James Calvert

1813-1892. Wesleyan missionary to the Fiji (Cannibal) Islands. Born in Pickering, England, he was converted at eighteen while apprenticed to a printer. In 1837 he was accepted for missionary service and sent to Hoxton Theological Institution. After six months there, his studies were interrupted by an urgent appeal for help from Fiji. He, John Hunt,* and Thomas Jaggar arrived there just three years after the work began. A quarter-century of labors witnessed a marvelous transformation of the islands. Returning to England in 1865, the Calverts seven years later were asked to help in the South African diamond fields. They spent more than eight years there before retiring again. In 1886-87 Calvert revisited Fiji and was able to appreciate what fifty years of missionary work had accomplished.