- Also known as
Rev Wilfred Henry Abbot
primary name: Abbot, Wilfred Henry
- individual; cleric/religious official; Male
- Life dates
- Missionary and Oxford Master of Arts born in Dublin. Was the first Anglican priest resident at the Wanigela Anglican Mission in Collingwood Bay (Papua New Guinea) from 1899 to 1901. Mission was located on the beach, between Rainu and Oreresan villages. Worked there with James Nogar, an indigenous teacher from Vanuatu. Anglican missions had been actively promoted by Sir William MacGregor the first administrator of British New Guinea (1888 - 1898) to help consolidate this recently declared ‘protectorate’ against further German expansion. Abbot - a convivial but autocratic eccentric with a strong sense of Christian moral rectitude - was noted for his ‘vigorous handling’ of Wanigela people. He was known for whipping adulterous wives, making church-going compulsory for men, compelling local people into exhausting work, wearing his Oxford gown and hood in the village and ordering large quantities of alcoholic spirits. His regime ended in 1901 with his resignation following a dispute with the Bishop over Abbot’s harassment of Nogar (for alleged celibacy violation), his liquor orders and his trade in ethnographic artefacts.
Abbot seemed determined not to leave Papua New Guinea empty handed. Sold Collingwood Bay objects to several museums including some to the Horniman Museum and 130 now in the British Museum. A further 3 objects collected by Abbot were donated to the Museum by Sir George Ruthven Le Hunte (Sir William MacGregor’s successor).
- Barker, John ‘Cheerful Pragmatists: Anglican Missionaries among the Maisin of Collingwood Bay, Northeastern Papua, 1898-1920’, The Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 66-81 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd
Hermkens, Anna - Karina 'Engendering Objects: Barkcloth and the Dynamics of Identity in Papua New Guinea' -– published PhD thesis, Radbound Universiteit Nijmegen 2005
Wetherall, David Reluctant Mission: The Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea 1891 – 1942 (University of Queensland Press 1977)
Langmore, Diane Missionary lives: Papua, 1874-1914 University of Hawaii Press, 1989.