George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand

11 April -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Bishops, page 483

George Augustus Selwyn was born in 1809, educated at Cambridge and ordained as curate of Windsor. In 1841 he was made the first Bishop of New Zealand and remained there for twenty-seven years, during the first years travelling when few roads or bridges existed. In the wars between colonists and Maoris he stood out heroically for Maori rights, at the cost of fierce attacks from both sides and grave personal danger in his efforts to part the warriors, until later he was revered as one of the founders of New Zealand as well as of its Church. He taught himself to navigate and gathered congregations in the Melanesian Islands. His Constitution for the New Zealand Church influenced the churches of the Anglican Communion and he was a chief founder of the Lambeth Conferences of bishops. In 1868 he was persuaded to become the Bishop of Lichfield in England and died there on this day in 1878.