c.1890 WILLIAM GILL. Autograph Letter by Pioneer Rarotonga, Cook Islands Missionary.
c.1890 WILLIAM GILL. Autograph Letter by Pioneer Rarotonga, Cook Islands Missionary.
c.1890 WILLIAM GILL. Autograph Letter by Pioneer Rarotonga, Cook Islands Missionary.

c.1890 WILLIAM GILL. Autograph Letter by Pioneer Rarotonga, Cook Islands Missionary.

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Scarce letter by pioneer missionary to the Cook Island and Rarotonga, William Gill. 

"Camden House
Black Heath

My Dear Sir [G. B. Sully, Esq.]

In your vacant state as a Church, no doubt you have many too many names before you. 

Allow me to mention the Rev. J. Russell Goulty B.A. of Belvedere, Kent, son of the late Rev. J. Goulty of Brighton.

All one can do is to ask for one or two Sundays - as supply - if you could so arrange.

I hope you and all your family are well. With many pleasant remembrances of my former visits to you and wishing every family at Church blessing.

Very truly yours,
William Gill."

William Wyatt Gill [1828 – 1896] was a pioneer English missionary to the South Sea Islands and Australia.

Born in Bristol, Gill was already by age 14 sensing a call of God to the ministry. He studied at Highbury College, London, and a year at New College. Family and friends discouraged him from missionary work, but his eagerness to accompany Rev. Aaron Buzacott to the Cook Islands met with approval and in June 1851 he was accepted by the London Missionary Society. On 11 July he was ordained at Spa Fields Chapel and on 15 November he arrived at Hobart Town in the mission ship John Williams where he began his missionary work in Australia.

Once there, his course was fixed. From 1852-72 Gill worked at Mangaia, Cook Islands, except for five months in 1858 at Rarotonga in charge of the institution for training native teachers and a visit to Sydney in 1862–63. In 1872 with Rev. A. W. Murray he visited the principal islands in Torres Strait and on 7 November landed the first teachers, including six Cook Islanders, at Kataw in New Guinea. In 1873 he sailed for England where he read to the Royal Geographical Society his paper 'A Visit to Torres Straits and Mainland of New Guinea'. Gill was stationed on Rarotonga from April 1877 until he retired in November 1883 after his wife died in July.