for Australia in 1858, where he served in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart.

Sources

  • W.A. Chambers, Samuel Ironside in New Zealand 1839-1858 (Auckland, 1982)
  • Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Entry written by: DJP and MJF
Category: Person

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