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John Coleridge Patteson

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John Coleridge Patteson
John Coleridge Patteson
Bishop and Martyr
Born 1 April 1827, England
Died 20 September 1871, Nukapu,
Solomon Islands
Venerated in Anglican Communion
Feast 20 September

John Coleridge Patteson (April 1, 1827 - September 20, 1871) was an Anglican bishop and martyr.

Patteson was educated at The King's School, Ottery St Mary, Eton and then Balliol College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1853 in the Church of England. His old tutor at Eton, George Augustus Selwyn, was the first Bishop of New Zealand, and he persuaded Patteson to become a missionary to the South Seas. In 1855 Patteson set out to found the Melanesian Mission. He founded a college on Norfolk Island for native boys, toured the islands on the ship Southern Cross, and learned many of the local languages. In 1861 he was made Bishop of Melanesia.

On 20 September 1871 he was murdered on the island of Nukapu in the Solomon Islands, where he had landed alone. Natives killed him as revenge against the abduction of some natives by white men months earlier. His death became a cause celebre in England and increased interest both in missionary work and in improvement of the working conditions in Melanesia.

His life is celebrated in the Church of England as a saintly one, and he is commemorated with a Lesser Festival on 20 September.



Religious titles
Preceded by
Inaugural appointment
Bishop of Melanesia
Succeeded by
John Richardson Selwyn

Template:Bishops of Melanesia

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