Baptist graveyard and Vasons' tomb, Mount Street

Baptist graveyard and Vasons' tomb, Mount Street

THIS sad and dreary looking Garden of Rest was established by the Baptist community in 1724. It has long been closed for burials and few people seem to know of its existence.

But it deserves to be remembered, if for no other reason than that George Vason rests within its confines.

Vason’s story is as thrilling and romantic as one could wish, and his account of his adventures is as good reading as one could get hold of. He began life as a godly young man, and he was sent out to the Friendly Islands as an artisan to work with a party of missionaries under the auspices of the London Missionary Society.

For a time all went well, but Vason was stationed some distance away from his fellow missionaries, and little by little he adopted native customs, including polygamy, till there was nothing to choose between him and his bosom friend, the local chief.

For some time he lived in this paradise—and we must remember that even if it was a fools paradise it was a paradise—and then a rebellion upset his position. He was in great danger and had many hairbreadth escapes, and eventually was rescued by a chance ship and carried to Canton, from which place he worked his passage back to Nottingham.

His story excited great sympathy and interest, and as he was without means of support, Mr. Bailey very generously resigned his position as gaoler at the town gaol on Vason’s behalf.

This post Vason filled with dignity for eighteen years until 1838, when he died, and was buried in this cemetery amidst widespread expressions of regret.