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William George Lawes (from wikipedia)William George Lawes (from wikipedia)William George Lawes (1839-1907) 

English-born, first worked in Reading (where he seems to have met with George Rolleston), later London Missionary Society missionary, linguist and lecturer. In 1858 he volunteered for service with the London Missionary Society, ordained into the Congregational ministry in November 1860 and immediately travelled to Niue (then known as the Savage Islands). In 1872 he toured Britain lecturing about his missionary work. In 1874 he began work in Papua (now part of Papua New Guinea), working on the south coast of New Guinea, and based with his family in Port Moresby and later Vatorata. In 1877 Lawes was joined by a colleague James Chalmers. In 1885 Lawes published Grammar and Vocabulary of Language spoken by Motu Tribe, New Guinea. He acted as advisor to Sir Peter Scratchley and William Macgregor. In 1891 Lawes carried out a lecture tour of Australia where he retired to in 1906.

See his Dictionary of National Biography entry here.

See his wikipedia entry here

See his Australian Dictionary of Biography entry here.

See Joseph King, 1909 W. G. Lawes of Savage Island and New Guinea (London)

Archives of his assistant Robert Lister Turner including a history of the London Missionary Society in Papua from 1871 including Lawes' work, details here, see ADB entry above for further links to archival holdings for Lawes.

W.G. Lawes 1880. 'Notes on New Guinea and his inhabitants'  Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and monthly record of geography. vol 2 No 10 (1880) pp. 602-616

W.G. Lawes 1882. 'New Guinea and its people' Popular Science Monthly vol 20 (January 1882) available here

W.G. Lawes 1884. 'Recent explorations in south-eastern New Guinea' Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and monthly record of geography. vol vi No 4 (April 1884) pp. 216-218

W.G. Lawes 1885. Grammar and vocabulary of language spoken by Motu tribe, New Guinea. Sydney: Thomas Richards. Available here.

AP April 2013.


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