Lot 1007: LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY - MISSIONARY STEAMER "JOHN WILLIAMS"
29 October 2016
Brussels, BelgiumLive Auction
Description: 2 April 1894 Half-a-Crown Share. gold, green. Central fold. Large format. A beautiful certificate. It was a receipt for a contribution of 2 shillings and 6 pence (a 'half a crown') to the London Missionary Society towards the cost of building and fitting-out a sailing steamship for missionary work in the South Pacific. The contributor acquired a 'share' in the vessel, and all contributions to these vessels over the years were from children. The ship was named the 'John Williams', and was the fourth of seven to bear this name ; it was built in 1893, and was sold in 1930. The first ship of this name was built in 1844, and the last was sold in 1968. They all worked in the South Pacific. John Williams was an Englishman who served as a missionary in the South Pacific from 1817 to 1839, when he died - killed and eaten by cannibals in the New Hebrides islands. The London Missionary Society began its existence in 1794 in a coffee house, and flourished in the upper room of a public house. Considered a laughable enterprise by the Establishment and the press, it was part of the 'Evangelical Revival' which had taken place among many British and New England congregations in the second half of the 18th century. British protestant missionary efforts to date had been one-off affairs in various parts of the world, which mostly died with the missionary concerned, with little or no lasting effect (although often leaving journals exaggerating their achievements), and it was felt that a serious coordinated effort by an organised society was needed. The LMS was born. The certificate shows the John Williams IV, a beautiful 3-masted vessel, in full sail at sea, with a decorative border in gold print. Rarity 10.
Condition Report: VF