The Life of John Coleridge Patteson
Mota And St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama. 1859-1862.
With the year 1860 a new period, and one far more responsible and eventful, began. After
working for four years under Bishop Selwyn's superintendence, Coleridge Patteson was
gradually passing into a sphere of more independent action; and, though his loyal
allegiance to his Primate was even more of the heart than of the letter, his time of training
was over; he was left to act more on his own judgment; and things were ripening for his
becoming himself a Bishop. He had nearly completed his thirty-third year, and was in his
fullest strength, mental and bodily; and, as has been seen, the idea had already through
Bishop Selwyn's letters become familiar to his family, though he himself had shrunk
from entertaining it.
The first great change regarded the locality of the Melanesian school in New Zealand.
Repeated experience had shown that St. John's College was too bleak for creatures used
to basking under a vertical sun, and it had been decided to remove to the sheltered
landing-place at Kohimarama, where buildings for the purpose had been commenced so
as to be habitable in time for the freight of 1859.
It should be explained, that the current expenses of the Mission had been defrayed by the
Eton and Sydney associations, with chance help from persons privately interested,
together with a grant of £200, and afterwards £300 per annum from the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel. The extra expense of this foundation was opportunely met by
a discovery on the part of Sir John Patteson, that his eldest son, living upon the Merton
Fellowship, had cost him £200 a year less than his younger son, and therefore that, in his
opinion, £800 was due to Coleridge. Moreover, the earlier voyages, and, in especial the
characters of Siapo and Umao, had been so suggestive of incidents fabricated in the
'Daisy Chain,' that the proceeds of the book were felt to be the due of the Mission and at
this time these had grown to such an amount as to make up the sum needful for erecting
such buildings as were immediately requisite for the intended College.
These are described in the ensuing letter, which I give entire, because the form of
acknowledgment is the only style suitable to what, however lightly acquired, was meant
as an offering, even though it cost the giver all too little:
'Kohimarama: Dec. 21, 1859.
'My dear Cousin,--I have received at length from my father a distinct statement of what
you have given to the Melanesian Mission. I had heard rumours before, and the Bishop of
Wellington had spoken to me of your intentions, but the fact had not been regularly
notified to us.
'I think I know you too well to say more than this. May God bless you for what you have
lent to Him, and give us, who are specially connected with the Mission, grace to use your
gift as you intend it to be used, to His glory in the salvation of souls.