Charles Barker: Pioneer Missionary, 1803-1875
A biography written from his journals and letters.
This is the story of Charles Baker. He was born in Leicestershire, England, in 1803. In 1826, aged 23, after the death of his first wife Sophia, he applied to the Church Missionary Society, London, to train for the mission field at the Islington Training College, London. His application was accepted and Charles trained for six months. Before leaving England his marriage to Hannah Maria was sanctioned by the Islington Training College Committee, Hannah being directed to go to Islington to train in the National and Infant School system. They sailed from Woolwich in July 1827 on board the Sovereign convict ship. Charles acted as Chaplain. After a long and trying voyage they reached Sydney in time to spend Christmas Day with Samuel Marsden. The first of their twelve children was born in Sydney. Charles and Hannah then proceeded to New Zealand arriving at Paihia, in June 1828. Charles had many change of stations: Kerikeri, Paihia, Waikare, in the Bay of Islands to be followed by two stations on the East Coast, Uawa and Rangitukia. After returning to Auckland for medical treatment his next station was Tauranga where he was responsible for the building and establishment of a Training School and Institute for Maoris. By this time the Taranaki Wars had commenced. When the well-known Maori leader, Wi Thompson, sent word that the Maoris were coming tomassacre the white settlers at Tauranga, they all departed in haste to Auckland. Charles spent his latter years as chaplain to the prison, hospital and lunatic asylum in Auckland. He ministered to the murderers of his great friend Carl Volckner, prior to their death by hanging.
Published in 1986.