Fonds 139 - Stallworthy Family fonds

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Stallworthy Family fonds

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator


Biographical history

Rev. George Stallworthy was an LMS (London Missionary Society) missionary born August 16, 1809, at Preston Bissett, near Buckingham, England. He studied at Homerton College and was ordained, October 3, 1833 at Ramsgate, England. Stallworthy was appointed to the Marquesas, and sailed October 27, 1833, arriving in Tahiti on March 23, 1834. On September 11, 1834, Stallworthy left Tahiti with Mr. David Darling (another missionary) to the mission on the Marquesas, arriving at St. Christina on October 6, and settling at Vaitahu. The Marquesas Mission was relinquished in 1841, and Stallworthy left those islands in December 1841, arriving in Tahiti on December 13 and going to Papaoa.

Stallworthy joined the Samoan Mission at Falealisi, Upolu in February 1844. There he married his first wife, Charlotte Burnett Wilson (b. 1817 in Tahiti), the daughter of another LMS missionary Charles Wilson. Charlotte Wilson was already suffering with tuberculosis when she and Stallworthy married, and 18 months later died of it at Upolu on August 2, 1845. She was buried in Samoa. Despite their short marriage, a son, George Burnett Stallworthy, was born in 1844. Charlotte's parents were living near the family in Falealii and raised George Burnett there until 1855, when the ten-year-old was sent back to England to go to school. He later also became a minister.

Stallworthy left Samoa in March of 1846 by the appointment of the directors in order to visit Tahiti and confer with the missionaries there on the distressing circumstances of that mission. On that trip aboard the "John Williams," he met Mary Ann Darling (b. 1819), also the daughter of an LMS missionary. He returned to Samoa at the end of August 1846, and married Mary Ann in Apia, Samoa on October 13, 1847.

As part of a deputation in 1858, Mr. Stallworthy visited the New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, and Niue, and later Fakaofo, one of the Tokelau group. In January, 1859, Stallworthy moved to Malua to take the place of Dr. George Turner in the seminary there during Turner's absence in England. Stallworthy died at Malua in November 1859, leaving his wife with eight children (along with his first son in England). The family caught the "John Williams" back to Tahiti, later leaving for Sydney in 1860. During this journey, three of the children died of diphtheria (William, Louisa, and Sarah Ann) and were buried on Raiatea. Mary Ann and the remaining children carried on to Sydney, where eventually their health improved, and they carried on to England. Mary Ann (Darling) Stallworthy died in England in 1872.

A descendant, John J. Lewis, wrote a now out-of-print book about Stallworthy's mission called “Wind in the Palms- Mission in the SW Pacific 1817-72- David Darling- George Stallworthy." This book is available in the Museum of Anthropology's library.

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Biographical history

George Burnett Stallworthy was born in Samoa in 1844 to Rev. George Stallworthy, a missionary, and Charlotte Burnett Wilson. After the death of his mother in 1845 from tuberculosis, George B. Stallworthy was raised by his maternal grandparents and his nurse Eunite in Falealii, Samoa until 1855 when he was sent to England for school. From 1855 to 1860, Stallworthy attended the School for the Sons of Missionaries at Blackheath. He later assisted in the formation of the Old Boys’ Association of this school, and was elected as its second President in 1909.

Stallworthy later attended New College until 1873 in preparation for Congregational Ministry, with his first pastorate at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, where he remained for ten years. In 1883, he took charge of the Haslemere Congregational Church, where he was well respected by the members of his congregation and the town because of his active contributions to both church and civic life. In 1883, he was appointed as one of the first Trustees of the recently formed local Court, “Pride of Hindhead” of the Ancient Order of Foresters. He held this office until 1911. Stallworthy resigned the pastorate at Haslemere in 1892 to take up work at Longfleet, Poole in Dorset. In 1896 he returned to the parish of Haslemere to become superintendent of the newly built Hindhead Congregational Hall.

Stallworthy was deeply interested in education and for several years starting in 1903 was the chairman of the managers of the Hindhead Council Schools. He was an active participant in the Haslemere Microscope and Natural History Society, serving as secretary from 1899 for several years. In 1909 Stallworthy resigned from the position at Hindhead due to health reasons, and resided for a time at Richmond, later moving to Tunbridge Wells where he undertook the work of morning preacher to the little Free Church Community. Five years later he returned to Longfleet, Poole and in 1921 went to Billinghurst until his death.

Stallworthy was also a poet, publishing verses from his lectures services. These include “Buddha, the Enlightened, his Legend re-told in Verse,” and “Legends of Samoa,” which was published as a volume of his Hindhead sermons.

Stallworthy married Alice Clark, the daughter of a Leeds tradesman, in September 1875. They had three children, George Hudswell Stallworthy, William Wilson Stallworthy, and Alice Mary Stallworthy.

Stallworthy died in 1922 in Billinghurst.

Custodial history

The Stallworthy Family fonds have been accumulated and maintained successively by George B. Stallworthy, William Wilson Stallworthy, and Robert Stallworthy until donation to the Audrey and Harry Hawthorn Library and Archives at the Museum of Anthropology by Robert Stallworthy in 2017.

Scope and content

The fonds reflects the religious work and family history of Rev. George Stallworthy and his descendants. The fonds consists of correspondence and drawings related to the family's time in the South Pacific; 20 photographic portraits of family members; sermons, article reprints, and correspondence related to George Burnett Stallworthy's religious work and life; and a scrapbook containing memoranda, correspondence, photographs, clippings, pamphlets, genealogical research, and other ephemera from the Stallworthy family up to 1925.

The fonds is arranged into files based on the content and medium of the records.

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The fonds was donated by a Stallworthy family member in conjunction with a donation of objects to the Museum of Anthropology's collection. The donation also included a small number of books which have been added to the museum's library collection.


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Rev. George Stallworthy's letters and journals are held in the archives of the London Missionary Society, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England.

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Created June 2018 by Alexandra Alisauskas.

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