Sketched and engraved by George Baxter, Northampton Square, London, c.1870
There were four Methodist Missionary ships in the 19th century; the Duff (1796 onwards), the Triton (1839-1846), the John Wesley (1846-1865) and the John Wesley II (1866-1881). Each one was tasked with taking missionaries and supplies from the UK to the Pacific.
The John Wesley II missionary ship replaced the John Wesley, which had been hit by a violent storm and broke up on a Tongan reef in 1865. The JW II had three masts, was 117 feet in length and cost £3,400 to build, then a great deal of money. She reached Australia in 1867 and served a growing number of mission stations . In 1881, the ship was sold for commercial use, as steam powered ships were proving more viable and suited to the work of the Mission.