Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Reverend John Williams

c. 1837
George Baxter (printer)

wood engraving (Baxter print) on paper (sheet: 21.0 cm x 12.5 cm, image: 13.0 cm x 10.5 cm)

John Williams (1796–1839) began his working life in 1810, apprenticed to an ironmonger, but in 1816, having undergone an Evangelical conversion, he volunteered for service with the London Missionary Society and was ordained. He then joined a mission to Tahiti and in 1817 travelled to the Australian colonies, spending time in Hobart and Sydney before returning to the Society Islands and establishing his own mission at Raiatea. After further missionary work in the Cook Islands and Samoa, Williams returned to England and oversaw the publication of his Rarotongan translation of the New Testament. In 1838 he returned to Sydney in the mission ship Camden, and drew considerable crowds to his meetings. Having recently given evidence before the committee of the House of Commons on Aborigines, he was influential in the establishment of the local Aborigines Protection Society, and was also responsible for founding an Auxiliary Missionary Society in Sydney. News of his violent death at Eromanga in the New Hebrides in November 1839 was received with sorrow in the colony.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

George Baxter (age 33 in 1837)

John Williams (age 41 in 1837)

Subject professions

Religion

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency