BISHOPS’ PROFILES 1882 – 1916

indexGEORGE FREDERIC HOSE (1882 – 1908)

George Frederic Hose was ordained at Ely in 1861/62. He served as a missionary in the Straits Settlements, and was made Archdeacon of Singapore in 1875. He was consecrated Bishop of Sarawak and Singapore in May 1881.

“Hose is credited with having planted the first rubber seeds in Borneo”.

Bishop Hose was enthroned in Kuching on 17 Jan 1882. He was a tireless traveller and from the beginning made regular tours of the rural areas. He was equally thorough in his administration of Singapore and Malaya. He urged people to construct temporary prayer houses if there was no proper church. He encouraged the appointment of lay readers and teachers in the rural area; his wife re-opened the girls’ school in Kuching. The Dayak ministry blossomed under Hose. He organised the first Iban conference in 1893, and expanded mission work in Sabah. He ordained W.Howell, and recruited E.H.Gomes from Singapore, and (Archdeacon) Sharp, who sparked new life into the Church in Borneo. Some of the older missionaries (Fowler, Zehnder) retired or died during this episcopate.

Hose’s last years were a time of relative stagnation. With the death of his wife, Hose lost not only a cherished life partner, but also a competent fellow-botanist (Hose is credited with having planted the first rubber seeds in Borneo). The ageing bishop continued to administer his two bishoprics as well as he could; after more than forty years in the tropics he was reluctant to leave the scene of his labours. Bishop Hose left Kuching in 1907 and resigned in November 1908.

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WILLIAM ROBERT MOUNSEY (1909 – 1916)

William Mounsey was consecrated Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak in 1909. He was occupied for eight years in restructuring the Diocese after its separation from Singapore; upon arrival here he found a very small staff, and few material resources. He was a stern, pious man in his way, strict with his staff and not always popular. But his successor found a well-administered church, its finances in order and its machinery running smoothly and the schools expanding. After his resignation from Sarawak, Bishop Mounsey joined the Community of the Resurrection, and became Assistant Bishop of Truro and later Bradford. He passed away in June 1952.