Leonard Williams, Bishop of Waiapu

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About Leonard Williams, Bishop of Waiapu

William Leonard Williams, known as Leonard Williams to Pakeha and as Mita Renata to Maori, was born at Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on 22 July 1829. He was the third child and eldest son of Jane Nelson and her husband, William Williams, of the Church Missionary Society. Leonard Williams graduated BA with third-class honours from the University of Oxford in 1852. On 16 June 1853 he married Sarah Wanklyn at Witherslack Chapel, Westmorland. On 6 August of that year he and Sarah sailed in the Hamilla Mitchell for New Zealand, arriving at Auckland on 30 November. In 1862 Leonard Williams became archdeacon of Waiapu. Williams was consecrated bishop of Waiapu in Napier cathedral on 20 January 1895. Williams carried on his father's intensive study of the Maori language. The third and fourth editions of A dictionary of the New Zealand language (1871 and 1892) are his work. His First lessons in the Maori language first appeared in 1862. East Coast (NZ) historical records was published in 1932, after his death.

Full biography at Te Ara


Williams Family records
  1. The Williams Family in New Zealand 1823 - 1973 - the descendants of Henry Williams, 1792 - 1897 and William Williams, 1800-1878, the sons of Thomas Williams 1754 - 1808 and Mary Marsh, 1757 - 1831 who were married in 1783.
  2. The Williams family have recorded their family history since coming to New Zealand. The most recent version is 'Faith and Farming, the legacy of Henry Williams and William Williams.' Copyright Rex Evans, Evagean Publishing 1998. 720pp. ISBN-1-877194-53-0
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Leonard Williams, Bishop of Waiapu's Timeline

July 22, 1829
Paihia, Northland, New Zealand
October 13, 1854
Whakato, Gisborne, New Zealand
March 7, 1856
Whakato, New Zealand
December 3, 1857
Waerenga-a-hika, Gisborne, New Zealand
March 28, 1859
Gisborne, New Zealand
October 10, 1860
Waerenga-a-hika, Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand
July 21, 1862
Gisborne, New Zealand
May 8, 1864
Waerenga-A-Hika, New Zealand
December 14, 1866
Waikahua, New Zealand