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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Maunsell, Ven. Robert

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Maunsell, Ven. Robert, B.A., LL.D., late Archdeacon of Auckland, New Zealand, born in Ireland in Oct. 1810, was one of the earliest missionaries sent to New Zealand by the Church Missionary Society, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B .A. in 1832. In 1834 he went out to New Zealand in connection with the Church Missionary Society, and for many years lived as a missionary among the Maoris. In 1840 he was one of those who were instrumental in framing the Treaty of Waitangi, and in getting the native chiefs to sign it. Subsequently, in 1846, he joined with Bishop Selwyn and Sir William Martin in a protest against Earl Grey's instructions, by which it was considered the treaty was violated. Archdeacon Maunsell is especially distinguished for his translation of the Bible into Maori, and also for his Maori Grammar. He shares with Mr. Colenso the honour of being the greatest living authority on the Maori tongue. After thirty years of labour as a missionary, Mr. Maunsell was appointed Incumbent of St. Mary's, Auckland, in 1865, and was Archdeacon of Auckland from 1870 to 1883. He has recently retired from active duty, having had the degree of LL.D. of Dublin University conferred on him for his Maori scholarship.