# 42856


Mission to Western Australia, commonly called the Swan River settlement.

[London : s.n., 1835]. Quarto (250 x 200 mm), [3] pp; printed on letterpress; fourth side docketed ‘Mission to Western Australia’, and with Webster Collection stamp with number 2621 in ms.; original vertical and horizontal folds, some toning, else very well preserved.

The foundation document for the Western Australian Missionary Society, recording the resolution for its establishment made on 30 September 1835. The document also gives details of Honorary Secretary Captain F. C. Irwin’s proposal for an Appeal to raise funds for the sending of missionaries to the Swan River colony and for their maintenance there, which includes the observation that ‘the Natives of the country, who are still in the lowest state of barbarism, continue in the grossest heathen darkness, without a single Christian teacher of any denomination among them.’

Ferguson, 2070

Very rare. Trove locates only two copies in Australian collections (NLA; SNSW), which represent two different printings: the Mitchell Library copy has variant ’10s.’ for ‘Ten Shillings’ in the last line on the first page.

Note: The NLA copy is fully digitised and may be viewed at the following link:


Provenance: Private collection, Australia; ex Maggs Bros., London, c.1978; ex Webster Collection.

Kenneth Athol Webster (1906-1967) was a New Zealand-born dealer and collector in manuscripts, books, paintings and ethnographic artefacts relating to the Pacific. In the two decades after World War Two he built one of the largest and most important collections of this type of material ever assembled.