The story of of Henry and Marianne Williams
I made an updated visit to Pakaraka Church this morning to take some individual photos of some of the older historical people that are buried there. These 2 people were possibly 2 of the most famous missionaries to New Zealand in the days of the early settlers. Marianne Coldham was born in Yorkshire, England, on 12 December 1793, the eldest daughter of Ann Temple and her husband, Wright Coldham. In 1796 her family and that of her future husband, Henry Williams, moved to Nottingham to try their fortunes in the lace making industry. When Marianne married Henry in 1818, she was described as 'tall – about 5 ft. 9 ins. – slender, very fair, with large blue eyes and a dazzling complexion'. The marriage ceremony took place on 20 January 1818 at Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire. Over the next four years, in preparation for missionary work in New Zealand, Marianne trained as a cook, nurse, midwife and teacher. When Henry took his ordination vows in 1822, she stood beside him as he gave an unusual promise: 'she does not accompany me merely as my wife, but as a fellow-helper in the work'.
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