Reverend William LawPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by John Huth

A plaque commemorates William Law who was the second pastor of the church between 1854 and 1902.

William Law was born in Yorkshire on 10th March 1827. He was well educated with the intention of becoming a civil engineer. However, when 21 years of age, he became convinced of a calling to the ministry and offered himself to the London Missionary Society. He was enrolled at Bedford College in 1848 and three years later left England, accompanied by his wife, Sarah. He was one of a group of four men, led by the Reverend D. Darling, bound for Samoa in the ship 'John Williams'. The ship stayed at Hobart long enough for William to visit Launceston  where he preached in St. John's Square Chapel.

In Samoa he worked hard to convert the Samoans but the eruption of civil war, together with the unhealthy climate, made life so burdensome for his wife that he reluctantly left the mission and returned to Tasmania.

On 24th October 1854 William took charge of St. John's Square Congregational Chapel in succession to the Reverend John West. He remained in the church for about half a century and quickly became widely respected and active in the civil life of the community. He was particularly active in education being chairman of two school Boards and, for a number of years, president of the Mechanics' Institute. He was a member of the committee for sixteen years, and secretary of the British & Foreign Bible Society, as well as of the Launceston Benevolent Society and the City Mission.

His zeal led to the expansion of his congregation and so Christ Church was opened in October 1885.

In 1895 on 6th March, Sarah Law died. William gave up active work in the church in 1902 and retired to 'Elphin House', Launceston. He died there in 1907. A daughter and three sons survived him. 


Address:11 Frederick Street, City Baptist Church, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.441128
Long: 147.140788
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1854
Approx. Event End Date:1902


Front Inscription

1854 - 1902.

In loving memory of the Rev. William Law second pastor of this church

He was a man respected and beloved sympathetic and kind, of sound judgment and scholarly attainments

During his pastorate of 48 years, and mainly through his efforts, this church was built, and practically freed from debt

He died in Launceston 19th May 1907, aged 80 years.

Source: MA,JG
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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