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Captain R.C. Morgan, Missionary ship 'John Williams'
, n.d.

by Henry Room and John Cochran (engraver)

engraving (sheet: 17.0 cm x 11.8 cm)

Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798–1864), Christian mariner, whaler and diarist, entered the Royal Navy at the age of eleven, leaving at sixteen for the merchant marine. In 1836 he became the master of the Duke of York, a whaling ship that was fitted out to bring the first settlers to South Australia. At the completion of the voyage Morgan sailed away to continue whaling, calling in at Hobart Town and proceeding up the Queensland coast. Having been converted to Christian ways himself while undertaking whaling near Tahiti and Samoa he became interested in missionary work, and in 1838 was given, command of the London Missionary Society’s ship the Camden, which he captained for five years and in which the missionary John Williams, the ‘Apostle of Polynesia’, sailed to the South Pacific. Between 1844 and his retirement in 1855 Morgan was captain of the mission ship the John Williams. In 1863 Morgan and his wife returned to settle permanently with their son in Melbourne, where Morgan died the following year.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Gina and Ted Gregg 2010
Accession number: 2010.161