Manuscript P00057: Autograph Letter Signed, 'George H. Nobbs,' to the Right Reverend Christopher Wordsworth‚ Bishop of Lincoln
George Hunn Nobbs (1799-1884) arrived on Pitcairn Island in 1828 and became the schoolmaster and an unordained pastor to a community descended from HMS Bounty mutineers and Tahitian islanders. On 18 October 1829 Nobbs married Sarah Christian‚ the granddaughter of Fletcher Christian, who had led the mutiny. In 1852 he was ordained in London and commissioned as Chaplain of Pitcairn Island. In 1856 the community moved to Norfolk Island‚ a Crown Colony previously occupied by convict prisoners. In this letter, written from Norfolk Island, Nobbs is writing to his superior, the Bishop of Lincoln, with the latest news from his “isolated, but happy home.” He asks for a copy of the Bible and proceeds: “The people I represent are the descendants of the Mutineers of H.M.S. Bounty - and formerly dwelling on Pitcairn Island‚ but now‚ by favour of our Gracious Queen‚ and philanthropy of influential Friends in England‚ in possession of the large portion of Norfolk Island.” He also refers to the Melanesian Mission‚ with whom the island was shared; describes the destruction of a church in a cyclone; and whaling boats being washed away by a tidal wave, noting that “we are now recovering from this elemental war‚ & hope to have our new Church ready for public Worship by Easter next. The consecration must‚ of course‚ be deferred until a Successor to our honoured and beloved Friend Bishop Patterson is appointed...” He expresses his readiness to provide further information about the community, “should Your Lordship be desirous”, and additionally asks for the bishop’s “autograph on the “Fly Leaf” with a word or two of paternal salutation to the community.” The entire letter is reproduced here, as is the catalog description provided by The Wayfarer's Bookshop in its March 2015 catalog.
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