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William Shaw

1798-1872. Wesleyan Methodist missionary to South Africa. Born in Glasgow, he accompanied the 1820 settlers to South Africa. Although officially chaplain to one party, he established Methodism throughout Albany and used this settler church as a base for advance beyond the frontier. Between 1823 and 1830 he planted six missions in the Ciskei and Transkei, others being added later. He also supervised work north of the Orange River from 1838 and in Natal from 1842. Shaw's high standing among the settlers and friendship with several African chiefs gave him unique breadth of outlook and sympathy. Most colonial governors respected his advice. In 1856 he returned to England. His proposal for a South African conference was premature, and he did not return to the field. He was elected president of conference in 1865, a fitting tribute to the father of South African Methodism.