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Last updated: 2 June 2009

Church Missionary Society

Collection | Ref # A14 | Held by Far North Regional Museum/Te Ahu Heritage

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Church Missionary Society


CHURCH Missionary Society

Level of description:



1 volume + index

Reference number:


Former NRAM reference number:



The London-based Church Missionary Society began its missionary activities in New Zealand with the arrival of Samuel Marsden at the Bay of Islands in 1814. By 1839 the CMS had eleven mission stations in the North Island., under the general leadership of Henry Williams. The CMS withdrew from NZ around 1883-84 leaving the mission work to be continued by the Anglican Church.

William Gilbert PUCKEY was born in 1805 in Cornwall, England, and came to New Zealand in 1819 with his father, who as a carpenter was one of the CMS's artisan missionaries.

Puckey's marriage to Matilda DAVIS on 11 October 1831 at TeWaimate was the first European marriage in New Zealand. Matilda's sister later married Joseph Matthews. Together the two couples founded and ran the Kaitaia Mission Station.

Puckey was never ordained, but specialised in the practical side of mission work, developing and teaching the skills of carpentry, blacksmithing, lathework, farming, brickwork and coachbuilding. He applied his thorough knowledge of the Maori language to the translating of the Bible.

He died in 1878 at Kaitaia at the age of 72 years. His letters and journals were reports back to the CMS in London.


A14(a) Letters 1831-1868

Extracts from journals 1834-1868

(b) with loose index & interleaved with some missing papers

Letters & Journals of William Gilbert PUCKEY

Dates covered:

1831 - 1868

Access conditions:

Not restricted

Format if not original:

Typed transcript

Location of original:

Church Missionary Society Archives, University of Birmingham Library, England

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Missionaries · PUCKEY William Gilbert

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