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Patteson, John Coleridge

PATTESON, JOHN COLERIDGE (1827-1871), Enghsh missionary, bishop of Melanesia, was born in London on the 1st of April 1827, the eldest son of Sir John Patteson, justice of the King's Bench, and Frances Duke Coleridge, a near relative of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was educated at Ottery St Mary and at Eton, where he distinguished himself on the cricket-field. He entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1S45, graduated B.A. in 1848, and in 1852 became a fellow of Merton College. In 1853 he became curate of Alfington, Devon, and in the foOowing year he was ordained priest. He then joined George Augustus Selwyn, bishop of New Zealand, in a mission to the IMelanesian islands. There he laboured with great success, visiting the different islands of the group in the mission ship the " Southern Cross," and by his good sense and devotion winning the esteem and affection of the natives. His hnguistic powers were ' The word is taken from an obsolete French chapine or Spanish chapin, and is of doubtful origin. The Spanish f/ia/)a,flat plate,_has been suggested. The word does not occur in Italian, though it is often Italianized in English in such forms as cioppino.

exceptional, and he spoke 23 languages with ease. In 1 86 1 he was consecrated bishop of Melanesia, and fixed his headquarters at Mota. He was killed by natives at Nukapu, in the Santa Cruz group, on the 20th of September 1871, the victim of a tragic error. The traders engaged in the nefarious traffic in Kanaka labour for Fiji and Queensland had taken to personating missionaries in order to facilitate their kidnapping; Patteson was mistaken for one of these and killed. His murderers evidently found out their mistake and repented of it, for the bishop's body was found at sea floating in a canoe, covered with a palm fibre matting, and a palm-branch in his hand. He is thus represented in the bas-relief erected in Merton College to his memory. . See Life by Charlotte M. Yonge (1873).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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