George Hunn Nobbs

George Hunn Nobbs

George Hunn Nobbs

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George Hunn Nobbs (16 October 1799 – 5 November 1884) was an English (he claimed Irish) missionary on Pitcairn Island and later Norfolk Island, where his many descendants still live today.

He claimed he was born in Moira, County Down, the illegitimate son of Francis Rawdon-Hastings 1st Marquis of Hastings (1754–1826) and Jemima Ffrench, and that the marquis did not acknowledge him, and he was fostered by the elderly Nobbs family who lived near Yarmouth. However, evidence from parish registers suggest it was more likely that he was the illegitimate son of John Nobbs, schoolmaster, and his partner (later wife), Jemima Hunn (who had two further daughters after marriage). 'George Nobbs Hunn' was baptised in the parish church of Runham, Norfolk on 27 October 1799. Nobbs most likely invented such a story of his youth to impress the Islanders. He spent an adventurous youth serving in various merchant ships, visiting both India and Africa. In 1828 he arrived on Pitcairn Island where he became schoolmaster and unordained parson to a community descended from HMS Bounty mutineers and Tahitian islanders. On 18 October 1829 Nobbs married Sarah Christian, the granddaughter of Fletcher Christian, who had led the mutiny. Nobbs left the island for a time during the despotic rule of Josiah Hill; he returned when Hill was expelled in 1837 and became the leader of the community.

He greatly impressed Rear Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby who visited the island in 1852. Moresby supported an...
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