- Also known as
Rev William Wyatt Gill
primary name: Gill, William Wyatt
- individual; cleric/religious official; British; Male
- Life dates
- William Wyatt Gill (1828-1896), missionary and writer, joined London Missionary Society 1851, missionary resident on Mangaia, Cook Islands 1852 – 72. Visited Torres Strait 1872 and landed first teachers in New Guinea. In England 1873, gave a paper at the Royal Geographical Society, ’A visit to Torres Straits and Mainland of New Guinea’. Published ‘Myths and Songs from the South Pacific’ (London 1876). Returned to Rarotonga 1877 to 1883.
1884 took another party of teachers to New Guinea, publishing an account in ‘Work and Adventure in New Guinea 1877 to 1885’, also attributed to James Chalmers (q.v.), and ‘Jottings in the Pacific’. Later published ‘Historical sketches of savage life in Polynesia’ (Wellington 1880) and ‘Darkness to Light in Polynesia’ (London 1894), revised the Rarotongan bible, was conferred with an honorary doctorate by St Andrews University (1889), returned to Sydney and was active in the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, influenced British and French diplomatic efforts to repatriate Polynesian victims of Peruvian slave trade.
- Australian Dictionary of Biography online
Boutilier, James A. ‘The International History Review’ Vol. 5, No. 1 (Feb., 1983), pp. 155-158 (Review of H.E. Maude. ‘Slavers in Paradise: The Peruvian Slave Trade in Polynesia, 1862-1864’. Stanford University Press, 1981).
Reilly, Michael P. J. ‘Works by Mary Layman Gill (Mrs Wyatt Gill) and William Wyatt Gill’ The Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Jun., 1992), pp. 107-114