John William Colenso (1814-1883), Bishop of Natal
Sitter associated with 11 portraits
Colenso was appointed as the first Bishop of Natal in 1853. He was exceptional among Anglican bishops in Africa in considering the needs of indigenous people above those of the white settlers. He translated the New Testament into Zulu and wrote the first English-Zulu dictionary. His nonconformist views, including toleration of native traditions such as polygamy, made him a highly controversial figure. He was the most outspoken critic of the invasion of Zululand in 1879. His campaigning helped turn British public opinion against the war and, following the Zulu defeat, his intervention helped secure King Cetshwayo's reception with Queen Victoria in 1882.