Selwyn, George Augustus

Selwyn, George Augustus missionary bishop of New Zealand, was born at Hampstead, England, in 1809, and received his earlier education at Eton. He studied at Cambridge, and 1831 was appointed private tutor to Lord Powis, at Eton: while acting at the same time as a curate at Windsor. In 1841 Selwyn was appointed first bishop of the Anglican Church in New Zealand, and after having been consecrated in October, he sailed in December for his station. He landed at Sydney in April 1842, and remained some time there to confer with ;the bishop. In the first year of his arrival Selwyn established a college for the training of candidates for the ministry, and five years after his landing in New Zealand he commenced to work among the isles of the South Sea. In 1854 bishop Selwyn came to England. Twelve years' experience had taught him that his diocese must be divided, and that Melanesia must have some one who could spend all his energies on its many islands and its diverse population. His time in England was not wasted. When he returned to New Zealand he was accompanied by bishop Patteson. For some years he shared and directed Patteson's work among the islands, and in the college at Auckland. Then the diocese was divided, and divided again. In 1866 there were six bishops under Selwyn's direction as primate, and among them Patteson was giving his whole attention to those islands among which he was afterwards to lay down his life. In 1867 Selwyn came again to England, and during his stay the diocese of Lichfield became vacant. It was offered more than once to him, and he refused. At length, on being strongly pressed by archbishop Longley, he yielded. His administration of this new and trying sphere, which comprised the so-called "Black Country," was very vigorous. Selwyn died April 11, 1878. His Life has been written by H.W. Tucker (Lond. 1879, 2 volumes). (B.P.)

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