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received at your hands, permit me, honoured sir, to subscribe myself, “Your most obliged and humble servant,
“GEORGE H. NOBBS. “Admiral Fairfax Moresby, C.B.”
On the 28th of November Mr. Nobbs preached at St. Dunstan's in the East, as Chaplain of Pitcairn Island. “ The hearers were deeply interested," writes the Rev. T. B. Murray, late Rector of St. Dunstan’s. “ Both the Bishop of London and Sir T. Acland have given him invitations to stay with them, which he will accept with pleasure; but with his zeal for his fellow islanders, and his plain and simple ways of life, I think he will rejoice, as soon as his errand is accomplished, to rejoin his friends at a distance. He is desirous of returning as soon as he possibly can.”
Before leaving England Mr. Nobbs was presented to Her Majesty, who received him most graciously, and gave him portraits of herself and the Royal family.
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel placed Mr. Nobbs on their Missionary List, at a salary of 501. per annum, and on the 17th December, 1852, the worthy chaplain embarked at Southampton on his homeward voyage, and recrossed the Isthmus of Panama, from whence to Valparaiso the Royal Mail Steam Navigation Company gave him a free passage ; but on his arrival he found he had missed, by a few days, a vessel going to Pitcairn. At Valparaiso, therefore, he waited until the ‘Portland' should arrive.
“On the 15th April, 1853,” wrote Mr. Fortescue Moresby, the son and secretary of the Admiral, “we
sailed from Valparaiso, having Mr. Nobbs and his children Reuben and Jane on board, to return them to their island home. On Saturday, 14th May, we sighted Pitcairn about fifty miles distant; on Sunday, at sunrise, it was looming large from the deck. Just before we went to morning service we fired three guns, to let them know we had three passengers on board. After church we were close enough to see people on the island, and we observed them all come out of church and launch their whale-boat. Of course this was a most anxious time for Mr. Nobbs. In about half an hour they came alongside, followed by a canoe, in which were old John Adams's son and grandson. They manifested the same honest genuine feeling of delight at Mr. Nobbs's return as they did of sorrow at his departure ; of course they were delighted to see us also once more. We observed that all the men looked ill and poor, which they told us was the effect of the long drought having disappointed them in their crops, This had caused not quite a famine, but so near it that for months they were reduced to pumpkins, berries, cocoa-nuts, and beans, for their existence. We stayed from Monday until Thursday, passing our time much as before, sketching, talking, singing, walking. Truly, a more innocent or delightful race does not exist. The Admiral was much pleased with the progress made by Jane Nobbs. She has learnt to sew neatly, besides other domestic accomplishments, without losing her pretence to simplicity and modesty. I trust she will prove a useful member of the community.”
(In the Appendix will be found a most interesting letter from Mr. Nobbs, written on board H.M.S. ‘Portland,' when on her voyage from Valparaiso to Pitcairn, and addressed to Admiral Moresby. It relates to the sixteen years of his adventurous life previous to settling at Pitcairn, and therefore would be out of place in the narrative.)
The extract from a letter written by the Rev. W. H. Holman to Admiral Moresby is inserted here, as it contains his opinion of the excellent character of the Islanders. He was the chaplain on board the ‘Portland,' and was left at Pitcairn during the absence of Mr. Nobbs.
“From my experience of the last month the Pitcairn Islanders are fully deserving of the high moral and religious character which they bear. I have seen no instance whatever of disagreement or ill-temper, but on the contrary, everything is done in peace and goodwill. They vie with one another in their attempts to make me comfortable, and have so loaded me with presents, which I dare not refuse without wounding their feelings, that I have a large stake in the property of the island. I must not omit to inform you that the day after your departure a meeting was held to consider in what way I was to be provided for, when it was decided that each family should in their turn provide my food. I am glad in having nothing unsatisfactory to communicate.
“ Pitcairn, December 21st, 1852.”
The following letter from Mr. Nobbs to the Rev. T. B. Murray, late rector of St. Dunstan's, and Secretary